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Family law mediators, Melbourne

Family law mediation is a dispute resolution method aimed at helping parties reach a mutual agreement.

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Carew Counsel Solicitors staff in discussion at meeting table
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Specialist family law firm

We have 40+ years of experience dealing with family law matters.

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Get the help, guidance, and legal support you need to move forward.

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We’re ranked in the top five family law firms in Melbourne.

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We will clearly outline expectations and a quote for legal fees following your initial consultation.

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Effectively reach a family dispute resolution

Family dispute resolution mediation is where a neutral third party, known as a mediator, facilitates communication and negotiation between disputing parties. In family law cases, the mediator is often a lawyer or barrister who is specially trained in mediation or family dispute resolution. 

The goal of family law mediation is to help the parties resolve conflicts, reach a mutually acceptable agreement, and avoid the need for formal legal proceedings. A mediator’s role is to guide you and the other party towards an agreeable outcome in a safe and controlled space.

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Disputes that can benefit from mediation

Family mediation services cover a range of disputes that can often result in a settlement. Settling at the mediation stage prevents you from having to attend family court which can be time-consuming, costly, and stressful for everyone involved.

Family law disputes

A family dispute resolution practitioner can assist parties resolve disputes following a separation as an alternative to attending family court. 

Parenting matters & child support disputes

You and your former partner can attend mediation to discuss parenting plans, child support, and other matters relating to the care of your children. 

Financial agreements

Following a separation, couples may benefit from financial mediation to determine the split of assets and liabilities. 

Property settlements

A mediation session can help with property disputes when the parties involved have conflicting views about joint property following a separation or divorce.

Make an enquiry

Get started by discussing your situation with a family law expert.

When to speak to a family law mediator

A family dispute resolution practitioner can help you find a solution when you and your previous partner are unable to mutually agree on a family law matter. Whether it’s involving children, property, or finances, a trained mediator can help diffuse the situation and guide both parties towards an amicable resolution. 

If your or your former partner wants to make an application to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, you will often be asked to engage in mediation first. A family law mediator can try and prevent the issue from going to court, saving you time, money, and added stress.

Benefits of participating in family mediation

It can be near impossible to mutually agree on life-changing matters when one or both parties are highly stressed, tense, or agitated. Family law mediators can help release some of this tension by rationally discussing the issue at hand in a safe environment. 

  • Avoids the costly expense of resolving disputes at family court
  • Encourages a more collaborative approach
  • Helps preserve relationships
  • Mediators are trained in negotiation and can help you reach an agreeable compromise
  • No side-taking - the mediator remains impartial and is there to guide, not convince
  • Can be in-person or over video-conferencing to work around busy schedules
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Getting started

Our solution-focused process


Make an enquiry

A member of our team will be in touch to gather information about your situation, ensuring you are paired with a lawyer best suited to your needs.


Meet with a family law expert, online or in person

During a 90-minute appointment, one of our highly experienced family lawyers will ask you more about your situation so they can determine the best path forward.


Receive a tailored quote

Once your options have been explored, your lawyer will provide a breakdown of fees for you to consider before moving forward with mediation.

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Client testimonials

Hear from our satisfied clients across Victoria.

"I highly recommend Carew Counsel Solicitors for anyone seeking a dedicated and knowledgeable solicitor for family law matters. Madison Ogilvie excelled in her communication, ensuring I was kept informed every step of the way. Although it got stressful, Madison's professionalism was top-notch."

Shawn C

"In what was a difficult time to go through, I'm thankful that I had the team at Carew in my corner. I received sound advice all the way through the process and felt proud of the dignified way that my case was being responded to. I would certainly recommend Madison and the team at Carew for their professionalism, experience, integrity and dedicated service."

Scott M

"10 Stars! Very happy & relieved that I chose Alex Carew & Carew Counsel for a family member in an extremely concerning & complicated Family Court/child protection matter. Highly professional, ethical, respectful, knowledeable, hard working, strategic, collaborative, communicative, caring, compassionate & child & family welfare focused. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us protect our little child."

Cygnet S

"I would like to thank and acknowledge all the team at Carew Counsel Solicitors for representing me in my recent financial settlement matter. I highly recommend that you engage Carew Counsel Solicitors to represent you in your family law matter."

Frank G
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Why choose Carew Counsel

Commitment to client satisfaction

We provide personalised services and go the extra mile to help you achieve the outcome you desire.

Mediation expertise

Our lawyers have decades of mediation experience and are specially trained in dispute resolution.

Strive for efficiency

We’re solution-driven and settle the majority of family law cases without litigation.


We tailor our legal costs to your specific needs and provide upfront quotes for complete transparency.

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Browse our frequently asked questions about family law mediation Melbourne.

What does the mediation process involve?

A family dispute resolution practitioner will guide you through the mediation process, with the aim of reaching an agreeable outcome quickly and effectively. 

Prior to the scheduled mediation, each party may be invited to meet the mediator, ask any questions, and explain what they hope to achieve from the session. On the day, the mediator will explain the process they intend to use before proceeding with opening statements. They will then use the information provided by each party to determine how they will conduct the negotiation. The mediator may work with the parties or their lawyer to define the issues in dispute so they can narrow the focus for discussion. Finally, the mediator will ask the parties to consider options for settlement and may ask one party to make an offer for the others’ consideration.

Is mediation legally binding in Victoria?

Mediation sessions are not legally binding. If an agreement is reached at mediation, then the terms of the agreement will be set out in writing and signed, and it will then later be lodged with the court to become an order. Until the order is made, the agreement is not final and binding.

What is the success rate of mediation?

Mediations do not always result in a settlement, but on many occasions they do. Success depends on the context, the skill of the mediator, and the willingness of the parties to engage in the process. Generally, mediation has a high success rate, and many disputes are successfully resolved through this method.

Are lawyers good mediators?

Family lawyers can be very effective mediators, bringing a deep understanding of the Family Law Act to the mediation process. This can be beneficial in cases where legal complexities need to be addressed as part of the resolution. A family lawyer also has strong communication skills, which is valuable in guiding parties through discussions and helping them articulate their needs and concerns.

Can mediation sessions be done separately?

Yes, family mediation sessions can be conducted with the parties in separate rooms if one or both parties feel uncomfortable or are fearful of the other person. In this case, the mediator will go between the rooms to convey offers and instructions and mediate the discussion. This is commonly referred to as shuttle mediation.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of mediation?

The mediation process has both advantages and disadvantages. Many clients may feel nervous prior to mediation but confident in their position at the same time, only to later feel disillusioned with the process or anxious as to the outcome.

For a case to settle in mediation, one party must eventually be willing to accept a proposal submitted by the other person. This can create some psychological barriers, as a client accepting an offer may feel they have lost, made all the concessions, or given in.

In family law cases, there are a range of potential outcomes that could be achieved if the matter was to be determined by a court. It is this range that you should keep in mind during the mediation, rather than a single fixed figure.

How should you prepare for family mediation?

Lawyers will usually prepare a case outline prior to mediation for exchange between the two parties and mediators. This gives the other party and the mediator an idea of the issues in dispute and the direction the mediation will need to take. Speaking to your lawyer about the case outline and the range of likely outcomes well in advance of mediation is recommended. Make sure that you have provided all discovery documents and any outstanding requests for information prior to mediation to ensure there are no unnecessary blocks to achieving a mediated outcome on the day.

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Our Melbourne family law office

03 9670 5711
Level 10, 313 La Trobe Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Mon – Fri, 9 am – 5:30 pm
Wilson Parking on La Trobe St
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