Do you need a lawyer for mediation?

Do you need a lawyer for a mediation? The fact that you are reading our answer to this question suggests that you are thinking about resolving your family law issues amicably and through discussion. We commend you for this. Unlike a lawyer, a mediator won’t tell you whether the deal you are making is in your best interests.

Mediation is a dispute resolution process where a mediator (an independent third party specially trained in helping two parties reach an agreement) facilitates communication between you and your former partner in the hope of reaching an agreement.

During a family law mediation, you and your ex-partner will discuss both of your wishes and try to come to an agreement that suits the both of you and any children involved.

Depending on the type of mediation, you can discuss all aspects of your dispute in a mediation including property settlement and arrangements for the children as well as other issues which you might not normally bring up in court, for example who gets to keep the cat, the children’s time with their friends or the baby’s feeding and sleeping routines.

Unlike a Judge or Registrar at Court, the mediator is not able to impose a decision on you or your former partner. Mediation is all about coming to an agreement together. It puts you in control and enables you to make sure that all of your concerns have been addressed.

However, unlike a lawyer, the mediator will not tell you whether the deal you are entering into is in your best interests. This is why we always recommend that you get advice from a family lawyer prior to attending a mediation session so that you can understand your position and formulate a strategy beforehand.

Why should I mediate?

  1. It’s cost-effective. Mediation is usually considerably less than the cost of ongoing litigation.
  2. It’s time efficient. The courts have a huge waiting list, and a non-urgent application can take between 8- 12 months (or longer) to be heard. A mediation can occur as soon as the mediator that you both agree on is available. Once you reach an agreement at mediation the process to get consent orders drafted, signed, and filed is relatively straightforward. Orders are usually made within 30 days.
  3. Less emotionally draining. Going to court can be a very stressful and emotionally exhausting process. A mediation has the benefit of being less formal and more relaxed than a court appearance. It can also help you feel more in control of your own result than you would in a court room where you would have little opportunity to talk.
  4. It works. Mediation has great results, and a huge percentage of mediations will settle without having to go to court.
  5. It’s confidential. Any information talked about in mediation with your lawyer is covered by legal privilege. This means that any information disclosed during the mediation cannot be used in later court proceedings.

Are you preparing to attend a mediation or are thinking about resolving your family law issues through collaboration? If so, give our team a call on (03) 9793 7888 or send us an email at to book in an appointment and speak with one of our family lawyers. We will walk you through the whole process and advise you on the property and parenting arrangements you should be aiming for.