Family Law Library

Family Law and Mediation – Is Mediation Appropriate For Me?

Mediation (also known as ‘Family Dispute Resolution’) is a powerful tool for resolving parenting child custody and property settlement asset division disputes following separation and divorce, with a greater sense of satisfaction and ownership by the parties of the resulting agreement.

You may be feeling uncertain about whether or not FDR / mediation is ‘appropriate’ for you.

The answer to this question may or may not be obvious, for example:

1. FDR / mediation will be obviously not appropriate if a party refuses an invitation to attend an initial intake meeting with a FDRP / mediator –all FDR / mediations commence with an initial intake session, including risk assessment. The decision to participate in FDR / mediation must be voluntary and cannot be ‘imposed’.

2. FDR / mediation may be appropriate even if a party expresses concern about a power imbalance and their capacity to participate – alternative modes of FDR / mediation will be considered at the initial intake meeting, including the options of: joint sessions, shuttle mediation, remote attendance via skype / telephone / email. The availability of alternative modes enhances access to FDR / mediation.

3. FDR / mediation will be appropriate if both parties consent to attend – a choice of mode of attendance ensures that parties wishing for a non-litigious approach have the opportunity to utilise FDR / mediation notwithstanding concern about doing so.

For more than a decade Vanessa Mathews, accredited family law specialist and accredited FDRP and Mediator, has been providing FDR / mediation services in conjunction with her work as a family lawyer in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. In this time Vanessa has provided FDR / mediation to hundreds of clients. Whilst there will always be the need for the Family Court to resolve the most complex parenting child custody and property settlement asset division matters, Vanessa continues to be in awe of, and humbled by, clients who choose to take responsibility for their parenting child custody and property settlement asset division and spousal maintenance issues via FDR / mediation – rather than have a Family Court Judge do this for them.

Vanessa is available to assist you to achieve a mediated agreement to:

1. Resolve your parenting issues including:

a. Interim issues:
i. Child custody following separation, eg shared care
ii. Single issue disputes, eg choice of school

b. Final issues:
i. Child custody when one parent wishes to relocate with the children
ii. Ongoing parenting child custody arrangements

c. Documentation of agreements
i. Parenting Plan
ii. Family Court Consent Orders

2. Negotiate property settlement and spousal maintenance issues including:

a. Interim issues:
i. The use or sale of the home following separation
ii. Child support
iii. Spousal maintenance
iv. Disclosure and valuation of assets

b. Final issues
i. Property settlement asset division
ii. Child support
iii. Spousal maintenance
iv. Superannuation splitting

c. Finalisation of the agreement:
i. Family Court Consent Orders
ii. Binding Financial Agreements

Please contact Mathews Family Law & Mediation Specialists on 03 9804 7991 to discuss your FDR / mediation needs.

Mathews Family Law & Mediation Specialists offer fixed fees for FDR / Mediation.

In 2019:

Vanessa Mathews and Mathews Family Law & Mediation Specialists is rated by ‘Three Best Rated’ as one of the three best divorce lawyers in Melbourne.

Vanessa Mathews is recognised by Doyle’s Guide to the Legal Professional as a ‘Recommended Family Lawyer’ and ‘Recommended Family Law Mediator’ in Melbourne.

Mathews Family Law & Mediation Specialists won the Global Law Experts Awards for ‘Best Family Law Firm Australia’ and ‘Best Family Law Mediator Australia’ awards.

Mathews Family Law & Mediation Specialists is family law firm in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne – Level 2, 599 Malvern Road, Toorak.