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Learn About Separation Mediation and Consult with Lawyers

If two parents cannot agree on how to care for their children, they must attend separation mediation as a first step. Discussing assets split between two separated parties without going to court, mediation, or family dispute resolution can be helpful. The process of mediating separation disputes is less formal and less costly. To reach a […]

Learn About Separation Mediation and Consult with Lawyers

Learn About Separation Mediation and Consult with Lawyers

If two parents cannot agree on how to care for their children, they must attend separation mediation as a first step. Discussing assets split between two separated parties without going to court, mediation, or family dispute resolution can be helpful. The process of mediating separation disputes is less formal and less costly. To reach a settlement and end the conflict, the parties mediate with the help of a family law mediator, who serves as an impartial third party.

What is family mediation?

There are numerous ways that people refer to “mediation.” It can be as simple as discussing problems with a friend or relative. A formal procedure with a qualified mediator may also be used.

Arguments may be between two individuals or involve other family members. In cases where child protection concerns arise, mediation could involve family group conferences in their entirety.

The family law system encourages separated families to decide for themselves how to care for their children out of court. There are several approaches to accomplish this: 

  1. conversation between the parents.
  2. Asking a friend or relative for assistance.
  3. Unofficial general dispute resolution.
  4. Using Family Dispute Resolution (FDR), a unique family mediation procedure protected by the Family Law Act of 1975.

Talks on property division and child custody after separation and divorce can get highly emotional. At this point, individuals might need to use a more formal mediation procedure with an accredited Family Dispute Resolution practitioner. 

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Contact Our Accredited Family Law Specialists.

Benefits of Mediation for Separation

An increasing amount of people are using mediation for separation to settle conflicts that arise during divorce, the breakup of a marriage, or the dissolution of a de facto partnership.

In comparison to a court trial, mediation has numerous advantages, such as:

  • Time: In most cases, mediation may settle a dispute faster than going to trial.
  • Cost: If a dispute is resolved through mediation, a trial’s preparation and administration expenses can be avoided. In addition, the losing party in a trial may need to pay the winning side’s legal fees.
  • Flexibility: Parties have more control over the resolution through mediation. You can work with the mediator to devise a mediation procedure tailored to your needs.
  • Stress: Mediation is less formal and scary than going to court.
  • Secrecy: The mediation process is personal. The mediator does not disclose the mediation’s contents to the judge. If the matter goes to trial, it is typically not admissible against a party. The court advises you to talk to your attorney about confidentiality in mediation.
  • Contentment: Since the parties determine and concur on resolving their disagreement, they are more likely to be happy with the results and honour the agreements made.
  • Finality: Modifications to settlement agreements often require consent from all parties involved.

What is the mediator’s function?

A neutral party acts as a mediator. The mediator’s responsibility is to support you both during the negotiation process by arranging a meeting, determining your concerns about the agreement, and then delving deeper into those points.

How is Separation Mediation performed?

You will all convene at the same place for the mediation, though occasionally, you might be separated into various rooms. 

The mediator will discuss your individual opinions and interests with each of you and your counsel (if present) throughout the day.

When asked, the mediator may share their perspective based on their experience, which may occasionally involve assessing your case’s likelihood of success should further litigation be required. Nonetheless, the mediator maintains their independence at all times. Their job is to help you communicate more successfully and work together to reach a compromise that works for everyone.

The aim is to conclude the day with a mutually agreeable solution that addresses all or part of the points of dispute.

Is Mediation Essential?

Unless there are specific circumstances, you must participate in family conflict resolution to request Parenting Orders from the family court. There are some exceptions, such as situations in which a child or other family member is at risk of abuse or domestic violence.

The family court’s pre-action procedures for parenting and property disputes include attending family dispute resolution, and before applying, parties must honestly attempt to settle their disagreement. If not, there are legal consequences.

As a practice firmly committed to finding solutions outside the judicial process, we have a dedicated website, which outlines our mediation service. This service is available if you would like to designate our Principal Lawyer as your mediator. 

How much does mediation cost?

There are many kinds of methods for mediating disputes. The manner, location, and individuals involved in the mediation will determine how much it costs. Accredited mediators abound, with the majority of family law practitioners being barristers. Organisations like Relationships Australia and other family dispute resolution centres exist in urban and rural areas. Ensure the mediator is qualified, certified, and experienced in mediation, and you have a say in the selection process.

Getting Ready for the Mediation Process

One of the most crucial steps in guaranteeing a fruitful and effective mediation session is preparation. The following guidance will help you in preparing for your mediation session:

  1. Gather every necessary document: Before your mediation session, collect any records or data pertinent to the addressed topics. Financial statements, property documents, and other contracts or agreements that are pertinent to your divorce may be included in this.
  2. Recognise your priorities: Consider what is most important to you and what you want from the mediation process. Awareness of your priorities will make expressing your wants and objectives easier throughout the session.
  3. Be ready to compromise: Since mediation is cooperative, reaching a mutually agreeable resolution frequently requires concessions. Think about areas where you can compromise to make your partner happy.
  4. Improve your communication skills: Communication is critical during mediation. Listen intently, maintain composure and civility, and properly communicate your ideas and concerns. Be willing to hear your partner out and consider their point of view.
  5. Consider legal counsel: Although mediators are legal experts, consulting a lawyer before your mediation session could be beneficial. You will recognise the legal ramifications of any agreements reached during mediation and receive an attorney’s guidance on your rights and duties.  

Using these suggestions, you can feel prepared and self-assured in your mediation session. Recall that mediation is a chance for you and your spouse to collaborate to develop solutions that satisfy your needs and theirs. You may improve the chances of a successful outcome by remaining focused, open-minded, and eager to discover common ground.

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Contact Our Accredited Family Law Specialists.

marriage separation before divorce

The dissolution of a committed partnership between two adults is called separation. When a couple separates from one another before filing for divorce, it is referred to as marriage separation before divorce.

The main prerequisite for divorce in Australia is that the marriage must have irretrievably failed. To establish this, one or both partners must show the family courts that there is no possibility of reconciliation and that they have been apart for at least a year before filing for divorce.  

Critical aspects of marriage separation before divorce include: 

  • The marriage must have permanently broken down.
  • Spouses must be separated for at least 12 months before asking for divorce.
  • No possibility of reconciliation is necessary. 

Who will be the mediator?

The Federal Court Mediator Accreditation Scheme (FCMAS) has trained and accredited Judicial Registrars to conduct most court-ordered mediations. 

The court established the FCMAS, which integrated the National Mediator Accreditation Standards and became a Recognised Mediator Accreditation Body in 2015 in recognition of its distinctive mediation methodology and dedication to a high-quality professional development program. The court maintains a roster of specialised mediators with up-to-date experience in resolving brutal Indigenous land management conflicts, accessible on its website for the native title jurisdiction. The parties may hire a third-party mediator at their own cost.

Typical Challenges in Mediation

Although mediation has a lot of potential for success, there are limitations.

  • Emotional Strength: The emotional strain of separation may cause mediators to become more tense. Participants must speak honestly and efficiently to control their emotions.
  • Imbalanced Power: Some partnerships could have an imbalanced power dynamic, making mediation more difficult. A qualified mediator is necessary to handle this and guarantee a fair process.

Separation Mediation in Brisbane

Services for separation mediation are easily accessible for those living in Brisbane. These programs are intended to make it easier and more cooperative for locals to go through their separations.

  • Regional Services: Brisbane offers various mediation services by community organisations and private practitioners. These programs aim to suit a range of family types and situations.
  • Seeking a Mediator: It’s essential to look into the credentials, experience, and areas of expertise of potential mediators in Brisbane. Many mediators provide free initial sessions, so you may choose someone comfortable and meets your needs.

Mediation: A Win-Win Situation

Would you prefer to be in control of your choice? Do you want a quicker, less expensive conclusion you can choose and own?

Go through with mediation.

Please feel free to dial (1800) 217 217 or contact us to schedule an affordable initial consultation with one of our knowledgeable family law solicitors to have a private discussion about your specific situation or if you would like more information about the mediation process or other out-of-court options for resolving your matter. 

If you’d like more information about our family mediation services and the procedure when you make a mediation appointment, schedule a consultation with our Conflict Resolution Specialist, IAN FIELD & EMMA MACD right now.

Protect Your Rights, Preserve Your Peace
Contact Our Accredited Family Law Specialists.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


A: Australian family law mandates that before requesting parental orders from a family law court, separated parents must first undertake Family Dispute Resolution (FDR).

There are, nevertheless, a few exceptions to this rule, such as:

  • When “consent orders” are being used to establish an agreement formally.
  • When there is a component of child abuse or family violence.
  • When you are answering a court application.
  • urgent problems.
  • Someone can’t contribute efficiently (for instance, because of a disability or geography), or
  • An individual disregarded a court order issued within the last year has broken it.


A: Yes, it is possible to get a separation without legal representation. However, the intricacies of child support and financial settlements may be daunting, especially when added to an already stressful circumstance. We strongly advise anyone considering or going through a separation to have legal counsel, even if it’s just to get best practices in family law.

Q: Precisely, what is the goal of mediation?

A: Mediation aims to come to a mutually beneficial and legally binding separation agreement for the parties involved. Generally speaking, family law mediation facilitates communication and agreement on issues like child custody and financial settlements.

Q: Is family mediation a confidential process?

A: Nothing mentioned during family mediation may be used as evidence in court, and it is entirely private. Of course, there are some exceptions. Reports of child abuse, threats against individuals, or admissions of criminal activity fall under this category.