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How to Prepare for Child Custody Mediation in Brisbane

Child custody mediation is a process where parents in a dispute about the custody of their children come together with a trained mediator to try and come up with a mutually agreeable parenting plan. In Brisbane, this process is commonly used to resolve custody disputes in family court. Preparing for child custody mediation can be […]

How to Prepare for Child Custody Mediation in Brisbane

How to Prepare for Child Custody Mediation in Brisbane

By aylwardgame - May 15, 2023 Child Custody, Mediation

Child custody mediation is a process where parents in a dispute about the custody of their children come together with a trained mediator to try and come up with a mutually agreeable parenting plan. In Brisbane, this process is commonly used to resolve custody disputes in family court.

Preparing for child custody mediation can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, but with the right approach and mindset, parents can navigate the process more easily. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to prepare for child custody mediation in Brisbane.

Understanding the Importance of Child Custody Mediation

Before diving into the specifics of how to prepare for child custody mediation, it is important to understand the significance of this process. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the number of divorces granted in Australia has been steadily increasing over the years, with 49,116 divorces granted in 2019. With so many marriages ending in divorce, child custody mediation has become a crucial tool in resolving disputes over children’s care and living arrangements.

The purpose of child custody mediation is to provide parents with an opportunity to resolve their differences outside of court and reach an agreement that works best for their children. The process is designed to be less adversarial than going to court and allows parents to take an active role in creating a parenting plan that reflects their children’s best interests.

Preparing for Child Custody Mediation: Steps to Follow

Now that we have established the importance of child custody mediation in Brisbane, let us look at the steps parents should take to prepare for the process:

Step 1: Find a Mediator

The first step in preparing for child custody mediation is to find a mediator who is registered with the Attorney-General’s Department and qualified to practice in Brisbane. You can search for a mediator using the Family Dispute Resolution Register or the Australian Mediation Association.

Step 2: Educate Yourself About the Process

Before attending child custody mediation, it is important to understand what to expect during the process. The mediator will explain the process to you, but it is also helpful to do your own research and educate yourself about the process.

Step 3: Gather Information and Documents

To prepare for child custody mediation, parents should gather all relevant information and documents related to their children. This includes medical records, school reports, and any other relevant information that could be useful in making decisions about the children’s care and living arrangements.

Step 4: Create a Parenting Plan

The purpose of child custody mediation is to create a parenting plan that outlines the care and living arrangements for the children. To prepare for mediation, parents should create a draft parenting plan that reflects the children’s best interests. This can include details such as parenting time, decision-making responsibilities, and communication methods.

Step 5: Consider the Other Parent’s Perspective

It is important to approach child custody mediation with an open mind and consider the other parent’s perspective. This means being willing to compromise and work together to find a solution that works best for the children.

Step 6: Prepare Emotionally

Child custody mediation can be emotionally challenging, and it is important to prepare for this. Parents should take the time to talk to friends and family members, seek support from a therapist or counselor, and practice self-care to help manage their emotions during the mediation process.

The Importance of Hiring a Family Lawyer

While hiring a family lawyer is not mandatory for child custody mediation, it can be beneficial for parents to seek legal advice before attending mediation. A family lawyer can provide valuable advice on the legal aspects of child custody and can help parents prepare for the mediation process.

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A family lawyer can also assist in drafting a parenting plan that reflects the children’s best interests and ensure that the final agreement complies with Australian law. Additionally, a lawyer can provide emotional support during the mediation process and help parents navigate any legal issues that may arise during mediation.

It is important to note that while a family lawyer can provide valuable assistance, they should not be the main spokesperson during the mediation process. The role of the lawyer should be to advise and support the parent, but ultimately the decision-making power lies with the parents.

The Role of the Mediator

The mediator plays a crucial role in child custody mediation. Their role is to facilitate communication between the parents and guide them toward a mutually agreeable solution. The mediator is an impartial third party who does not take sides or make decisions for the parents.

During the mediation process, the mediator will listen to both parents’ perspectives and help them identify the issues that need to be resolved. The mediator will then work with the parents to develop a parenting plan that addresses these issues and reflects the children’s best interests.

It is important to note that the mediator does not have the power to make decisions or impose a parenting plan on the parents. The final decision-making power rests with the parents, and they must both agree to the parenting plan before it can be finalised.

The Benefits of Child Custody Mediation

Child custody mediation has numerous benefits over traditional court proceedings. These include:

  1. Less Adversarial: Child custody mediation is designed to be less adversarial than going to court. It provides a safe and neutral environment for parents to discuss their concerns and work towards a solution that works best for their children.
  2. Cost-Effective: Child custody mediation is generally less expensive than going to court. It can save parents both time and money in the long run.
  3. Faster Resolution: Child custody mediation can help resolve disputes faster than going to court. This is because parents can work together to find a solution rather than waiting for a court date.
  4. Greater Control: Child custody mediation gives parents greater control over the outcome. The parents have the final decision-making power and can create a parenting plan that reflects their children’s best interests.
  5. Better for Children: Child custody mediation is generally better for children than going to court. It allows parents to work together to create a parenting plan that prioritizes the children’s needs and reduces the emotional impact of divorce on the children.

Conclusion

Preparing for child custody mediation in Brisbane can be a challenging and emotional process, but with the right approach, parents can navigate the process more easily. It is important to find a qualified mediator, educate yourself about the process, gather relevant information and documents, create a parenting plan, consider the other parent’s perspective, and prepare emotionally.

While hiring a family lawyer is not mandatory, it can be beneficial for parents to seek legal advice before attending mediation. A family lawyer can provide valuable assistance in drafting a parenting plan that reflects the children’s best interests and ensure that the final agreement complies with Australian law.

Child custody mediation has numerous benefits over traditional court proceedings, including being less adversarial, cost-effective, and better for children. By approaching the mediation process with an open mind and a willingness to compromise, parents can work together to create a parenting plan that reflects their children’s best interests.

FAQ

What is child custody mediation?

Child custody mediation is a process that helps parents work out a parenting plan for their children after a divorce or separation.

What is the role of a mediator in child custody mediation?

The mediator’s role is to facilitate communication between parents and guide them towards a mutually agreeable solution. They are an impartial third party who does not take sides or make decisions for the parents.

How long does child custody mediation take?

The length of child custody mediation can vary, but it generally takes less time than going to court. The number of sessions required will depend on the complexity of the issues to be resolved.

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Do I need a lawyer for child custody mediation?

It is not mandatory to have a lawyer for child custody mediation, but it can be beneficial to seek legal advice before attending mediation. A lawyer can provide valuable assistance in drafting a parenting plan that complies with Australian law.

Is child custody mediation better for children than going to court?

Yes, child custody mediation is generally better for children than going to court. It allows parents to work together to create a parenting plan that prioritizes the children’s needs and reduces the emotional impact of divorce on the children.