Preparing for your FDR mediation
The FDR mediator will contact you soon after you have spoken to an FDR Resolution Coordinator, and may either talk to you on the phone or arrange an individual meeting with you before the joint mediation meeting.
You need to put your children’s needs first. Before you attend mediation we encourage you to:
- use the Parenting Plan that is available on the Ministry of Justice website. This will help you to think about the types of arrangements you need to make. This information may be enough to help you resolve the dispute after attending the Parenting Through Separation programme.
- use the parenting plan as a guideline to think about the activities that your children are involved in, and the practical arrangements that are needed to make sure the children can participate in them. You will also need to think about things such as school holidays, birthdays and other special occasions.
- think about your children’s need for relationships with extended family and friends.
- get information from WINZ and/or IRD Child Support on how any entitlements you have for financial support might be affected by the parenting arrangements you make.
- think about how you would like the child care arrangements to work, considering what is best for the children and when the other person will get to see them.
- think about what support you need to be the best parent you can.
Mediation sessions usually happen in two parts
There are usually two parts to a mediation session. First, the FDR mediator will talk with you privately and explain the mediation process. You will be able to discuss the arrangements that you want to be made in preparation for the joint session and the FDR mediator will be able to talk to you about what you might expect from the process. They will also discuss Preparation for Mediation. This is where each parent works one-on-one with an accredited mediator to help them be best prepared for mediation. This is a valuable part of the FDR process.
The second part of mediation is a joint meeting(s) that may take a number of hours. You will have worked with the Resolution Coordinator on the scheduling of that session before attending. In some circumstances a joint meeting may not be appropriate or may be held by phone, SKYPE or some other video conferencing process.
What to take to the mediation
The FDR mediator will talk to you about what you need to bring to mediation. The FDR mediator may ask you to bring the following documents with you, and in some cases, the originals and a copy of each document.
1) Your proof of identity (who you are). For example:
- Your current driver’s licence
- Your current passport
- Your current NZ Firearms Licence
- Your 18+ card.
2) Proof of your annual income or example:
- A letter from your employer or a payslip
- Your bank statements for the last three months
- A letter from NZ Work and Income that shows your income that you received from them
- A copy of your most recent tax return.
If you qualify for government funding, your mediator will ask you to sign your funding declaration form if you have not already done that.
Call us on 0800 77 44 20 and talk to one of our FDR Resolution Coordinators.
How do children get a say?
FDR is a child-focused process. If you believe that it is important for your children have a say in the decisions that are being made by you and their other parent or caregiver, talk with the FDR mediator about how the children’s views are to be included in the mediation process. There are a range of different ways that their views can be incorporated, including appointing a Voice of Child Specialist. All FDR mediators are highly trained in family mediation and will be able to talk with you about any concerns you might have.
Do you need a lawyer?
It is not intended for mediation to include lawyers. It is possible to have the lawyer attend mediation with the agreement of the other party and the FDR mediator. However they are not able to represent you during the mediation sessions. Usually parties must fund this themselves.
If you are eligible for government funding, you may get some free legal advice before or after the mediation by accessing the Family Legal Advice service. Visit the Ministry of Justice website or call 0800 2 Agree (0800 224 733).