The Family Mediation Process & What To Expect

Premier Mediation Australia – The Family Mediation Process

When handled professionally, Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is tailored to facilitate calm and productive discussions around family disputes. The family mediation process customarily moves through a number of distinct steps, which can be briefly outlined as follows:

The Intake (Pre-Mediation Session) – Party One

Your mediator will engage with you in a private Intake/Pre-Mediation session. Depending on the circumstances, these types of sessions can be conducted face-to-face, securely online through Zoom, or via telephone.

This Intake session is compulsory by law, and allows the mediator to gauge the suitability and safety of your particular case for mediation. Additionally, other options may be raised with you, such as Child-Inclusive Mediation.

Most importantly, this session allows you the important opportunity to confidentially explain the types of issues you hope to raise with the other party and address through mediation. The mediator will also provide information that will help you to prepare for full mediation.

The Intake (Pre-Mediation Session) – Party Two

If deemed suitable, an invitation to mediate will be forwarded to the other party, and they will also have the opportunity to engage with the mediator in their own private Intake/Pre-Mediation session, with the same conditions listed above.

Agreement To Mediate

If both parties agree to proceed to Mediation, each person will be provided with a detailed ‘Agreement To Mediate’ document, which they will sign and return. This document also provides a great deal of valuable information and helpful hints about preparing for Mediation.

 A mutually agreeable time will be allocated for the full Mediation session. This type of session is usually held face-to-face, but can also be held by other means remotely (Please refer above). Sometimes in higher conflict cases, a ‘shuttle mediation’ is considered. This is where the parties are either in separate locations and/or unable to see and interact directly with each other.

The Joint Mediation Session

These sessions are generally set for 3-4 hours, although whole-day mediations can also be held.

 It will be at these sessions that each person is given the opportunity – in a respectful and safe environment – to raise the issues they wish to discuss, and to also expand upon their opinions.

 The parties will help generate their own agenda items, and options will be explained and explored. With the impartial mediator managing the discussion, each person will have the opportunity to have their say.

Any decisions you make together about how to move forward can be written into an agreement, which can later form part of your Parenting Plan.

Helpful Hints

In order to maximise your opportunity for success in Mediation, it helps to keep some  things in mind:


  • Crucially, take the time to choose the right mediator. This includes reviewing the actual professional qualifications of those offering services to you.
  • Good preparation is important prior to the main Mediation session being held. The more direct information you have about the issues you wish to discuss, the more easily your propositions will flow. At Premier Mediation Australia, your mediator will help you prepare for the joint FDR session during your individual Intake meeting.
  • Clearly identify your goals, aims and needs going forward. This will help you identify realistic options for resolving matters in dispute.
  • At least initially, be prepared to engage in some flexible thinking, rather than an all-or-nothing response. Sometimes, people hear things for the first time in mediation, so you should remain aware of this.
  • Be prepared to actively listen to what your ex-partner is trying to say, and try to understand their perspective, even if you disagree.
  • Try to stay positive, patient, and committed to exploring solutions.
  • Be prepared to follow the simple ground rules that the mediator establishes. These are designed to maintain respect and minimise conflict – allowing you to concentrate on the real issues.
  • Be aware that YOU voluntarily make the decisions in mediation, so nothing is going to be imposed on you by anyone else.
  • Also remain aware that at Premier Mediation Australia the family mediation process is being guided by a highly-experienced mediator, who will be able to explain every step in the process as you reach it. You can relax in the knowledge that your mediation is in good hands.
  • And, most importantly of all, remember that the best interests of your children is always the paramount consideration.

Property Mediation Process

Whilst the mediation process leading to property and financial settlements, follows a similar range of steps employed when looking at parenting issues, there are also some significant distinctions.

An important step in the preparation stage will be determining the value of items that constitute the joint asset pool. This will require accurate information to be compiled relating to property valuations, bank account balances, superannuation balances, current mortgages and debts etc.

 At Premier Mediation Australia we will be able to efficiently guide you through all the requirements of this process.

Free Consultation/Diagnostic Session

We offer a free 30 minute telephone consultation for all potential clients, during which we can discuss the circumstances of your particular case and provide guidance about the best ways for you to move forward. Call us today on 0477 130 667.

Or you can contact us via our email: 

You can also send through a contact form to Premier Mediation Australia. We will be in touch promptly to discuss your needs and requirements and assist you to achieve the best outcome for your family.


Monday           – By appointment
Tuesday           – By appointment
Wednesday     – By appointment
Thursday         – By appointment
Friday               – By appointment
Saturday          – By appointment
Sunday             – By appointment

For face-to-face mediations, we have excellent access to numerous private facilities all across Melbourne and Victorian regional areas. Suitable meeting rooms can be arranged depending on client’s needs and convenience.

 All of our on-line services are available both locally and Australia-wide.