Family Mediation Service
Separation can be a stressful time, but parents need to make decisions about future arrangements for their children. Separating couples also need to divide their property and organise their financial arrangements.
The QUT Family Mediation Service provides a caring and collaborative environment in which parties are supported to make their own decisions. It can also be used by family members, such as grandparents, to negotiate time with their grandchildren. The mediator uses a structured negotiation process to keep the discussion focused and ensure that each party can have their say.
Mediation is now compulsory in some areas of Australian law. In most cases, before an application concerning children can be made to a family court, parties must attend family dispute resolution, also called mediation, to see if they can reach agreement. This is because parents are considered to be in the best position to make decisions for their children and can tailor arrangements to suit their children’s ages and personalities. It is also because research shows that going to court escalates conflict which can have detrimental impacts on the health and wellbeing of children and parents.
In property cases parties are expected to try to negotiate financial arrangements before they approach courts. Family courts currently have very long waiting lists (it can take up to two years for a final contested court hearing) and taking a case through court can be a very time consuming and expensive process.
We use a co-mediation model with a nationally accredited mediator and an experienced and accredited family dispute resolution practitioner. Our nationally accredited mediators have successfully completed intensive mediation training and are accredited under the National Mediation Standards . They are undergoing further specialised family dispute resolution training with QUT to become accredited family dispute resolution practitioners . We also have QUT students involved in administrative roles providing support to the Service and gaining experience in working in a family dispute resolution setting.
If parents reach agreement about parenting arrangements, the mediators can assist them to write up a formal Parenting Plan. A section s60I certificate can also be issued, if needed.
If parties reach agreement about their property and financial arrangements, an informal agreement will be written up which they can take to their own lawyers to have drafted into a Consent Order. Legal assistance is required for Consent Orders as they have more formal requirements and need to be filed in and approved by the court.
Please contact the QUT Health Clinics – Family Mediation Service on 07 3138 0999 for further information.
Schedule of Fees
$250 (GST inclusive) per party
The Family Mediation Service is located within the QUT Health Clinics at 44 Musk Ave, Kelvin Grove, and serves clients from the greater Brisbane area.
Relationships Australia, Share the care: Parenting Plan: Collaborative parenting apart (PDF file, 1.1MB)
The Family Court of Australia website provides fact sheets on the following issues:
- Exposure to family violence and its effect on children
- Parental conflict and its effect on children
- Marriage, families and separation (provides information on the Court process)
Psychology and Counselling, and Family Mediation Service
Phone: (07) 3138 0999