How to Prepare for Family and Divorce Mediation

Preparing for family and divorce mediation involves several steps to ensure you are well-equipped for the process.

You can prepare for successful family and divorce mediation with Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers. Our expert team will guide you through effective preparation, ensuring your voice is heard and working towards a fair resolution. Trust us to preserve the well-being and harmony of your family. Reach out to our team today to get personalised advice.

Here are some key considerations and tips to help you prepare:

Understand the mediation process

  1. Familiarise yourself with the mediation process.
  2. Read about the guidelines, rules, and legal requirements specific to your state or territory.
  3. Gain a clear understanding of how mediation works and what to expect during the sessions.

Research mediators

  1. Research and find a qualified and experienced mediator who specialises in family and divorce mediation.
  2. Look for someone who is accredited by a recognized professional body.
  3. Consider their expertise, reputation, and the feedback from previous clients.

Gather necessary documents

  1. Collect and organise all relevant documents pertaining to your family and divorce matters. Gather your financial statements, credit card account documents, property documents, bank statements and any other financial information. These financial documents can include information on your assets, expenses, personal property, possessions, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, annuities and tax returns. It also includes child custody arrangements, and any other pertinent information.
  2. Read every document related to your matter, including any that your ex-spouse has filed.
  3. Ascertain that you are familiar with all of the documents and that you can respond to them during the mediation session.
  4. Make copies of these documents to share with the mediator and the other party involved.

Identify your goals and interests

  1. Clearly define your goals, interests, and concerns regarding the issues at hand.
  2. Write down your thoughts to assist you to clarify your stance and why you feel the way you do.
  3. Write a brief statement summarising your perspective, including any major points you would like to address.
  4. Make a list of everything you have previously agreed to and everything you have not.
  5. Think about what you want to achieve from the mediation process, whether it is related to property division, child custody, visitation rights, or any other aspect. Having a clear understanding of your priorities will help you articulate your needs effectively during the mediation sessions.

Analyse the other party’s position

  1. Assess the other party’s perspective, interests, and potential arguments.
  2. Consider their motivations, concerns, and potential areas of compromise. This analysis will help you anticipate their arguments and develop effective responses during the mediation.

Prepare talking points

  1. Create a list of talking points or an agenda to guide your discussions during mediation. This will help you stay focused and ensure you address all relevant topics.
  2. Consider the key issues you wish to discuss and any potential solutions you are willing to consider.

Prepare your arguments

  1. Based on your goals and the information gathered, develop a clear and concise argument to present during the mediation.
  2. Outline key points, supporting evidence, and any legal or factual precedents that may strengthen your position.

Consider possible solutions

  1. Create a list of potential solutions or compromises that could be acceptable to both parties. Make a list of what is most essential to you and what you are prepared to give up.
  2. Think about the situations in which you would be willing to compromise.
  3. This demonstrates your willingness to engage in constructive separation or divorce negotiation and can help facilitate a resolution during the divorce mediation process.

Practice effective communication

Develop effective communication skills to express your thoughts and concerns respectfully.

Practice active listening

  1. Practice active listening in Mediation by expressing your points clearly, calmly, and respectfully.
  2. Pay attention to the other party’s statements and concerns, and respond thoughtfully., remain calm, and avoid confrontational or aggressive language.
  3. Express your feelings and perspectives without blaming or accusing the other party.

Manage emotion

Mediation can be emotionally charged, so it is important to manage your emotions and approach the process with a calm and rational mindset. Maintain professionalism and avoid personal attacks or confrontational behaviour that could hinder the mediation process.

Take care of yourself

The divorce process and family disputes can be emotionally challenging. Prioritise self-care and seek support from friends, family, or counselling services if needed. Emotional well-being can positively impact your ability to navigate the mediation process effectively.

Explore alternatives

While mediation aims to reach an agreement outside of court, it is important to consider alternatives in case mediation does not yield the desired outcomes. Familiarise yourself with other dispute resolution methods, such as collaborative law, and understand their pros and cons.

Consider legal advice

Remember, each mediation process is unique, and these tips are meant to provide general guidance. It is crucial to consult with a family lawyer who can offer tailored advice based on your specific circumstances. A family lawyer can provide guidance, review any agreements reached during mediation, and ensure they are legally sound. Our mediation service is a collaborative process, and the ultimate goal is to reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Proper preparation increases your chances of achieving a satisfactory outcome and resolving the dispute amicably.


Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers offer specialist family law advice and are based in St Leonards on Sydney’s North Shore.  If you have recently separated or have a Family Law enquiry, please contact us on (02) 9437 0010 or send us an email at to discuss your matter in complete confidence.  We have a dedicated team of experienced family lawyers to handle your matter effectively and efficiently, providing you with reliable, direct and practical advice.


About the Authors:

Lisa Wagner is Managing Director and Principal of Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers. Lisa is an Accredited Family Law specialist holding honours degrees in economics and law. She is also a Collaboratively trained Family Lawyer, a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, and a Parenting Coordinator. Lisa has over 30 years’ experience as a specialist family lawyer, experienced litigator and skilful negotiator in all family law matters; working for the majority of that time in Sydney’s CBD as well as on Sydney’s lower North Shore and Northern Beaches.

Connect with Lisa on LinkedIn


Zoha Khan is a Senior Family Lawyer at Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers.  Zoha holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws from Macquarie University and is currently undertaking a Master of Applied Law (Family Law) at the College of Law.  She has experience in advising on a range of complex property and high-conflict parenting matters, which makes her a valuable member of the Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers team.

Connect with Zoha on LinkedIn



These posts are only intended as an overview or comment on current issues that may interest you and are not legal advice. If there are any matters that you would like us to advise you on, then please contact us.

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