A typical dispute resolution will proceed as follows:
One party to a dispute may approach an accredited FDRP to conduct dispute resolution and an appointment is arranged for an initial private intake session. During the intake session that party will have an opportunity to provide background information and explain what is important to him/her. The mediator will have an opportunity to assess the suitability of the matter for FDR and prepare that party for a joint session.
Assuming that following the initial session, that party wishes to proceed with dispute resolution, then an invitation will be extended to the other party to engage in dispute resolution.
If the other party is willing to participate they will also undertake a private intake session with the mediator in a similar format to the intake session undertaken with the first party. Each intake session is private and confidential and the mediator will only share information between the parties with the consent of the parties.
The mediator will then confirm with both parties as to whether the matter is suitable to proceed and arrangements can then be made for a joint Dispute Resolution meeting on a mutually convenient day and time.
Joint sessions will usually be of 3 to 4 hours’ duration although depending upon the issues a longer period can be scheduled.
In some matters the parties benefit from having several joint sessions, again depending upon the issues and in the event that parties wish to trial an arrangement.
During a FDR meeting each party will be encouraged to freely express topics that they wish to discuss and what is important to them in relation to each of those matters. An agenda will be formulated in relation to agreed topics for discussion.
The mediator will facilitate discussions in relation to each topic on the agenda and assist the parties to formulate options and solutions having regard to their respective needs, interests, concerns and the children’s interests, as well as the practicalities of any options/potential solutions which may be generated.