Last time I wrote about how to prepare for a mediation about property division matters. This time we are talking about how to prepare for mediation in relation to parenting matters.
Before mediation can occur the mediator needs to consider if the matter is suitable for mediation. To do so the mediator will ask you for preliminary information about the following:
- Have any of the children been involved in child welfare proceedings?
- Do you or the other party have a criminal record that includes offences of physical assault against another person, damage to property, threatening or intimidatory behaviour?
- Are there currently or have there been Apprehended Domestic Violence Orders (ADVO) between you and the other party (yes/no)?
- Are you concerned about the use of alcohol or illicit substances by the other party? Will they be concerned about you?
- Are you concerned about the mental health of the other party? Will they be concerned about you?
If the mediator considers your matter suitable for mediation you should then prepare your thoughts about the following:
- Are the two of you able to communicate well? What would assist to make it better?
- Are the two of you able to make decisions about the children’s long term needs?
- Are there specific long term issues that need to be resolved; for example, what school the children go to or how to manage their health?
- Who the children should live with?
- How the children spend time with you?
- How the children spend time with the other party?
- Time with the children for school holidays? Will it be different to the regular time? Are you able to take leave?
- Time with the children for special occasions? For example, Christmas, Easter, birthdays etc.
- How changeovers should happen?
- Are there other issues that need to be resolved; for example, extracurricular activities for the children? International travel for the children? Who else the children can be cared for by?
- What is the position in relation to child support?
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