This information relates to laws in Victoria, Australia.
The benefits of mediation
Mediation is a way of resolving disagreements without going to court. Mediation often resolves disputes early and quickly, without the cost and time involved in going to court. It is also often effective if you want to maintain ongoing relationships.
Many types of problems can be resolved through mediation, such as disputes between:
- couples separating or divorcing
- family members
- employers and employees.
People can enter into mediation voluntarily, but in some cases it is compulsory. For example, some courts may require you to try to resolve your problem through mediation before your case can be heard in court. This is the case with family disputes relating to children, for instance.
Keep in mind that mediation won't be appropriate for all disputes. For example, if you have a dispute with a violent partner or ex-partner mediation won't be suitable.
If you're not sure that mediation is the best option for you, get legal advice or call Victoria Legal Aid helpline 1300 792 387.
How does mediation work?
How do I find a mediator?
If you have not been able to solve a dispute by yourself, consider getting a mediator to help you.
A number of people work as mediators. They include private providers and members of the legal profession. Anyone can call themselves a mediator, but look for someone who is accredited or has legal training.
The Victorian government has a free dispute resolution service called the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria where mediators are available to help you resolve your dispute. The Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria also has a lot of good ideas about how to reach agreements without going to court.
Free or low-cost mediation services
Victoria Legal Aid Family Dispute Resolution Service
This service is for for parents or other family members involved in a separation or divorce. It helps people try to reach an agreement about parenting, relationship and financial disputes without going to court.
The Victoria Legal Aid Family Dispute Resolution Service is free for eligible parties. But, you may have to pay for your lawyer’s fees if you are not eligible for legal assistance.
1300 792 387
FMC Mediation and Counselling Victoria
Offers low-cost family dispute resolution and mediation services for parenting, relationship and financial difficulties.
1800 639 523 (free call, including mobiles)
Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria
Offers free and confidential mediation services to find solutions to problems that both parties agree with. The centre mediates a range of community and legal disputes, including neighbourhood disputes. It does not deal with domestic violence or family law disputes.
1300 372 888
Private mediation services
Law Institute of Victoria
Provides an online directory of legal practitioners who are accredited mediators. Mediators are listed according to areas of specialisation and region.
(03) 9607 9550
Provides a directory of barristers who are accredited mediators throughout Victoria.
(03) 9225 7111
Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators
A national organisation that specialises in family dispute resolution and mediation. It provides an online directory of accredited mediators in many states, including Victoria. The mediators are generally experienced family lawyers.