If you have a dispute with your former partner either about the division of property, other financial matters or the parenting arrangements, you should consider trying mediation to help resolve it. Mediation is a way of negotiating how to resolve a dispute with a neutral person who is trained to help people reach agreements. The mediator will not advise you what to do. He or she will help you work out all the different issues, and give you both an opportunity to have your say about them. After each of you has explained what you want and why, the mediator will help you to discuss each issue one by one, and help you both to think about different solutions to the problems.

If you don’t feel comfortable about being in the same room as your former partner, then many mediators will agree to keep you both in separate rooms and to go between you.

Mediation is not for everyone. If you are afraid of your former partner, and worry about being bullied into an agreement that is not a good one for you, then mediation may well be unsuitable.

The Family Relationship Centres offer mediation in parenting disputes at a very low cost.

For property disputes, it is usually best to go to mediation with an experienced lawyer. There are  many family law mediators. You can search for them on the website of the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators.