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    Dispute resolution – mediation and arbitration

    The best outcome for any separated couple is an outcome reached by agreement. Resolving your matter without the need for litigation is our priority. Not all matters should or need to proceed to Court. We will advise you about Alternative Dispute Resolution pathways available and suitable for you. This can range from Negotiation Conferences, Mediation with an interest based or an evaluative based method, or Arbitration with highly recommended Arbitrators specialised in the family law field.

    Our team at Dorter Family Lawyers & Mediators prioritise pre-action procedures for both parenting and property matters where your matter is projected to resolution outside of Court (provided it is safe to do so). 

    What is Alternative Dispute Resolution? 

    Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) refers to a range of services in which an independent third party helps families resolve their parenting and/or property disputes arising from divorce or separation. These services are generally considered to be ‘alternative’ insofar as they refer to ways of resolving disputes without going to court.

    Types of Alternative Dispute Resolution


    Mediation is an Alternative Dispute Resolution process where an independent third person assists the parties of the dispute in a form of facilitated negotiation to identify the issues of disagreement, consider the options available, and help them reach a mutually acceptable solution. As a neutral third party, the mediator cannot offer their opinion or advice about the issues being discussed, or take any role in deciding the outcome of the mediation.

    Family Dispute Resolution

    Family Dispute Resolution is a formal type of mediation process to help separating families to reach their own agreement with the help of an accredited Family Dispute Resolution practitioner.


    Similar to mediation, conciliation is an ADR process where an independent third party conciliator assists the parties of the dispute to identify the issues of disagreement, consider the options available, and help them reach a mutually acceptable solution. 

    Though unlike a mediator, a conciliator may have professional expertise in the subject matter of the dispute, allowing them to provide specialist advice and suggestions for resolving the issues of the dispute. However, they will not:

    • Make decisions or tell you what decision to make
    • Take sides
    • State who is right and wrong
    • Provide counselling 


    As a more formal and structured process for settling disputes, arbitration is often used when other methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation or conciliation, have proven ineffective. It requires the parties to present their arguments and formal evidence to an independent third party arbitrator who will hand down a binding decision. For this reason, it is necessary that the participants in the dispute agree before the process begins that the arbitrator’s decision will be legally binding and enforceable. However, it may be possible to appeal this decision if you are not satisfied with the outcome. 

    Arbitration can be a suitable legal avenue where the subject matter is highly technical and when you want a fast, confidential, and more affordable process than going to court.

    Here When You Need Us

    If you have recently gone through a divorce or separation and are having difficulty reaching an agreement over parenting or property arrangements, it is important to seek legal advice from a specialist family lawyer. At Dorter Family Lawyers & Mediators our team is here to help you navigate the process. 

    With an experienced team of accredited mediators and family law specialists, Dorter Family Lawyers & Mediators is committed to understanding your particular situation, advising you on which Alternative Dispute Resolution pathway is suitable for you and providing you with expert guidance and legal assistance every step of the way.

    Speak to our specialised team at Dorter Family Lawyers & Mediators for tailored advice.