Briese Lawyers' family mediation service aims to assist separating parents to resolve issues in relation to the care of their children in a respectful and amicable manner.
For partners coming to terms with the end of their relationship, it can be difficult to have a calm and rational discussion with the other parent about post-separation parenting arrangements. For some parents, this is simply not possible without the assistance of a neutral third party.
The role of the mediator is to facilitate the conversation between two parents, so that together they can make decisions about how best to support their children as they move forward in separate households.
The research is clear that children cope best with separation when they are not exposed to conflict between their parents. The aim of family mediation is to deal with the issues which are causing conflict and allow parents to move forward in a positive way as co-parents. By discussing these issues in a safe and open forum, the risk of later conflict is reduced.
The mediation process is confidential, giving parents the freedom to talk openly and honestly without fear that what they say may later be repeated if the issues can't be resolved and the matter proceeds to court.
At the end of the family mediation, if an agreement is reached it can be written and signed by the parties. This is called a Parenting Plan. If no agreement is reached, the mediator will issue a certificate which states that the parents have made a genuine effort to reach agreement about the care of their children. The family law courts now require parents to produce such a certificate before asking the court to intervene in their parenting dispute.