Mediation is exceptionally effective when determining all matters related to children as it allows all parties to have their say and consistently negotiate with the other with the best interests of the child at the forefront.
One of our roles as mediators is to ensure that all parties are aware of their responsibilities as parents and caregivers throughout the discussions. Understandably there is always an emotional element involved with separating families, our mediators are trained professionals and able to discern and direct discussions that achieve an optimal and agreeable solution.
During mediation sessions revolving around child custody and support, the term ‘parental responsibility’ will be mentioned quite a lot. Parental responsibility references the obligations that each parental figure has for the children involved and should remain the sole focus throughout separation discussions.
The Family Law Act 1975 has priority focus on the rights and wellbeing of children and the responsibilities held by parents in service to these children over the parental rights.
A Quick Overview
The process of child custody mediation is fairly straightforward, a formal request is made by one of the parties. Unless ordered by a court, all parties must freely consent to the process for it to begin. There are no penalties for denying a request for child mediation (unless court ordered) per se, the denial without legitimate reasoning could be construed later in court as a lack of cooperation which could hinder negotiations going forward.
In circumstances where a court orders for these mediation sessions to go ahead, all parties MUST attend at least one session or risk being found in contempt of the court which has detrimental notions in the proceeding court orders in the case.
Typically, some form of child mediation is required before a case is brought to the courts – the exceptions being in cases of domestic violence, child abuse, or urgent circumstances.
Preparation & Process
Throughout your online mediation sessions, there will be ample opportunity for all parties to voice their desires and wishes. The mediator will first lay out the process and how the sessions will proceed, it is best to have as much information prepared as possible including all relevant documents and historical evidence. It is best to submit these for the mediator to digest and to allow all side of the conversation to have equal standing before proceedings begin.
Once the sessions begin, all sides will have a chance to put forward their case and through back-and-forth between all parties and the mediator, a consensus of understanding and compromise can hopefully be reached. Throughout discussions it is vital to remember that these mediation negotiation sessions are for the best interests of the child.
If there are agreements reached, a document can be drafted and signed by all parties
Family Mediation Online
Family Mediation Online have a team of experienced mediators that have experience in family law and child custody/support cases. We strive to provide a fair and balanced service that ensures the best interests of the child are met, and that all involved parties have been heard and understood.