Solution Focused

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At a Glance

The Institute of Dispute Resolution was founded in 2012.  Previously known as Jon Graham Consulting, ISDR has been offering mediation for over 16 years.

ISDR uses two mediators for most cases.  We draw upon a pool of experienced practitioners and assign a team that is best suited to meet the needs of each case.  In most cases, a gender balanced team in used.

Our mediators come from a range of professional disciplines including law, business, HR, commerce, government and social work.

Our mediators are registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners, who are able to issue Section 60I certificates where appropriate under the Family Law Act, 1975.

Property Settlements

Separation often involves the division of bank accounts, houses, superannuation, and other assets. We apply a mediation model to assist parties to resolve their property issues and move on with their lives. Discussion of future support of children and other dependents, is also possible in the mediation process. At ISDR, we provide a safe environment for you to have a constructive conversation with a view to better understanding each other’s perspective. We then help you to collaborate or negotiate with each other in order to make decisions.

There are a couple of things that are important to know as you begin to consider the possibility of mediation with ISDR:

  1. The role of the mediators is to be neutral – We won’t take sides with either of you. We won’t make decisions for you and we won’t tell you what to do.
  2. Because the mediators are neutral, it does not matter who requests the mediation process. Both parties are treated equally.
  3. ISDR is focused on providing a process that is safe for all the parties. If you have any concerns about your safety, it is really important that you let us know.
  4. At ISDR, we are proponents of the mediation process because it offers the possibility of a cheaper and less conflictual process to the alternative of a legal process through the Family Law Courts.
  5. However, if you are unable to reach agreement in mediation, and decide to pursue a legal process, everything discussed during the mediation process is inadmissible as evidence in the family law courts.


  1. Call or email ISDR and ask to speak with a mediator
  2. One of our mediators will explain the mediation process to you and you can ask any questions you may have. If you would like to proceed with mediation, we can then discuss the best way to invite the other party (e.g. your ex-partner) to participate in mediation.

  1. Preparation for mediation
  2. Each person will need to compile the necessary documentation to enable you to negotiate a property settlement. With that in mind you will need to:

  • Identify what you each brought to the marriage (ie. What assets did you have at the start of your relationship/marriage?)
  • Identify what assets were acquired during the marriage/relationship
  • Identify what assets were acquired after separation and/or divorce
  • Determine a ‘ball park’ value for these assets (Property values, share prices, and bank balances are constantly changing. You will simply need values that are close to accurate, for the purposes of negotiation)
  1. Legal Advice
  2. The Family Law Act seeks to make a ‘fair and equitable’ distribution of marital assets based on:

  • The contributions that each person made to the acquisition of assets (including financial, non-financial and negative contributions)
  • The needs that each person will have in the future
  1. It is important to speak with a family law specialist to understand how these principles are likely to be applied by a court, in your case. In addition, it is worth asking the following questions:
  • What is the range of possible outcomes if you were to take this matter to court?
  • What is the most likely outcome?
  • How long is it likely to take to get a judgment and court orders, if you were to take this to court?
  • How much money will the entire legal process take?
  1. This information will help you to make informed decisions during the mediation
  1. Pre-mediation appointment with a mediator (1.5-2 hours)
  2. One of our mediators will meet with each of you separately. The purpose of this meeting is to clarify what your expectations are about the range of possible outcomes in the mediation and to explain in detail how the mediation works. This meeting also provides the mediators with an opportunity to assess whether or not it is a case that is suitable for mediation and it provides you with an opportunity to assess whether you are comfortable to proceed with mediation with the ISDR mediators.

  3. Preparation for joint session
  4. Both parties will be asked to provide each other with the a lists of assets and liabilities and copies of statements that confirm estimated valuations. Participation in Family Dispute Resolution (mediation) requires full and frank disclosure of all the information relevant to the situation by each person. At the start of the joint mediation session, you will be asked to sign an ‘Agreement to Participate’ which confirms your willingness to provide full and frank information.

  5. Mediation
  6. If the mediator and both parties are willing to proceed with mediation, an appointment will be made for all parties to meet together. Mediations typically take 3 hours. Sometimes all issues are resolved in the first session. Sometimes additional sessions are necessary.

  7. Agreements
  8. The mediator will type up any agreements that are made during the mediation. This document is not legally binding. The parties can make their agreement binding by:

  • Making an application to the court for consent orders (with or without the assistance of a lawyer) Or
  • Creating a Binding Financial Agreement with the assistance of lawyers.

More Information about Property Settlements

Family Dispute Resolution - Child Informed Practice - Property Settlements - Elder Mediation - Wills and Estates - Workplace  - Mediation - Conflict Coaching