Child Focused Family Dispute Resolution
The unique and powerful model of Family Dispute Resolution developed by interMEDIATE Dispute Management helps ensure fair and robust parenting plans that all parties can live with, and that are truly child focused.
Legally Enforceable Orders by Consent
Parents’ continuing conflict damages a child
What’s Included in a Parenting Plan?
The Role of Grandparents, extended family and other significant people in a child’s life
Whilst you are going through the pain of separation and divorce, you really need to communicate about the future of your children, your home, your finances, your lives. Conflict can quickly and easily flare up and it can be extremely damaging. It doesn’t have to be. Family Dispute Resolution by highly trained professionals can help you to have those vital conversations to ensure your future and the future of your children is planned and secure. A Parenting Plan is vital to ensure each parent has surety of agreements made and children feel secure with predictable routines.
DO IT FOR THE KIDS! Do you need help speaking with the other parent of your children? You are the most important role models for your children. The future of your children is too important to leave to chance. What life long memories are you creating for them? What will they learn from you about healthy relationships? Your children have only one childhood. You only get one go at getting it right .
Court is a risky adversarial battle. It is extremely expensive and ruins important parental relationships. Family Dispute Resolution hands back the decisions about your children to you. It is great value for money and it helps to protect and align parental relationships, so important to children being able to grow to be balanced, happy adults.
If you need help organising your parenting plan, let us help you.
interMEDIATE Dispute Management is generally able to finalise child focused parenting plans within a week or two.
Parenting Plans are crafted by parents in co-operation with the skillful assistance of caring and Family Mediators, now known as Accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners. We help to empower separated parents to take responsibility for the important decisions about caring for their children.
Parenting Plans allow parents to consider the developmental stages, needs and interests of their children when planning time spent with each parent and extended family during school terms, weekdays, weekends, holidays and other special days. Parenting Plans can include agreements on child maintenance payments, special needs, family values, effective communication, parenting styles, blending families, step-families, new partners and any issues that matter to the parents and children. Parenting Plans can remain flexible, allowing Parenting Plans to be reviewed to accommodate changes in parents’ situations or children’s needs.
We work with both parents to craft Parenting Plans in their children’s best interest, and these can be tested for a period to see how everyone is coping. When situations change for parents or children, a review can allow you to make adjustments to ensure that all considered practical needs are considered in a workable plan which will always first and foremost be in the children’s best interests.
As long as Family Dispute Resolution is appropriate i.e. when there are no concerns about high level family violence or other safety factors, Family Dispute Resolution provides a safe environment to discuss and agree on all parenting issues including potentially contentious issues such as changing children’s names, residency, school or other living arrangements.
interMEDIATE Dispute Management assists conflicted parents to establish agreements that address each child’s developmental needs, whilst maintaining good quality relationships with both parents, where possible.
Orders by Consent
Parenting Plans are legally recognised and may be made legally enforceable by registering them through the court, to become Parenting Orders by Consent.
Where Parenting Plans can be reviewed by parents as their children grow, needs and situations change. Some parents however, feel it necessary to have surety that their parenting arrangements are legally enforceable. For those who would appreciate a seamless process, we can have your parenting plan made into legally enforceable Orders by Consent. No need for multiple processes, we can take care of the lot.
Do not wait. Early intervention of disputes is always recommended, as separated parents are better able to consider the best interests of their children, when disputes have not been allowed to escalate to a level where they become bitter, entrenched and therefore more difficult to resolve.
We are available at short notice, for urgent mediation cases, and urgent Family Dispute Resolution services – such as when parents plan to travel.
Going to court means parents handing over their power and responsibility as parents to someone else – a stranger who does not know them, or their children. Parents may believe that they are seeking justice in court, but court is not about justice or fairness. Court is about applying the letter of the law and handing down legally enforceable Parenting Orders which may not suit parents or children. Costly and protracted court battles are highly stressful and very likely to further embitter parents, destroying any remaining threads of a parenting relationship, which are required to effectively and cooperatively parent children.
Child Custody is an out-dated term that is no longer in use in the Australian Family Law System. Child custody is seen as an antiquated and adversarial term that may suggest that one parent has power possession and power over a child, or imprisoned in child custody.
The 60i Certificate is required before parents can enter into the court process about parenting matters (there are some exceptions).
The 60i Certificate can be issued by an Accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner under various circumstances, such as when one parent doesn’t take part in Family Dispute Resolution, when it is inappropriate for Family Dispute Resolution to take place or when parties cannot agree in Family Dispute Resolution.
Judges and magistrates have the power to order court costs to be paid by a party who does not make a genuine attempt at family dispute resolution and/or order the couple to further attempt family dispute resolution. They are also highly likely to send parents back to attempt Family Dispute Resolution.
Except for when continued family relationships are inappropriate i.e. where a child is harmed by a parent, each child has the right to love both parents, regardless of how one parent feels about the other. They need to be protected from their parents’ bitter feelings about the other.
Children are not mini adults. They are not property or pawns in divorce. They are not your friends to confide in. They need to be protected from adult conversations about their parents’ break-up, no matter how much a parent thinks their children “deserve the truth.”
Blaming the other parent does not help your children. Parents who are feeling betrayed, bitter and upset need to find a counsellor or an adult friend in whom they can confide.
Although parents are likely to recover emotionally within a few years, ongoing parental conflict is likely to impact negatively on the child’s own relationships with others throughout their lives.
These children often grow up psychologically and emotionally damaged, allowing themselves to be bullied or controlled, or by becoming bullies and controllers. This is the behaviour learned from a parent. It is what they know and believe is a normal way – to bully, coerce, control and over-power others and get their own needs met.
It is up to you to help your children to enjoy their childhood.
Children who experience loyalty conflicts and those who try to prop up their emotionally troubled parents, often say to each parent, what they think that parent wants to hear.
Their story varies according to which parent they are speaking at the time.
Unprocessed grief and loss emotions may cause children to develop behavioural and long term physiological problems.
interMEDIATE Dispute Management Pty Ltd believes that each child must be given the opportunity to tell their authentic story.
Child Consultants see the children only with the agreement of both parents. This is a confidential session with each child, which is followed by an oral report delivered by the Child Consultant at the next Family Dispute Resolution joint session. This essential information – the child’s authentic story – helps to form the basis of co-operative parenting with a focus on their children. The oral report delivered by the Child Consultant to the parents, gives children the opportunity for appropriate inclusion in decisions that affect them.
Included in a Parenting Plan?
To be as useful as it is meant to be, an effective parenting plan outlines the agreements that parents have made together, after careful discussion, in their children’s best interests.
Examples of what is contained in a parenting plan are:
How the parenting time will be shared during school term and holidays
What parenting time the child/ren will spend with each parent
What time the child/ren will spend with other people, such as grandparents
How the parents will share parental responsibility, such as deciding on schools sporting activities, extracurricular activities, health issues, body piercing, tattoos etc.
How much will each parent contribute to the cost of bringing up the children
How the child/ren will communicate with both parents or other people
How the parents will communicate about matters concerning their child/ren
What arrangements need to be made for special days such as birthdays, holidays, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas and Easter Holidays etc.
What process may be used to change the plan or to resolve any future disagreements about the plan.
Any other issues the parents wish to include such as child maintenance, overseas travel, discipline matters, religion, household rules
and much much more.
The Role of Grandparents, extended family and other significant people in a child’s life have been recognised in the Family Law Act.
Sometimes, when a parental separation occurs, conflict between family members makes it uncomfortable or extremely difficult for the children to maintain important relationships.
The Family Law Act acknowledges that spending time with grandparents, extended family and other significant people (such as long-term previous step-parents) in a child’s life, can provide children with a number of benefits, including an understanding of who they are and where they come from. These vital relationships can also give children someone to talk to and confide in.
Children’s needs and best interests will be the first consideration in any parenting, separation or family breakdown.
Where there is a healthy relationship between children and their grandparents, extended family and other significant people in a child’s life, the changes make it easier for them to remain involved in the lives of the children. It should be noted that involvement from grandparents, extended family and others, is on a voluntary basis.