Family Dispute Resolution Terms and Conditions
When participating in Mediation with Family Dispute Resolution WA, you will be asked to agree to some terms and conditions. These include our code of conduct, cancellation and refund policies. Please review these and feel free to raise any questions or concerns with us.
What is Mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary and informal process in which a trained independent and impartial third party will help you:
Isolate issues in dispute
Develop and consider options to resolve the issues in dispute
Record any agreement made
What is Family Dispute Resolution?
Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a type of mediation specifically about matters relating to disputes between couples regarding their property and/or their children following a separation. Ms Musgrove is an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (the Practitioner) capable of providing all Family Dispute Resolution services.
Family Dispute Resolution is a confidential process. The Practitioner, or any person associated with FDR WA, shall not disclose any information obtained through the Family Dispute Resolution process without the prior written consent of the parties, except in the following circumstances:
Where there is a threat to harm a person, include self-harm
Where there is a threat to damage property
Where the Practitioner has reason to believe a child is at risk of abuse or neglect.
Other than the above circumstances, nothing said in Mediation or Family Dispute Resolution can be used as evidence in Court and neither party shall subpoena the Practitioner or FDR WA in any litigation matter in any Court.
Roles and Responsibilities
The Practitioner is a neutral person who will facilitate negotiations between the parties. The parties to the dispute are responsible for resolving their dispute. The Practitioner shall not provide any legal advice or make any decisions in the matter. Any opinions or suggestions which may be expressed by the Practitioner are not to be taken as advice, legal or otherwise, and the parties should seek their own independent legal advice.
Conflict of interest
The Practitioner will disclose any potential or real conflict of interest to the parties as soon as practicable after the Practitioner becomes aware of the conflict, or potential conflict. The parties can decide if they wish to continue with the Practitioner, or be referred to an alternative Mediation service provider.
A Conflict of Interest Waiver form will be provided in the event that a conflict of interest arises. The parties will be required to sign the conflict of interest waiver form if they wish to proceed with Mediation or Family Dispute Resolution through FDRWA.
By participating in family dispute resolution, you agree to work with the Practitioner and the other party to try and reach an agreement.
You agree to:
Treat the other party and the Practitioner with respect
Focus on the future
Listen to the views of the other party without interrupting
Have an open-minded approach when considering proposals
If there are children involved, focus on the best interests of the child or children
Ending the Family Dispute Resolution session
If, at any time during a Family Dispute Resolution session, the Practitioner feels that either party is not following the above ground rules, the Practitioner can, at their own discretion, end the session early.
In exercising this discretion, the Practitioner is not required to provide any explanation to the parties.
Either party can, at any time, and for any reason, request to end the session. Neither party is required to provide an explanation for ending the session.
Participation of third parties in the FDR
Unless otherwise agreed by the Practitioner and both parties, no other person shall attend a Mediation or Family Dispute Resolution session.
Parties may be accompanied by their legal representative only if both parties will be legally represented and have specifically booked a Mediation Style Conference with FDRWA. Otherwise, legal representatives will not be permitted to participate in Family Dispute Resolution.
Payment must be received by the date specified on the invoice in order to confirm the booking. If payment is not received from both parties within that time, FDR WA reserves the right to cancel the booking, and any fees paid by one party will be refunded. The non-paying party will be deemed to have refused to attend Family Dispute Resolution unless a new booking is made.
Cancellations and refunds
A party wishing to cancel a booking must provide a minimum of 24 hours' notice in order to obtain a full refund of any money paid.
If a party provides less notice to cancel their booking, that party will be provided with a partial refund of the fee paid less the deposit or the amount specified on the invoice as the cancellation fee. FDR WA may, at its sole discretion, credit this amount to a new booking if the party is seeking to reschedule the booking.
In the event that a party fails to attend their appointment without notice, or with less than 2 hours’ notice, that party shall not be entitled to any refund.
The non-cancelling party shall be entitled to a full refund.
Rescheduling of a session is treated as a cancellation and a new booking and the above terms apply unless otherwise agreed by FDR WA.
Any party who seeks to cancel and/or reschedule their session more than twice in a row will be deemed to be refusing to attend Family Dispute Resolution and FDR WA reserves the right to issue a s60i certificate upon the request of the other party.
If FDR WA needs to cancel a session, both parties will be provided with a full refund.
If, at any time during a session, the Practitioner needs to end a session early for personal reasons, the parties will be provided with a refund on a pro-rata basis.
In all other circumstances, if the session is ended early, the parties shall not be entitled to a refund for ‘unused time’.
No Warranty as to agreement
The fees are not contingent on the parties reaching an agreement. FDR WA makes to guarantee or warrantee that the parties will be able to reach an agreement through Mediation or Family Dispute Resolution. It is entirely within the parties’ control whether an agreement is reached or not and all fees are payable for the session even where no agreement is reached.
In the Family Law system, parties are required to attempt Family Dispute Resolution prior to filing an application for parenting orders. The s60i certificate is issued by the Practitioner confirming that either the parties have attended Family Dispute Resolution or have failed to attend for a specified reason.
The Practitioner can issue the s60i certificate to confirm:
One party has refused to attend Family Dispute Resolution
The Practitioner considers that Family Dispute Resolution is not appropriate
The parties have both attended Family Dispute Resolution and made a genuine attempt to resolve their dispute; or
The parties have both attended Family Dispute Resolution but one of the parties failed to make a genuine effort to resolve the dispute.
A party can only request a s60i certificate after having attended their intake appointment. Certificates will not be issued to a party who has refused to attend Family Dispute Resolution.
Certificates are only valid for 12 months from the date of your last appointment. No certificate will be issued beyond the 12-month timeframe.
There is no cost for the issuing of s60i certificates.
In circumstances where the parties have not attended Family Dispute Resolution, the Court may consider the reasons for non-attendance, and potentially make orders directing the parties to attend Family Dispute Resolution prior to hearing their matter.
It is possible that the Court might make orders as to costs in circumstances where one party has refused to attend Family Dispute Resolution, or attended but failed to make any genuine effort to resolve the matter. FDRWA encourages parties to seek legal advice regarding attending or refusing to attend FDR.
Ms Musgrove is an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners registered with the Attorney General’s Office, registration number R1005603.
If you have any complaints, you should raise them first with FDRWA directly.
In the event that FDRWA does not address your complaint to your satisfaction, your complaint can be directed to Mediation Institute Pty Ltd trading as Mi RMAB
T 1300 781 533