Specialists in Family Dispute Resolution
Once you contact our service you will have a free initial consultation with our principal mediator. The mediator will set up a time with you to conduct a pre-mediation appointment, during which your concerns will be discussed. The mediator will also contact your ex-partner and invite them to participate. Once you have both attended your pre-mediation appointments, a joint session of mediation will be set up for you both to attend and discuss the matters at hand. Once agreement is reached, the mediator will type up your agreement and if required will assist you with the steps necessary to make it legally binding.
Many people go to one of the larger agencies for Family Dispute Resolution because it seems like the cheaper option. Sometimes this is the case, but for moderate or higher income earners the price per session is not very different to some private mediators. In addition these agencies often have very long wait times which can only make things more difficult.
When deciding where to go it is best to shop around and compare wait times and prices, and remember to watch for services which charge by the hour.
Here at Accord Mediation Services we offer efficient and friendly service without the huge wait time, and see clients often within a week of their first enquiry. We also charge per session, not per hour, so you will know your costs before-hand.
We will discuss all of your concerns with you before your mediation session, and this includes any concerns you may have for your safety. Our principal mediator has extensive experience working with clients within the context of domestic violence (both male and female perpetrated), and will discuss any concerns you have at your pre-mediation appointment. When required we offer shuttle sessions, or stagger arrival and departure times so that you are never in physical contact with your ex-partner. As a general duty of care, clients are never left alone together while participating in mediation.
In addition to mediation services, Laura our principal mediator offers sessions for clients who are separated and would like guidance, support and information on navigating the way forward. Please note that this service cannot be extended to clients who have attended mediation sessions.
Mediation (officially called Family Dispute Resolution, or FDR) is a safe, respectful and non-adversarial way for you and your ex-partner to discuss and agree on the way forward for your parenting or property matters. It is a confidential process, and the mediator is not there to tell you what to do, take sides or judge you in any way. At mediation the focus will be kept on the future, and on the children (if you have children).
It is always advisable to consult a family lawyer for information and advice regarding your situation. This is not the same as hiring a lawyer to act on your behalf,which can be expensive. At Accord Mediation Services we can provide you with information on where to get advice and how to get the most out of your appointment.
In the event that mediation is unsuccessful, the mediator can issue you with a Section 60i certificate which will allow you to apply at Family Court for parenting matters. Certificates are not required for property matters, but you can be provided with a letter of attendance.
However, even if mediation is not totally successful, participants often find discussing matters to be an empowering and enlightening process. In addition, if you and your ex-partner agree to some matters and not others, you will be provided with a record of these agreements, which will save time and money later on.
Accord Mediation Services
There are other ways to resolve disputes, such as lawyer assisted negotiation, or the Family Court of WA.
If you and your ex-partner do not agree on arrangements for your children, the Family court will usually require you attempt mediation with a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner before they will hear a case. There are exceptions to this however, and you should obtain legal advice or give us a call if you feel mediation is not right for you.
There is no obligation to attempt FDR for property matters. However, many choose to engage in mediation as it is often faster, cheaper and less stressful than other conflict resolution methods.