Family Dispute Resolution – Childrens matters

Order DescriptionRespond to the following 3 case study questions taking into account any legal requirements, policy considerations or practical concerns.
(1) Jennifer comes to a pre mediation intake with you. Jason wants to formalise arrangements for their two children (9 and 13 years old) that have been in place for about six months and will impact on the Child Support, Jason is required to pay. Jason needs a written agreement for the Child Support Agency to vary the payment.

Jennifer in her intake says that she is more than happy with the arrangements and the kids can see Jason as much as he and they want, but she won’t sign any formal document. She also keeps asking you about the confidentiality of the process and how it can be guaranteed.
(a)What do you advise Jennifer on her refusal to sign off on any agreements reached?
(b) How do you reassure her about the confidentiality of the process?
(c) How would Jennifer revealing in her intake that she intends to remove the children and move to Fiji and that she doesn’t intend to advise Jason until they are in Fiji?

(2) Rachel comes to the intake interview, during the interview she reveals that she has been with father of her child since she was 14 , she is now 20. Harry the father of Kelly ( 4 and ½ years old) was 29 when they got together. Rachel brings in a parenting plan Harry has prepared for them to both sign off on. Rachel says she will sign as she is concerned about Harry taking Kelly off her. Rachel says she is not scared of Harry but believes going to a lawyer will only make the situation worse. She wants to come to mediation and discuss the agreement, sign off and do what is necessary and what Harry wants.
(a)What concerns if any do you have with proceeding with this mediation?
(b)Do you look at the agreement?
(c)How do you choose to proceed with this matter?

(3)David and Lisa have to come to mediation to discuss where their 14 year old twins (Natalie and Brian ) will live, both believe it is in the twins’ best interests to live with them. Both say that the twins have indicated they want to live with them.
(a)How do you explain ‘best interests’ to the parties?
(b)Does what the children want have any bearing on the matter?

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