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ServicesPost-Separation Therapy and Mediation

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Post-Separation Family Therapy

  1. High Conflict Families – Families who are not able to manage conflict post-separation, who are often unable to resolve issues directly. Includes families who are currently going through the family court or who have been through the family court.
    • RRT can do direct
    • Apply forms of indirect communication using our of our parent coaches/family therapists as a conduit via email or through therapeutic intervention
    • Support families where one parent is not seeing one of their children
  2. Low Conflict Families – Families that have been through separation, but who are able to have conversation about the separation itself, co-parenting and other family related topics while in the room at the same time. Parents who have separated although are able to communicate directly with one another.

Estrangement vs Alienation

Parental alienation is when one parent manipulates a child to reject the other parent, often during divorce, while parental estrangement is when a child independently chooses to limit contact due to personal reasons. Find out more here.

Divorce Coaching

  • – Helping families successfully navigate separation without the court process
  • – Helping parents manage parental communication through the process of separation and afterward
  • – Helping parents talk with children about separation and hold family conversations

Using family mediation to have direct and specific plans for how to co-parent post-Divorce coaching is a form of support and guidance provided to individuals going through the process of divorce. Divorce coaches are trained professionals, who assist individuals in navigating the practical, emotional, and logistical challenges of divorce. They offer personalized guidance to help clients make informed decisions, manage their emotions, communicate effectively with their ex-spouse, and create strategies for moving forward. Divorce coaching can cover a wide range of topics, from legal considerations and financial planning to coping with emotional stress and co-parenting strategies, all aimed at helping individuals achieve a smoother and more empowered transition through the divorce process.

Divorce coaching provides individuals with personalized support and practical guidance throughout the divorce process. Coaches help clients understand their options, navigate complex legal and financial matters, and manage the emotional challenges that arise. Through one-on-one sessions, coaches offer a safe space for clients to express their concerns, fears, and goals, while also helping them develop effective communication and negotiation skills for interactions with their ex-spouse. Divorce coaches empower individuals to make informed decisions, create realistic plans, and work towards a healthier post-divorce future by addressing both the practical and emotional aspects of this life transition.

Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution

What is Family Dispute Resolution (FDR)?
Family Dispute Resolution, or FDR as it is more commonly called, is a niche and specialised form of mediation specific to separated families which deals with children’s matters and/or financial matters. The independent Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) facilitates your mediation in an impartial and non-judgemental manner. Through FDR, families affected by separation are able to narrow their disputed issues, discuss and generate possible outcomes for their family, and ultimately reach agreements to move forward with. Based on the premise that all families are unique and are best suited to making decisions for family, the FDRP will guide your session/s, however will not give legal advice or impose outcomes on the family.

Child Inclusive Practice (CIP)
Where deemed appropriate by your FDRP, and with the consent of both parents, your FDR process may include Child Inclusive Practice (CIP). This is where an experienced Child Consultant will meet with your child/ren any concerns your child/ren might have regarding your separation. Our Child Consultants create a safe and comfortable environment, which most children find therapeutic. Pending your child/ren’s consent, the Consultant may then share feedback with the parents as well as making recommendations, within the FDR process.  Your FDRP will then assist you to use this acquired information to assist you in your decision-making.

Collaborative Practice
At Ray’s Room, we believe in, and advocate for, collaborative practice between all relevant professionals. Similar to the old adage that “it takes a village to raise a child”, in many cases it takes the support of various professionals to guide families effectively through a separation. It is for this reason that, where beneficial, our FDRPs work collaboratively with therapists, child consultants and solicitors to ensure families experience a supported FDR process and reach the best outcomes. All of our practitioners are open to initiating and receiving cross-referrals and have a network of trusted professionals if required.

FAQ

What steps to take after deciding to separate?

Once you’ve made the choice to separate, navigating what comes next can be bewildering and daunting. We invite you to reach out to Relationships Australia NSW for assistance during this process and to connect you with relevant services. We can aid you in identifying the best approach for your unique circumstances. It’s also recommended that all clients seek their own legal counsel.

What if the other party doesn't respond or declines participation?

Should your partner not engage in the FDR process while you’re in the midst of separation and you have children, our Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner might provide you with a 60i certificate. This certificate enables you to petition the Court for parenting orders. If you’re separating without children and your situation pertains solely to property or financial concerns, it’s advised to seek legal advice if the other party opts not to partake in FD.

What occurs in the initial Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) session?

The initial interaction with your FDR Practitioner is referred to as a Pre-mediation assessment. This one-on-one session with your assigned practitioner, lasting 1.5 hours, serves to evaluate the appropriateness of Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) for your situation and its potential to achieve desired outcomes. Factors such as the involved parties, presented issues, and proposed FDR schedule are taken into account.

Can I bring a support person (e.g., lawyer, relative, new partner) to mediation sessions?

In certain cases, both the FDR Practitioner (mediator) and the other party can agree to allow additional individuals, such as lawyers or support persons, to be present during mediation sessions. This, however, must be discussed and arranged beforehand. Kindly communicate with your Family Advisor or FDR Practitioner if you wish to explore this option.

How can you assist in situations involving an abusive ex-partner?

Upon expressing interest in mediation, our staff conducts a screening process to assess your situation, your ex-partner, and the level of safety involved. If mediation isn’t suitable or safe, we can issue a Section 60I certificate. Additionally, we can refer you to support services, including counseling, behavior change programs, and domestic violence support groups.

What are the stages of the family mediation process?
  1. Address inquiries about family mediation process, costs, and timing.
  2. Initiate discussions with the other party to gain agreement for family mediation.
  3. Set a date, venue, and provide a formal Agreement to Mediate and invoice upon mutual agreement to mediate.
  4. After signing the Agreement and fee payment by both parties, arrange confidential telephone discussions (intake sessions) to discuss issues and desired outcomes.
  5. Conduct family mediation to work toward agreement on raised issues.
  6. Upon reaching agreement, draft an Agreement Reached at Mediation, which can serve as a Parenting Plan, basis for legal advice, Consent Orders, or further negotiations.
How should I prepare for the mediation session?

Requirements for family mediation preparation will be detailed during the intake sessions. For financial/property matters, you’ll likely need to compile a list of assets, liabilities, valuations, and related documents. In cases involving children, both parties may need to outline specific proposals for custody, living arrangements, changeovers, holidays, etc.

What transpires upon reaching an agreement at family mediation?

Once agreement is achieved, even if only on certain issues, we’ll draft the terms of the agreement in a form usable for purposes such as a Parenting Plan, Consent Orders in the Family Court, or legal advice.

Can the family mediation agreement be used as Court Orders?

Family Law requires agreements (financial or child-related) to be officially approved by the Family Court. We’ll draft the family mediation agreement to be suitable for use as the requested Court Orders for financial or children’s matters. Independent family law advice is recommended but not mandatory before filing with the Family Court.

What if we can't reach an agreement?

Most mediations find resolution for at least a majority of issues. If resolution isn’t achieved, it indicates that further time and resources will be required for Court proceedings. However, groundwork for agreement might be laid, and continued effort could lead to a satisfactory resolution.

How can I initiate mediation if the other party doesn't agree?

When you want to mediate but the other party doesn’t agree, we can contact them at no cost to explore the possibility of arranging a family mediation session. We often succeed in encouraging reluctant parties to participate. In cases where mediation is still declined, a certificate might be issued to commence Family Court proceedings. For property/financial cases, Court-ordered Mediation Style Conferencing might be required if the other party refuses mediation.

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