Do I need a lawyer to mediate?

You don’t need a lawyer to participate in mediation. We may encourage you to seek legal advice or assistance where this is needed to help you resolve your matter. If you already have a lawyer, we can hold a lawyer-assisted mediation or help you develop questions or options to take back to your lawyer. Lawyers can also assist you to formalise any agreement reached in mediation.

What if we’re already in Court?

Mediation can assist parties at all stages in the court process, whether it is before you consider Court, or at any stage of proceedings. Mediation can help break a deadlock in negotiations, and can save you thousands in legal fees, not to mention years waiting for the Court to reach a final decision.

What if I don’t want to be in the same room as the other party?

We can adjust the mediation process to suit the parties and their needs, to ensure the process is supportive and fair. We can hold mediations in joint face-to-face sessions; by phone; through online conferencing; or by shuttle (in different rooms at the same venue). Our process is flexible and can be adjusted to maximise each person’s ability to participate in a mediation.

What if I can’t attend mediation face-to-face?

Mediation can be held face-to-face; by shuttle (in different rooms); by phone; or by video conference. We can discuss what option might work best for you, whatever your circumstances.

What happens if my family mediation doesn’t settle, or the other party won’t attend?
Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners can issue a document known as a ‘60I certificate’, which enables a party to apply to the Court for family law orders in the following circumstances:
1.      You invited the other party to attend mediation and they declined to attend, or you didn’t receive a response;
2.      You attended mediation and you did not resolve any or all outstanding issues; or
3.      The mediator advised that it was not an appropriate matter for mediation.
Our mediators will explain when a 60I certificate might be issued, and what the effect of this is.
What is the process and fee structure?

Let’s have a chat about your goals and whether mediation might be the right pathway for you.
This initial conversation is free and usually conducted by phone.


If you haven’t yet invited the other party (or parties) to mediate, we can write to them for you, inviting them to attend.

What’s included: Includes writing two letters or emails to all parties, inviting them to participate in mediation. In family law matters, this will include issuing a section 60I certificate (if the other party does not respond to the invitations or declines to attend, and the mediator considers it appropriate to issue the certificate).


If all parties agree to participate in mediation, we hold a pre-meditation meeting with each party individually, to discuss your goals, needs, and issues you would like to discuss in mediation.

What’s included: This pre-mediation meeting will be scheduled for 1.5 hours. Further sessions may be required, at an additional cost. The pre-mediation process aims to:

  • Prepare each party for the mediation;
  • Allow the mediator to assess whether mediation is the right process;
  • Identify adjustments that might be needed to ensure the process is safe and supportive for all parties.

After this meeting, the mediator will advise whether mediation is suitable, and if so, schedule a date for the first joint mediation session. If the process is not suitable, the mediator will make any relevant referrals to assist the parties on a different pathway.
For family law matters, includes issuing a 60I certificate if mediation is not considered appropriate.


If mediation is the right process and all parties are ready, we will schedule a joint mediation session.

What’s included: Mediation with all parties participating, for 3 hours in duration. Cost to be split equally between all parties.

Either before or following the first joint session, the mediator will advise if and when further mediation sessions might be necessary to progress your matter towards resolution – for example, where parties need some time to get legal advice or obtain further information before resolution can be reached.

For family law matters, includes issuing a 60I certificate if any issues remain unresolved and matter needs to proceed to Court.


We can offer one-on-one meetings with individuals to discuss issues arising from separation and develop options for moving forward.

What’s included: This includes 1.5 hour meeting with a mediator to discuss issues surrounding separation and consider options for moving forward. Further meetings may be recommended, at an additional cost.


If further time is required to assist parties in documenting an agreement or to extend the time of a mediation session, such time will be charged at an hourly rate.

Will you travel travel outside of Canberra?

Yes. Travel costs outside of Canberra are negotiable depending on location.