At the Mount Gambier Family Relationship Centre, (FRC), we offer a personalised service to suit the needs of the individual’s circumstances as we recognise that one size does not fit all. Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) aims to bring two separated parents, grandparents or other parties together to create a Parenting Plan with the best interests of the children in mind.
We offer two different types FDR – Children’s Matters, where the focus is on care and parenting arrangements for children, and Property & Financial Mediation, where the focus is on reaching agreements in relation to property and asset division, post separation.
All of our Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners (FDRPs) have a wide range of experience and are there to support families through change to achieve outcomes that will serve the best interests of their children.
A Parenting Plan is an easily read document and only contains those points on which the two parties are in agreeance in relation to Children’s Matters.
It is important to remember children and families have changing needs as time progresses and, as such, a Parenting Plan is a flexible document so that if you find something is not working, it can be changed, by negotiation and agreeance, relatively easily.
To facilitate the best possible outcomes, we ask that during mediation both parties follow the ground rules that both parties are to stay respectful and that only one party speaks at a time.
Participants have the option during FDR to call a “time out”, where each party can individually end the discussion and may choose to walk outside for some fresh air or have a break in another way.
In addition, either party can call a private session where they have the opportunity for a short private and confidential meeting with the mediator.
During dispute resolution, our FDRPs will not decide on matters for parents, but will help generate ideas both parties can adapt to their own situation.
Within a week of completion your FDR, your practitioner will produce a typed Parenting Plan containing all the points of agreement you will both sign and exchange.
The services you receive at the FRC are provided under the Family Law Act 1975. This means that evidence of anything said during intake and especially in the Family Dispute Resolution session(s) with your ex-partner is NOT ADMISSIBLE as evidence in court.
For example, your solicitor cannot prepare court documents (such as affidavits) which relate or refer to what was said during Family Dispute Resolution by the Dispute Resolution Practitioner or the other party.
You cannot use what was said in joint Family Dispute Resolution sessions to help your court case.
However, when you sign the confidentiality form, you make the undertaking that you understand there are limits to confidentiality, mainly concerning the obligation for practitioners to report any possibility there is a risk to the safety of children, a threat to harm self or others or the possibility of a crime being committed.