DOOLAN WAGNER - family lawyers sydney

Family Mediation Lawyers


No one wants a complicated and lengthy separation, especially if children are involved. Family dispute resolution helps keep your separation or divorce out of Court, prevents a costly litigation process and assists in keeping intense emotions at bay.

During our years of practice, Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers has guided families of all backgrounds through the family dispute resolution process, helping to resolve conflicts related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody and property division.

Meet with one of the best family mediation lawyers in Sydney by getting in touch with Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers today.

What is family mediation and dispute resolution?

Family mediation and dispute resolution are forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) used to help separating couples manage and resolve disputes regarding their divorce, child custody, living arrangements and the division of assets. Family dispute resolution is a broader term encompassing a range of processes, including mediation, negotiation and arbitration.

Family dispute resolution may involve different ADR processes depending on the nature and complexity of the issues in dispute. For example, negotiation may be appropriate for less complex issues, while arbitration may be appropriate for more complex issues that require a binding decision from a neutral third party.

How family dispute resolution helps families confidently make decisions

At Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers, we understand how emotionally intensive a separation or divorce can be. And in our experience, this process is even more draining when you and your partner fail to amicably agree on important issues. Our family mediation lawyers will work closely with you and your ex-partner to achieve the following:

  • Facilitate effective communication — Mediation provides a structured environment for parties to communicate with each other and constructively express their concerns and interests. Our family mediation lawyers can facilitate the conversation and ensure that each party has the opportunity to be heard.
  • Identify glaring issues — Your mediator will help identify the issues causing friction between you and your partner, encouraging you to find alternative solutions. By understanding your interests and concerns, the mediator can recommend options that meet both of your expectations.
  • Negotiate a resolution — Once the parties have developed options for resolving the issues, the mediator helps them negotiate a final resolution. The mediator does not make decisions for the parties but instead facilitates the negotiation process and helps the parties communicate effectively with each other.
  • Promote cooperation — Mediation can help promote cooperation between the parties and encourage them to work together in the future. By cooperating to reach a mutually acceptable agreement, you may be more likely to comply with the terms of the agreement and avoid future disputes.

The roles and responsibilities of a family mediation lawyer

If you and your partner choose to separate or divorce, several factors and issues must be considered, from child support to who will remain living in the home. Our team of Sydney mediation lawyers regularly deal with these matters and possess extensive experience in all aspects of family law. Here’s how we can assist you:

  • Professional legal advice — Our family mediation lawyers provide tailored legal advice to clients regarding the family law issues in dispute, including child custody and child support, spousal maintenance, property division and more. We help you understand your legal rights and obligations and provide guidance on negotiating a fair and equitable agreement.
  • Confident representation — We are more than comfortable representing you and your wishes during mediation, either by attending mediation sessions on your behalf or by providing advice behind the scenes.
  • Mediation facilitation — In some cases, our mediation lawyers may also serve as the mediator or co-mediator, helping the parties in a dispute communicate effectively and work towards a mutually acceptable agreement.
  • Drafting legal documents — Once a settlement agreement is reached, our family mediation lawyers will draft the documents necessary to finalise the agreement. Our diligent team will ensure that the agreement accurately reflects the terms negotiated during the mediation and is legally binding and enforceable.

Family Mediation Lawyers Sydney


Staying out of Court allows you to remain in control of the process and your future. Mediation is flexible and can avoid the duplication (and costs) that litigation brings. In Australia more and more separating couples are opting for court alternatives to tailor solutions to their particular family law circumstances.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers offers competent and caring registered Family Dispute Resolution practitioners that facilitate a cooperative approach towards reaching agreements. If an agreement is not possible our family dispute resolution practitioners are registered to issue s.60I certificates so that you can file an Application in Court.

We have an enviable track record of achieving favourable out of court settlements through negotiation, round table conferences, collaborative practices, mediation, family dispute resolution and arbitration.

And we don’t stop working hard to achieve the best-negotiated outcomes for all our clients even if the court process has started. Our aim is to help you reach agreements in relation to all the issues that arise when you separate. Our reputation depends on achieving that goal for you.

Who is expected to participate in the family dispute resolution process?

Under Australian Family Law, family dispute resolution is a mandatory procedure that must be undertaken before a couple can submit an application for the Court to hear the matter. As such, both parties involved in the dispute are expected to wholeheartedly and genuinely participate, whether representing themselves or through legal assistance.

However, it’s worth noting that there are some instances where exceptions can be made. For instance, if the process is deemed unsuitable or unsafe due to a history of violence from either party or if one member cannot participate to their best ability.

When should you start family mediation with your partner?


While family mediation can be started at any time when there is a dispute related to your separation or divorce, there are some situations where it may be particularly beneficial to start family mediation sooner rather than later.

  • When issues first arise — It’s often best to start mediation early on in the dispute before things become too entrenched and emotions run high. Early intervention can help parties communicate more effectively and reach a mutually acceptable agreement.
  • When both parties are willing to participate — Mediation requires the participation of all parties involved, so both you and your partner must be willing to engage in the process. If one party is unwilling to participate, mediation may not be effective.
  • When there is a desire to preserve relationships — Family mediation is often used when parties want to work together to preserve the relationship. This is often the case when separating couples must learn to co-parent.

Fostering the best interests of the child through family dispute resolution and mediation

When parents disagree over various aspects of their separation or divorce, keeping the child’s well-being at the forefront of the discussion is crucial. Even in high-intensity situations, both parties need to make decisions that represent the child’s best interests, regardless of their own preferences. This can include things like the child remaining in the family home to avoid disrupting their lifestyle or to ensure they remain close to their school.

Child-inclusive family dispute resolution

In some cases, the best and most amicable resolution to resolving issues involving children is to communicate with the children directly. While not as common, this procedure is called child-inclusive family dispute resolution.
Child-inclusive family dispute resolution is a process where children’s voices are heard, and their views and preferences are considered in the mediation process. A trained professional meets with the child or children separately to discuss their thoughts and feelings about the dispute and shares any potential agreements that may be reached.

The child’s views are then conveyed to the parents or other parties involved in the mediation process, often through a report or summary provided by the child-inclusive family dispute resolution representative. This can ensure the children involved in the dispute feel included and supported during a difficult time and that their needs are considered. It can also help parents better understand their child’s preferences and needs, allowing for more positive and effective decision-making.

Weekend mediation for separating couples

Separation and divorce can change your life in the blink of an eye and, if not managed on your terms, can drastically impact your lifestyle and mental and emotional health. We understand that separation can add to life’s pressures. It doesn’t have to be that way. Our weekend mediation service can minimise the disruption of a separation, allowing you to focus on what really counts — your children and your financial security.

With our weekend mediation service, you can work through the mediation process on a schedule that suits you best, causing minimal disruption to your lifestyle.

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Your personal family matters are in safe hands

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers prides itself on hiring only the best and brightest family law lawyers. We understand that our clients are entrusting us with the responsibility of safeguarding their future, a duty that Principal and Managing Director Lisa Wagner does not take lightly.

For over 30 years, Lisa has used her superior understanding of family law legislation to give families the confidence they need during life’s most vulnerable moments. Her indispensable legal guidance has also given her the privilege to serve as a court-appointed independent children’s lawyer.

Seek expert legal advice with Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers

Navigating separation and divorce can feel like an uphill battle. From countless documents to fill out to lengthy conversations with your ex-partner regarding your assets, having legal assistance at your disposal is not only recommended; it’s critical. Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers is an experienced Sydney family law firm that can confidently represent you and your rights during mediation.

Our divorce mediation lawyers are highly skilled in mediation and strive to reach an amicable resolution while preserving your rights and satisfying the courts. If you would like your matter taken care of by one of our talented Sydney mediation lawyers, please get in touch with us today.

Find out how our family mediation lawyers can help you

Personalised advice with no obligation

Family Mediation Lawyers FAQs

Is it right for me?

Many couples want to avoid the slow, expensive and stressful experience of Family Court proceedings yet are unable to discuss the many difficult and often emotional issues they are facing when they separate. If this is you, then we can help.

Will it work?

Our 50 years combined experience:

  1. Streamlines information sharing and avoids duplication and delay.
  2. Improves how you communicate with your former spouse. You will begin to talk constructively with one another.
  3. Ensures that you remain “future focussed” and positive.
  4. Secures practical solutions for your family.

Our negotiated settlements stand the test of time.

Can you issue a S.60I Certificate?

Yes. Our mediation family lawyers are also nationally registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners. We recognise that sometimes, even with the best intentions, an agreement cannot be reached and a s.60I certificate is required to be issued so that you can proceed to Court.

Why choose us?

Being an accredited family mediation law specialist, we are expertly placed to secure an agreement that will suit both your interests and the Court’s requirements.