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Mediation Process

Family Law

The process follows several steps:

  • An initial private consultation with one party.  In this, the Family Law Act and Regulations require me to assess the matter and the participants’ appropriateness to be served by the mediation process.  Safety concerns are amongst the criteria I have to assess.  Any court orders, including any family violence orders;

  • Invitation to participate to other parties;

  • Private consultation with subsequent parties, including assessment of their suitability as above;

  • If matter is assessed as appropriate, a joint session (usually two hours long, but may be longer in certain circumstances by prior arrangement) is next.

    • At this first joint session, at which I usually have two mediators present, parties are asked to state what they are hoping to negotiate and achieve through the process. 

    • These aspirations form the basis of an agenda.  Parties need to agree upon items in the agenda that they are prepared to discuss.

    • Negotiations then follow.

    • Any agreements reached are written up, and a copy provided to each participant.

    • The agreements can be in form of an unsigned agreement or a signed and dated Parenting Plan.

    • If parties need to formalize these into Court Consent orders, the agreement should be taken to solicitor to prepare Minutes of Consent to be signed and filed with the  Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.  Legal fees and filing fees are associated with this step.

  • ​Sometimes parties require more than one joint session to finalise their agreement negotiations.  That is quite normal.

The role of the mediators is to ensure that the parties communicate and negotiate in a respectful, and free and fair manner.  Any lapses from that will be raised by the mediators. A break, may be called; private discussions with each party may be called; if appropriate the mediation may be suspended or terminated.  Private breaks may also be called if one of the parties is struggling with the process.


Mediators do not take sides, or give legal advice. 


The process is confidential - except for serious safety concerns.  It is not admissible in court.  Participation is voluntary.


Where disputes in children’s matters are unable to be resolved through mediation, a certificate under section 60 I may be requested from the mediator to enable an application to be made to court.

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