3 Good Reasons for Women to use Private Family Dispute Resolution
3 Good Reasons
1. It’s Fast
Unresolved conflict escalates over time
When relationships start to fail differences of opinion begin to build up. By the time your intimate relationship
ends those differences may have escalated into disputes or even outright conflict.
Living with unresolved conflict is bad for you, for your former partner and it’s really bad for children. If it
escalates into physical violence, you and your children may be in danger. Going to a lawyer to negotiate your
financial and children’s agreements through the court takes a long time, and a lot of money.
Mediation through Medi8 is fast. You can start resolving the issues in dispute in days rather than months.
You’ll start the mediation process with a comprehensive Risk Assessment Intake Interview to identify if
mediation is suitable and what support you need. You should never be forced in a situation that you feel
unsafe or unsupported and we welcome the inclusion of support people during mediation.
Private Family Dispute Resolution isn’t the same as going to one of the publicly funded services.
Call us to find out the difference in the way you are treated.
The Family Dispute Resolution Process
The number of mediation sessions it will take to reach agreement varies depending on the number of
issues on the agenda, the level of conflict, the complexity of your estate and the needs of your children.
We cannot offer a guarantee that you will reach agreement because it is a process where you have the right of
Self determination. Unlike court no one else will make a judgement, you decide what works best for your family.
We have a no-fault divorce system in Australia so there is no need for a court battle. To get a Divorce you just
have to show the court you’ve been separated for 12 months, that your intimate relationship has permanently
broken down, you have agreed on how to resolved your financial affairs and made proper arrangements to
care for your children. It’s even simpler if you never officially married.
Either way you can document your agreements, Consent Orders, which make them enforceable. That’s the
easy part. Some people do it themselves and others ask a lawyer to document and submit their Divorce
Petition or Consent Orders.
The hard part is to come to an agreement with a former partner when you’re feeling upset and can’t agree.
We’ve already looked at how fast mediation is. In a few sessions you can achieve an agreement that takes
months or years to reach through lawyers and the court. The longer it takes to sort our your issues the higher
the risk that your unresolved conflict will escalate into a war between you and your former partner.
2. Mediation costs less
Going to court costs more than money
Research shows that when their parents are caught up in a battle it is really, really bad for children. They feel
forced to take sides, endure family violence (even shouting at each other or breaking things in front of the kids
is Family Violence) and have their attachment to one or both of their parents damaged. If you are not coping
you’re not able to meet your children’s need for comfort and a secure home base.
Going to a lawyer and fighting each other through the court may cost between $10,000 and $50,000 and
unless you ask, you may only find out how much it’s going to cost once it’s too late. It may cost even more if
the conflict is high and you can afford to continue to fight. Even with legal aid there is a cost to ongoing battle.
A two session FDR Mediation through Medi8 starts at $660 each (in our Kensington Mediation Rooms)
Additional costs may apply for other locations. If one party can’t afford the fees right now, the other party
may pay for you and you agree to make an adjustment during your financial settlement.
Mediation can cover more than a court can. We can also help you to establish new relationship rules such as
the way you communicate and the way you treat each other to help reduce the conflict.
Find out costs upfront and request a monthly update.
Even though ending a relationship is your right, family and friends usually take sides or stay away from you.
Your mediator won’t. Their role is to remain neutral so they can help you both to work out a way forward.
Mediation is a process that can help you to negotiate an agreement that you both can live with. That is much
better than a win/lose or lose/lose court judgement and suitable for all but the highest conflict cases.
Mediation is a collaborative process where you can reach a win/win agreement that meets the real needs and
interests of both of you and your children. That way your agreement will last, until the next changes in your
family means its time to re-negotiate.
In Family Dispute Resolution you get to decide on what will work for your family. Your agreement can be as
flexible or as rigid as your current relationship requires. As things settle down you may decide to come back to
Mediation and make a new, more flexible agreement.
High conflict low trust = detailed and specific agreement.
Low conflict high trust = general and flexible agreement.
3. It’s a better way
A court can never know what your family needs
The legal system generally bases property settlements on percentages and in the battle to get your “fair share”
it’s easy to loose sight of the fact that the difference between the positions is less than the legal fees you’ll
have to pay to try and win. I say try, as there is no way to know what the final judgement of the court will be.
During mediation you are not restricted to simple formulas or percentages. That might be the right thing for
you or a more creative solution may be better for your unique circumstances.
If have young or disabled children that require a higher level of care there may be a high risk that splitting
assets and moving on right now may lead to poverty and stress for the primary carer and a significant, negative
change in standard of living for your children.
Mediation allows you to work through the options open to you, what you each need to get on with your lives
and to come up with the best option.
Mediation helps you to clarify the issues and can give you time to consult with experts so that you can make
informed decisions about your future.
Sorting out finances, your way.
When you separate you can expect to go through the cycle of grief the same as if you lost your partner through
death. The end of a relationship is the death of all the hopes, expectations and dreams you had.
Your relationship may have been terminally ill for a long time or have suffered a crisis that ended it quickly.
Sometimes one partner considers leaving for months and years and when they do it’s a total shock to the other.
You’re going to experience an emotional roller coater and be buffeted by strong emotions like fear, anger, grief,
sadness and regret.
Usually you and your former partners will be at different stages in
the grief cycle and the way you react at the same stages will vary
based on your personal differences.
It’s one of the worst time in your life and it’s really important that
you get the help you need to be resilient and cope with all the
unwelcome changes and difficult decisions you’re faced with.
Maintaining your sanity as you go through separation
Without help you risk not moving through the adjustment to your new life and getting caught up in
anger or stuck in depression. You may rely on alcohol or other substances to get through the day and
may find yourself obsessing about your former partner. All of this fuels dysfunctional behaviour and
war with your former partner.
Taking care of yourself is vital for you to be able to meet the needs of your children, who are also going
through a grieving process for their old life. Look again at the emotional roller coaster on the previous
page again. What stage are your children at?
The help you should get depends on your need and budget and don’t forget the kids and the help they
• Call Lifeline 13 11 14 if you’re in a crisis.
• Get a Divorce Coach to get help with setting new goals, anger management and communication
• Contact a government subsidised or private counselling service to get counselling support
• Speak to your family doctor about a mental health plan and a referral to a psychologist
There is no reason to go it alone
Who are Medi8?
And how do you Reduce Conflict?
Medi8 is a private Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution service based in Kensington,
Melbourne but providing services throughout Australia through a network of Private
mediators and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners who agree to comply with the
Our approach is based on the belief that:
People, with support, have the capacity to solve all of the problems in their own lives.
We encourage self-determination, respect and resilience and a focus on the rights and needs
of children caught up in their parents disputes.
Medi8 is a division of Skillshare Pty Ltd Life Skills Training and Coaching www.skillshare.com.au
03 8370 2301