Terms and Conditions
Parties are deemed to agree to the following terms and conditions when engaging with our service:
Full payment must be received before services will be provided.
All services and fees are non-refundable.
LEGALLY ASSISTED MEDIATION
Fees for legally assisted mediation are different to fees where parties are not represented at the mediation session by their solicitors. Please enquire for current fees.
Parties must advise Focal Point Mediation if they will be represented by more than one solicitor during the mediation session ahead of the session taking place. More than one solicitor in attendance will be at the discretion of Focal Point Mediation and may not be deemed appropriate.
Focal Point Mediation not to engage with parties lawyers in the initial stages of the process and only speak to the client directly during the mediation session itself.We actively encourage clients to obtain legal advice and lawyers are frequently welcome during the mediation session a support people, if deemed appropriate,
CANCELLATION OR RE-SCHEDULING BY CLIENT
In the event that the mediation is cancelled 5 days or less before the scheduled mediation time any payment made by either party shall be retained by Focal Point Mediation as a Cancellation Fee as there is an unlikelihood that another matter will be booked at this short notice.
For Intake / Assessment appointments a party may re-schedule once at no additional cost. In the event of a second or subsequent re-scheduling by the client the party will forfeit the cost of the appointment and will be required to pay the fee for the Intake / Assessment again.
RE-SCHEDULING BY FOCAL POINT MEDIATION
If the mediator is unwell or otherwise unable to go ahead with an appointment the clients will be informed at the earliest possible opportunity of the need to re-schedule.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A RE-SCHEDULING OF APPOINTMENT
If a party is 20 or more minutes late for an appointment this will require the appointment to be re-scheduled.
ASSESSMENT FOR SUITABILITY
Your matter will be assessed for suitability for mediation. In some circumstances, based upon a risk assessment and in accordance with the Family Law (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners) Regulations 2008 mediation may be deemed unsuitable and a certificate may be issued.
FORMAT OF MEDIATION SESSION
Focal Point Mediation will determine the most appropriate format for any scheduled mediation; whether it be conducted via teleconference, telephone or shuttle format. This decision will be at the complete discretion of the mediator based upon a case management decision.
CHILD INCLUSIVE / CHILD INFORMED MEDIATION
If Child Inclusive Practice is deemed appropriate by the mediator the parties shall pay the Child Consultant's fees directly to them.
MEDIATION SESSION - "HOUSE RULES"
The mediator will control the process of the mediation session, which includes setting and enforcing House Rules which include:
• civil, respectful communication with no name calling, insults, swearing or put-downs,
• allowing the other person to finish speaking and not cutting them off,
• not allowing other people to be present in the background or out of view of the camera,
• no recording of video, audio or both at any time.
If parties do not comply with the House Rules the mediator may call an end to the joint session and the format of the session may move to a shuttle mediation (no direct contact between the mediating parties) or the mediation may be re-scheduled at the parties expense.
ISSUING OF A s60i CERTIFICATE
Where the issuing of a s60I certificate is appropriate the certificate will be issued via email within 5 business days of being requested or deemed appropriate by the mediator.
In situations where a support person is requested this will be assessed by the mediator on a case management basis and may not be approved.
Support people are strictly asked not to participate in negotiations and to be present as emotional support only, with no verbal input.
AGREEMENT TO MEDIATE
Parties will be asked to sign and agree to an Agreement to Mediate before mediation takes place.
In regards to parenting or grand parenting matters the responding party has 14 days to respond to the invitation to participate in Family Dispute Resolution or the initiating party may be offered a s60i certificate.
Responding parties who opt to participate in the process must book their Intake appointment within 10 business days or a s60I certificate may be issued to the initiating party.
The mediator will exercise their discretion in adhering to the above timeframes.
Payment must be received 48 hours prior to the mediation or the session may be postponed and/or cancelled.
TIMING OF SESSIONS
Appointments are available between the hours of 9-5pm Monday to Friday, with after hours session available up to 7.30pm available on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.
TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CLIENTS
In order to participate in video conferencing both parties will require access to an internet connection and/or data as well as a computer, smart phone or tablet device compatible with Zoom software.
Parties to the mediation require:
a desktop / laptop computer / tablet / phone that has a camera and a microphone
A reliable internet connection
A private space they can access for the duration of the mediation with no one else around.
All parties to the mediation process agree to maintain confidentiality by not sharing information, not recording screens or audio and not sharing login details.
If the party does not have pre-approval for a support person granted prior to the mediation and the mediator becomes aware there is an undisclosed person in the room the mediator may call an end to the mediation and any re-scheduled session will be at the parties expense.
DRAFTING OF AGREEMENT
Where an agreement is reached in a mediation session the mediator will draft the agreement in terms that the parties mutually agree upon, that reflects their agreement, using their own words.
Parties are encouraged to seek legal advice in relation to drafting a legally binding agreement
Focal Point Mediation strongly recommends parties obtain independent advice from a lawyer before entering into an agreement.
Please address any complaints or feedback directly to principal mediator Jen Regan. If the matter is not resolved your complaint will be referred to the Resolution Institute who will review and manage the matter.
LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
Jen Regan and Focal Point Mediation are limited in their liability for damages to the extent of the amount paid under the terms of the service delivered according to the extent of these terms and conditions. No refunds will be issued.
Cancellation fees apply under the terms and conditions of service.
ISSUING OF A S60I CERTIFICATE
The decision to issue a s60I certificate is made at the mediator's discretion.
The mediator will refer to the Family Law (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners) Regulations 2008
Responding parties to the mediation process are asked to keep in mind that the certificate may be taken into account by a court when determining whether to make an order under section 13C of the Act referring the parties to family dispute resolution or to award costs against a party under section 117 of the Act
WITHDRAWAL OF SERVICE
Focal Point Mediation may withdraw service under certain circumstances and at their sole discretion.
NATIONAL MEDIATOR ACCREDITATION SYSTEM
Standards can be found https://msb.org.au/themes/msb/assets/documents/national-mediator-accreditation-system.pdf
FAMILY LAW (FAMILY DISPUTE RESOLUTION PRACTITIONERS) REGULATIONS 2008
Regulations can be found here: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2008L03470