We can help you avoid the emotional trauma and ugliness of dragging your family through the court system with mediation and negotiation.

Achieve better outcomes and reach agreement faster with Family Dispute Resolution mediation

Many families and couples who are separating or getting divorced find that mediation allows them to find a resolution faster and more cost-effectively than going through the court system. We’ve helped many families to resolve all different types of disputes, from custody arrangements and parenting matters, through to financial and property issues.

The beauty of mediation is that it allows the people involved to make the decisions, rather than going through the courts and leaving the decision in the hands of someone they don’t know.

Mediation can be used to resolve a variety of different family law issues and matters, including:

  • Parenting and custody disputes
  • Financial settlements
  • Property settlements
  • Child and spousal support and maintenance
  • Other family disputes.

Family Dispute Resolution for parenting arrangements

When it comes to parenting arrangements, couples are usually required to enter into a process known as Family Dispute Resolution (a fancy name for mediation) before they can file to have the matter heard by the family court.

Those that approach the Family Dispute Resolution process with an open mind often come out of it with a resolution that they’re happy with and that all parties are better for – especially the kids. Typically we find that mediation allows parents to:

  • Finalise parenting arrangements faster – letting everybody move on sooner.
  • Reach a better arrangement – as it provides much more scope for flexibility and innovation than the courts.
  • Are happier with the outcome – because they got a say in it and their voice was heard.
  • Save money – as they avoid going to court and the lawyer’s fees that come along with that.

How the mediation process works

Mediation is a process that gives you the opportunity to work through your differences with the help of an accredited and experienced mediator. At Lakey Family Law we offer a range of different options and can provide mediation in person, over the phone or via video conferencing.


Initial interview

Before mediation can commence, each party needs to take part in a one-on-one interview with our experienced and accredited mediator. During the interview we look to understand the:

● background of your relationship and the different factors that have contributed to its breakdown
● the individual issues or matters that you are looking to resolve through the mediation process.
Once the interviews are completed each party is then formally invited to take part in the mediation process.


Joint meeting

Providing there is no history of domestic abuse or violence, the mediation process will typically begin with all parties and taking part in a joint meeting, where we confirm each of your issues or the matters that you need to resolve. During this meeting, you have the opportunity to share your wishes and reasoning, as do the other parties.


The next step is all about negotiation. To do this, we typically break in to separate rooms to provide each of you with the space you need to consider the different options and discuss them freely. Your mediator works with each of you to facilitate the negotiating with the aim of finding resolution.


Where the mediation process allows us to reach agreement, the details and specifics of those agreements are then documented, signed and resolved so that you can both move forward.

What happens if the mediation fails?

If one party refuses to participate in the mediation, your mediator determines that mediation is not appropriate for your situation or you’re not able to reach agreement on the different matters, your mediator will issue a S.60i certificate. This certificate allows you to then commence court proceedings.

Want to know more about mediation
and family dispute resolution?


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