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Frequently Asked Questions

Prior to commencing any ADR service it is important to understand and feel comfortable with the process and what will happen on the day. The following questions and answers may help you to feel more prepared and at ease.

Prior to Commencing the Process:

  • When one party contacts CMS to commence FDR/mediation/facilitation, we will do an initial phone session to gain the basic contact information for yourself, plus details required to be able to contact the other party/ies with your permission to invite them to participate in the process.

  • We will make 2 attempts to invite the other party/ies with at least one of these being in writing.

  • Once all parties have confirmed they wish to proceed with CMS conducting the process, we will organise separate Intake Sessions for each of the parties. These can be face to face or by Zoom.

Separate Intake Sessions with Each Party


  • Prior to engaging in the actual process it will be necessary for all parties to attend separate "Intake Sessions".

  • These intake sessions are to ensure an understanding by the practitioner of your concerns and issues that need to be resolved.

  • During the intake session the practitioner will discuss the process with you and answer any questions.

  • If required, it is a good idea to try & obtain legal advice prior to the intake session regarding matters to be resolved.

  • All intake session are private & confidential & no information discussed during the intake session will be disclosed to the other party.

  • Once all parties have attended the intake session the practitioner will do a suitability review and confirm the appropriate process.

  • If your matter is appropriate for ADR you will be contacted regarding a suitable date/time for the joint session where all parties are present. This can be face to face or by zoom.

The Joint Session

The practitioner will start the process by making an opening statement that will explain what is to happen, their role and what is expected of all parties.

Parties' Opening Statements

All parties will be asked to make an opening statement. This is in your own words and should identify what are your issues & concerns that you would like to be addressed.

Once all parties have spoken the practitioner will summarise & clarify your main points. It is this summary that is used in the next step of the process to set the agenda.

Identifying Issues & Setting an Agenda

During this stage the practitioner will use the information obtained from the opening statements to form an agenda. This is a list of issues that all parties wish to address and resolve.

Discussing Issues - Exploration

This is where all parties will be asked to discuss the issues listed on the agenda so you can explain these from your own perspective and what your interests and concerns are regarding these. It is also an opportunity to hear the other parties' perspectives and concerns. Once you have all been able to gain some mutual understanding regarding the issues needing resolving, the practitioner will enable all parties the opportunity to put forward some options around the issues that are in dispute.


The practitioner will assist you in reaching a workable arrangement. It is rare that all parties will get 100% of what they want so it is important to understand that reaching a workable agreement is about compromise; what can you live with.

Separate Meetings

During the process, the practitioner will speak with each of you in confidential meetings. The practitioner will use these sessions to assist you with your negotiations to progress the issues towards agreement. You may also ask for a separate meeting at 'any time' during the process.

Assisting in Finalising Discussions

During the process, the practitioner will encourage all parties to put forward a range of options in regards to trying to reach a workable agreement between you. There will come a time towards the end of the process when you will all need to consider the proposals put forward and weigh these against your alternatives if these options are not acceptable. The practitioner will assist all parties to keep negotiating in their best interests to reach a settlement.

Reaching an Agreement

If an agreement is reached between the parties, the practitioner will usually write up the agreement reflecting what decisions were agreed to. The parties will be encouraged to ensure they understand the legal implications of signing an agreement reached.

Remember you are free to get legal advice before you sign any agreement that has been reached.

What are Family Business Mediations, Workplace Mediations and Culture Assessments?

This is a dispute resolution process facilitated by a trained practitioner / mediator to assist people within their family business and/or workplace to resolve relationship, procedural and substantive matters such that they can address their own and the business' needs.


How Can FDR Assist in the Development of Parenting Plans?


The process of FDR can assist parents to make children's arrangements that focus on their children's needs and best interests, a positive co-parenting relationship, joint parental responsibilities, an appropriate time schedule so each parent can have a meaningful relationship with their children, and how to share financial support of your children.


How Can CMS Assist in Managing Property Asset Divisions?


CMS can assist you to:

  • Jointly identify your assets, liabilities, and financial resources

  • Assess your contributions before and during the relationship

  • Consider your future needs and goals

  • Divide your property in a way that is just and equitable

  • Be able to move forward with certainty

If I Choose to Have My Lawyer Present, What Will Be Their Role?


CMS practitioners will work collaboratively with your lawyers in your best interest.

Their role will be to:

  • Provide advice and preparation

  • Attend during the process

  • Advise on agreements

  • Legalise agreements if required

  • Implement agreements if necessary

What is the Mediation/Facilitation/FDR Process?

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