In an Australian first, a new website is providing people in the process of separation or divorce with an online platform to resolve their disputes without the need to face each other or to go to court.
Called Resolution Online, the wesbite has just been launched in tandem with amendments to the Family Law Act that came into effect on July 1. Under the amended act, parents are now required to attend a family dispute resolution session with an independent mediator before being able to proceed to court over issues such as access to children.
The Resolution Online system, which operates from www.resolutiononline.com.au, enables separating or divorcing parties to arrange an online mediation session with an accredited practitioner and log in at a pre-arranged time from anywhere in the world.
During the online mediation, which is conducted in a secure real-time chat room environment, parties are able to raise issues for discussion and seek instant resolution where possible. A family dispute resolution practitioner is also online during the process of mediation and to formalise the decision process.
Typically the mediator will begin the discussion, seeking comments from either party. The system will record the duration of the session and colour codes issues that are either in discussion, resolved or unresolved.
All agreements made are recorded and then given to the participants at the end of the session in the form of a written document that both parties electronically sign.
“It’s a really exciting new product,” says Resolution Online Chief Executive Officer Katherine Graham. “The processes of separation or divorce are always difficult, and often circumstances are such that the couple in question do not want to see each other face to face. It can be very intimidating and sometimes hostile.
“Our system is both secure and very sophisticated, and provides parties with a facility to not be in the same room as each other but to be able to agree to all aspects of their separation, including access to children, sale of assets and to resolve all those difficult issues that can occur in these circumstances.
“Resolution Online is affordable, non-confrontational, easy to use, accessible from anywhere in the world and is compliant with the new Family Law Act.”
The dispute resolution practitioner is equipped with the technological tools to control the resolution/mediation process including: private “chat” areas with individuals, prompts for issue resolution, blocking and unblocking of communications and transparent real-time agreement development.
“Resolution Online offers participants a highly systematic process that assists them to prepare well for family dispute resolution/mediation and to ensure closure on each matter raised,” Ms Graham says.
“A written agreement is developed in real time and participants can accept and print the agreement documentation at the conclusion of the resolution session.”
Ms Graham says the system is also ideal for couples who have determined their post separation arrangements verbally and who require formalisation of their agreement and a certificate of attendance at family dispute resolution, individuals who do not have access to a Family Relationship Centre, and individuals who are travelling or overseas or where it is impractical for both partners to attend face to face family dispute resolution.
For further information, contact:
1300 753 556 or 0424 705 635
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