Life after separation - putting the pieces back together
Chapter 7 - Family dispute resolution through family relationship centres
>> PRESENTER: The Family relationship centre will talk to all parties involved to help you decide if family dispute resolution is the best process to help you reach agreements.
If they don’t think that family dispute resolution can help you, they will refer you to another service that will support your needs. You might participate in an education session that will help you to get information about supporting your children.
If you go ahead with family dispute resolution, the session can be arranged to make sure the process meets your needs. It might involve both parents being in the same room, a shuttle arrangement where the parents are in separate rooms with the family dispute resolution practitioner moving between rooms, or telephone mediation options. Sometimes, your children might be involved in the family dispute resolution. They might talk to a separate consultant, who is a specialist child practitioner, about their experience of your family separation so that you can make better decisions about arrangements.
During the process you’ll be able to decide on issues such as who the children will live with and spend time with including how holidays and special occasions like birthdays, Mothers and Fathers Day will be spent. You can also cover education planning, forward planning and long-term decision making, finances and child support.
Family Relationship Centres also offer education, support and advice to assist families in building communication and conflict management strategies to support cooperative parenting today and in the future.
[Conference: Family Relationship Centre Facilitator, GREG, and couple, BRENDAN and KYLIE.]
>> KYLIE: The children both go to really good schools and all their friends go there so I want them to be able to complete their high school education there.
>> BRENDAN: I want that too.
So that their lives are disrupted as little as possible. You know, but I want them to live with me and spend a lot of time with me. Because I… because I would hate it if I only saw them every other weekend.
>> GREG: Brendan, and Kylie, I am going to ask you to consider what options you can suggest that might achieve both these outcomes?
So Brendan, I might get you to start for us.
[End of Conference]
>> PRESENTER: Options are generated, progressing towards decisions being made.
These decisions will be written up into a parenting plan, which both parents agree to follow.
If necessary, parenting plans can be converted into a consent order and lodged with the court at a later date. However, as the plan is supposed to be cooperative, hopefully this won’t be necessary. If you think it is necessary, you should get legal advice.