From no time to equal time – a father’s successful parenting mediation

Our Family Law solicitor, Natalie Russell, recently represented our client, a father of a five-year-old child, at a parenting mediation. Our client had initially started court proceedings in December 2022 in circumstances where the mother had not agreed to the child spending any time with him for six months. In March 2023, after the matter had been in court, the child began spending time with our client again every second weekend.

At the parenting mediation, our client’s primary goal was to reach an agreement with the mother about the child’s living arrangements on a final basis, so to bring an end to the court proceedings. Our client wanted to achieve an outcome that saw the child spending equal time with both him and the mother on a week-about basis. Meanwhile, the mother was initially only prepared to agree to the child spending five nights in each fortnight with our client.

After persuasively negotiating with the mother’s solicitor, the mother agreed to our client’s equal time proposal. While our client initially wanted equal time to start in Term 2 of Kindergarten next year, as a compromise position, he agreed that it would start in Term 4 of Kindergarten instead. Ms Russell was also able to resolve several other issues in dispute that were important to our client, such as him being able to take the child on international holidays.

Ms Russell then drafted court orders to formalise the agreement reached and this document was also agreed to by the mother at the mediation. This meant that in the course of a 4-hour mediation, our client was able to walk away with a very favourable outcome for him of the child spending equal time with him, as well as the finality of court orders being made on a final basis. This has set him up for a future without the stress and uncertainty of an ongoing parenting dispute.

If you need assistance with your parenting matter contact Natalie in our Newcastle office on (02) 4058 5844

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