You might have heard about certificates from your lawyer or someone else. Janine is authorised by the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department to issue you a certificate for the Family Court that might say you tried to come to mediation but that your partner would not participate, or that you tried mediation and it didn’t work, or that she believed mediation to be unsuitable in your case. This allows you to proceed to Court.
If your matter is very urgent, or you have reason to believe that your matter is urgent for the wellbeing of yourself or your children, you should obtain legal advice about this. Check if your matter requires you to wait for a 60i certificate or not. In urgent matters, getting before the Court may be important and may not require a certificate. Please seek legal advice on this as it is important.
Some people have had legal advice when they come to see us, and some haven’t. However, we do not like to mediate unless both parties have received legal advice. It is important that everyone has a realistic idea of what might be considered “fair” in the Family Court. Then they can negotiate an agreement that is fair to both parties and which they won’t regret later.
Sometimes people go back to their lawyer for advice along the way, even calling them in private breaks during the mediation session. This is encouraged if it helps you get an agreement you are fully satisfied with.
Specialist family lawyers will advise you as to whether your agreement is on track. Money spent on legal advice is well spent if it saves you an expensive Court battle. We don’t want to see you wasting money on a Court case – but we are happy to see you spend it on astute advice that will save you money and aguish in the long run. And “good advice” doesn’t include advice from the guy next door or your sister’s friend who used to be a lawyer, the school principal, or anyone else who isn’t a specialist in Family Law. It’s heartbreaking to see terrible outcomes for people who didn’t understand their rights in childrens’ matters.
Janine is an accredited FDRP, everything you tell her in your private session is confidential from the other party. Janine is experienced in dealing with confidential matters. You can rest assured that anything you discuss that anything you discuss with Janine will be kept private and you can feel safe with this position.
Most content of a mediation is not admissible as evidence in the Family Court, so generally speaking, it is a confidential process. However, if there are safety issues involved, our records could be subpoenaed by the Court later.
You and your ex-partner set the agenda with Janine’s help. If you both agree, you can talk about almost anything you’d like that is relevant to the two of you and your children.
For topics look at the property settlement or parenting plan pages – but examples might include
Parenting arrangements for your children including; where your children live, how much time they spend with each of you, matters concerning contact with grandparents and extended family and matters concerning holidays and special occasions
Dividing up your assets and property; working out who gets what, and in what proportion
Private financial agreements around child support; sorting out the specifics of who pays what
How to communicate successfully after you’re separated; in order to create a safe emotional environment for your children.
Yes, grandparents are more than welcome to instigate mediations as an alternate pathway to Court for seeking time with their grandchildren.
Support people are sometimes really helpful to bring along. It is recommended in some cases.
If you’d like to bring a support person the other party needs to approve that person, and their role in the mediation is not to have a voice at the table – just to sit with you and talk to you in the breaks. It is not often helpful to bring a new partner, although very occasionally it has happened and been OK. It is your process, so it is good to talk the issue of support people through at the pre-mediation session.