Is mediation compulsory?
Anyone who wants to go to court for disputes in relation to children must attend mediation.
There are some exceptions – exemptions can be granted by the family court of WA in matters where there is family violence, child abuse, urgent matters or if the contact details of the other party are unknown.
What is the mediation process?
It begins with each person attending an individual session called a Pre-Mediation session. At this session, the mediator will explain the process and ask questions, the reason for asking the questions is to assess if mediation is appropriate to proceed or not. If it is appropriate then a joint session will be made with all relevant parties attending.
How long does it take?
Your pre-mediation session is approximately 1.5 hours, if a joint session is subsequently booked, this session will last a minimum of two hours.
What if one party does not respond to an invitation to mediation?
If 21 days have passed since the date of invitation, then a certificate may be provided upon written request to the party who initiated the mediation. This applies to parenting and grand-parenting matters only.
If it is a non-family law related mediation, the above time frames and certificates do not apply.
What sort of certificates are issued?
Only parenting and grand-parenting matters. The sole purpose of a certificate is to allow a person to file an application in the Family Court. A certificate may be issued by a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (mediator) in the following circumstances:
- The other party did not attend the pre-mediation and/or mediation session
- You and the other party attended and made a genuine effort to resolve the dispute
- You and the other party attended, but one or both of you did not make a genuine effort to resolve the dispute
- The mediator decided the case was not appropriate for mediation
- The mediator decided it was not appropriate to continue part way through the mediation process
Are we immediately exempt from mediation if there is a Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO)?
A Family Violence Restraining Order (FVRO) does not necessarily provide an exemption. A copy of the FVRO will need to be provided at the time of making the first appointment (pre-mediation appointment) to check if mediation is appropriate.
Can I bring a support person to mediation?
Yes, subject to the other party’s consent. Lawyers can also be present at mediation sessions.
Do I need to obtain legal advice before mediation?
Yes. This information will assist you in having an informed understanding of the matters you wish to discuss in mediation. If you are looking for legal advice in Albany, Western Australia, the Albany Community Legal Centre provides a range of free legal advice as well as a number of private practitioners.
Do you do workplace mediation?
Yes. At Albany Mediation Services we assist in generating strategies and put in place realistic approaches to situations that will help coworkers move forward harmoniously.
Does Albany Mediation Services supply up-skilling or workshops to businesses?
Yes. Albany Mediation Services is available to facilitate team building workshops, seminars and activities, either at your premises or ours, depending on the number of participants. This can be done in small businesses and large, to find out more, please contact Antonia. Activities can be tailored to your business’s needs.
Do you help equip young people with better mediation and communication skills?
Yes. Albany Mediation Services works with children and young people from the age of 12 and upwards in schools situations, group situations as well as one on one. Please contact Antonia directly for more information or bookings.