Mediation can take many different forms. Essentially, you and your former partner would meet with a professionally-trained mediator (otherwise known as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner) to discuss the issues arising out of your separation or divorce such as parenting and/or property settlement matters.
Typically, there will be some form of intake process prior to the mediation. This may include completing a questionnaire or participating in a parenting after separation program as well as meeting one-on-one with the mediator prior to the formal mediation commencing.
The role of the mediator is not to take sides or give legal advice. The mediator should remain impartial and is there to facilitate and guide the discussion and negotiations.
Some mediators allow lawyers to be present. During mediation your lawyer doesn’t act as an advocate as is their role in Court; instead, your lawyer is there to advise and assist you as well as to draft any agreement reached.
Mediation is confidential. The Family Law Act 1975 prohibits anything discussed at mediation to be disclosed in any Family Law Court proceedings.
Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution can be arranged through Family Relationship Centres, community organisations such as Interrelate and Relationships Australia as well as private Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners.