Mediation & Conciliation

Court proceedings are costly and add stress to an already traumatic period in your life. As a consequence, litigation should always be considered as a last resort. Most people prefer a reasonable settlement to a protracted court battle. At Carson and Associates, we are skilled and experienced negotiators and able to help you achieve a negotiated outcome in your circumstances.

At Carson and Associates, we promote alternative dispute resolution options such as conciliation and mediation to help you achieve a reasonable, timely and cost effective solution to your legal problem. Alternative Dispute Resolution requires you to be well advised with practical and sensible legal advice regarding your situation. At Carson and Associates, we care about giving you the right advice.


Mediation is conducted by an impartial moderator known as a mediator. The mediator does not have the power to make any decisions and does not take sides. The mediator's role is to help disputing parties reach a compromise agreement and facilitates discussions to that end.


The mediator will usually start mediation by meeting each of the parties separately for an intake interview. The intake interview is designed to allow each party to identify the issues that they would like to resolve during the mediation. The intake interviews also help the mediator to identify the issues in dispute between the parties.


Some cases are not suitable for mediation, such as cases where there has been family violence. The mediator will assess the suitability of the parties to undertake mediation during the intake interview.


After both parties have undertaken an intake interview, then a joint a mediation conference is scheduled by the mediator.


There is a variety of different mediation service providers available in the community. These include the Federal Government funded Family Relationship Centres which provides up to 3 hours free mediation. Other service providers such as Relationships Australia, Unifam and Centacare also provide mediation services.


Useful Link. Relationships Australia - Click here to visit the Relationships Australia Website

Useful Link. Unifam - Click here to visit the Unifam Website

Useful Link. Centacare - Click here to visit the Centacare Website


Alternatively, private mediators also operate and provide a variety of mediation services. Contact us to discuss the options available to you.

Most family law mediations occur without lawyers being present. However, this is not a requirement and in some circumstances it is necessary for lawyers to participate in the mediation. You should always obtain independent legal advice prior to undertaking any mediation so that you understand the legal consequences of any agreement reached.

In some circumstances the parents can be assisted by a child consultant in the mediation process. A child consultant, usually a child psychologist or child psychologist, is appointed by agreement of the parents and consults with the child. The child consultant then reports back to the parents about what issues are important to the child, what special circumstances of the child needs to be taken into account in any agreement, the wishes of the child and any other relevant issue that needs to be determined.

You should obtain legal advice before engaging a child psychologist, child psychiatrist or undertaking child inclusive mediation.

If the mediation is successful, the mediator will record any agreement in a document known as a parenting plan or heads of agreement. Any agreement reached at mediation is an informal agreement and not enforceable in Court. The final agreement must be formalised by way of Court Order (Consent Order) for parenting arrangements or Binding Financial Agreement or Consent Order for financial agreements.


We will prepare the formal agreement and provide you with independent legal advice and the necessary solicitor certificate to formalise your agreement.

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