Child focused mediation is by far the most popular in Australia. When family mediation or Family Dispute Resolution is discussed, this is what they are talking about. It is where the FDRP (family dispute resolution practitioner also called a mediator or family mediator) works with you and your ex-partner to focus on the needs of your children. Together, you will talk about the issues and concerns and with the best interest of your children in the forefront, formulate agreements that you both can live with. Remember, your children didn’t ask for their parents to separate, so what can you do to make things better for them?
Child Focused Mediation
Child Inclusive Mediation
If you or the other parent would like what your child wants to be considered when you’re making decisions, you can choose a process called Child Inclusive Mediation.
Child inclusive mediation is where we seek help from a Child Consultant, to find out how your children are faring, and what THEIR important issues are. The child consultant will meet in a confidential session with your child or children and chat in a play based environment.
The Child Consultant will then meet with both of you and the FDRP at the very beginning of the mediation to discuss the issues raised by your children so their wishes can be included in the issues of concern. Once this has happened, the mediation progresses as would a normal child focussed mediation. If you prefer, the Child Consultant can remain in the session and continue to guide your decision making in accordance with the wishes of your child.
Child Consultant’s can charge between $125 and $250 per hour for the children’s interview and their participation in the mediation session.
The inclusion of the child’s view is dependant on their age, health and well-being.
If there are any concerns about the welfare of your child or if they are younger than 5 years of age, child inclusive mediation will not be appropriate. If this is the case, you can proceed with child focussed mediation.
Lawyer inclusive (or assisted) mediation
This style of mediation involves participating in a child focused mediation as described above, with the inclusion of your lawyer and your ex-partner’s lawyer. This style of mediation can be done face-to-face or in separate rooms.