LGBTQ+ Family Dispute Resolution

There are no glossy magazines and not many best-seller books centred on raising Rainbow families. And there’s even less available in the way of resources or advice when it comes to the breakdown of a Rainbow family.

While many of the issues LGBTQ+ families face when going through a family breakup are the same as hetero families, there are a number of issues and challenges that are particular to the unique arrangements of LGBTQ+ family constructs. However, what remains paramount in LGBTQ+ FDR (family dispute resolution) is the best interests of the child.

At Fresh Start all relationships are valued and respected. We understand the diverse make up of Rainbow families and do not automatically apply heterosexual or gender assumptions around parenting roles and responsibilities. This ensures our approach to FDR remains balanced, neutral and without bias.

Most importantly, identifying as LGBTQ+ ourselves, we know, first-hand, how important it is to feel seen and be heard. While the wellbeing of the child is always the most important factor in family dispute resolution (FDR) and future parenting arrangements, we appreciate the unique make up of all Rainbow families and work to assist co-parents and significant caregivers to agree on and create parenting plans or other agreements to suit the new phase of the family structure.

An accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) will work with you and the adults in your Rainbow family to

  • Clearly identify issues in dispute
  • Facilitate exploration of these issues
  • Consider workable options for moving forward
  • Reach an agreement for co-parenting

Some of the issues arising in FDR mediations include care of and time spent with children, parental guidelines, and contact with extended family members including grandparents and new partners. Also important, is the establishment of communication guidelines between parents, caregivers and significant adults and children, education, schools and significant events such as birthdays, travel, passports and relocation, as well as any special needs of children, parents and caregivers.

Family dispute resolution (FDR) may not be suitable for all Rainbow families, however for many people in dispute, FDR can help parties reach agreement in a half or full day session.

Find out more about the mediation process HERE

Benefits of mediation vs court

Face to Face Mediation + Online Mediation

At Fresh Start Mediation we offer face to face mediation or online mediation.

We assist parties to resolve disputes in an environment that is informal, neutral and fair, so that agreements reached are durable and long-lasting, offering parties peace of mind to move forward into the future.

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Online mediation offers a practical and accessible alternative to face to face mediation for parties who do not reside in the same location or do not wish to be in the same room for their mediation.

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Getting started with an intake session

The mediation process begins with an intake session, which occurs on a separate day prior to the mediation.

The pre-mediation intake session is a separate and confidential meeting between the mediator and each individual party. It can happen over the phone, online or as an in-person meeting. Each party must go through the intake session individually before we can proceed to the mediation.

The purpose of this first step is for the mediator to understand the circumstances of your situation and dispute – what brought you to mediation, what you hope to achieve from mediation and anything else we may need to know about you and your situation that could impact the mediation. For example, whether you feel comfortable being in the same room as the other party, or whether you prefer online mediation. The more we know about your situation, the better placed we are to facilitate the mediation successfully.

The intake session also gives us a chance to go through each phase of the mediation process with you, ensuring you understand exactly what to expect on the day.

The intake session also gives the mediator the chance to assess whether your dispute is appropriate for mediation. Instances where mediation may not be an alternative to the courts would be in the case where there is a serious safety concern via an emotional, physical or psychological threat to one of the parties, or if one party flatly refuses to participate.

As a starting point, we encourage you to give us a call and have an obligation-free chat about mediation and how it may be suited to your situation.

Start the mediation process by booking your intake meeting HERE

Give Fresh Start a call for an obligation-free discussion

At Fresh Start Mediation we understand you will probably have some questions. Fill in your details HERE and one of our team will give you a call, otherwise you are welcome to call us.

Fresh Start Mediation services the whole of Australia, offering face to face and online mediation options.