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Interim ADR for Family Law

As well as offering mediation services to assist resolve disputes, often overlooked is our ability, as Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners, to assist parties on an interim basis.

As well as offering mediation services to assist resolve disputes, often overlooked is our ability, as Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners, to assist parties on an interim basis.

In purely parenting matters, I offer an hourly service at a reduced rate with a minimum commitment of only four hours being a total commitment of $2,200.00 inclusive of GST (Interim FDR). This is aimed more toward those couples who have only recently separated and/or have only recently spoken with a solicitor regarding parenting arrangements. Interim FDR can also be useful where the parties are negotiating discrete issues, such as overseas travel, holiday time and so on.

In my experience, parents are often reluctant to commit to a day long mediation with the emphasis being upon final outcomes. More often than not, one (or both) parties are just trying to manage their way through the next 3 months. Interim arrangements with a planned review in 3 months can offer better outcomes for parents whilst they are otherwise coming to terms with the breakdown of their relationship. Hopefully, such an approach is also more child-focused as well as getting a resolution of issues earlier reduces the likelihood of long term conflict and "trains" their parents in the difficult arts of communication, negotiation and compromise.

Importantly, as the booking needs less time, I am more likely to have a half day available sooner than a full day booking !

A key part of this process is that the Interim FDR is with the parties alone and not with the lawyers. This is to try to minimise costs and also to remove some of the other perceived or real pressures that might be placed upon a party when lawyers become involved in the process. (This does not mean solicitors are excluded entirely as the attached flowchart reveals).

To add value to this process;

  1. I conduct individual intake sessions with each client several days in advance
  2. I assist the parties with preparation of any agreements reached
  3. I assist the parties connect with other relevant service providers such as Harmony House, counsellors, Court information
  4. I provide brief written reports to each of the parties and their solicitors

Download this flowchart which sets out the usual process. This is not inflexible and I am willing to meet the clients’ needs.

If you think this may interest you and your clients I am happy to email you directly a copy of the standard letters I send out inviting the parents to participate.

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