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Mediation: Guided Separation

The type of mediation we offer is called Guided Separation. Guided Separation lets you and your partner stay in control of your separation. It’s where you work together to reach a separation agreement that is fair for your situation. You have the support of an impartial legally qualified mediator called a Guide. They facilitate difficult conversations and guide you on the law.

Guided Separation works best when there is

  • sufficient goodwill between you
  • open and honest sharing of all financial information
  • a mutual desire to achieve a fair and equitable outcome
  • a focus on your children’s best interests.

How is Guided Separation different to other mediation?

Guided Separation is a form of evaluative mediation with a unique approach that delivers cost-effective and timely agreements. It’s different to standard private mediation or one you might receive through Relationships Australia. The Guides in our Network are practising legally-qualified Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners.

They have the qualifications and experience to answer questions from both parties with an impartial perspective and to manage difficult conversations. The focus is on designing fair agreements rather than settling old scores or litigating past disputes.

This means you don’t need to work with a private mediator AND separate lawyers in the first stage of trying to reach an agreement stage. This is proven to save you time, money and stress, and reduces the chances your matter will escalate.

Is Guided Separation right for you?

Complete the 3-minute Q&A to discover which pathway is suitable for your situation.

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How does Guided Separation work?

Guided Separation works by creating a straightforward process, supporting you both to reach agreement.

  1. You answer a questionnaire provided by the Separation Guide called Getting on the Same Page. Your answers help your Guide to create a ‘discussion draft agreement’ within 7 days. The discussion draft serves as the agenda for your first meetings.
  2. You’ll receive the discussion draft with an email to diarise the first discussions, which you can have together or separately depending on your preference.
  3. In your mediation, your Guide will discuss with you:
    • what you both need to reach agreement
    • the differences in these needs and how they may be met
    • what your children need
    • the range of fair outcomes a court may decide
    • your timetable for reaching agreement
    • how child support works and what you need to do
    • how a parenting plan works and what you need to do
    • how to make this agreement a legally binding document.
  4. You complete the Guided Separation process with a holistic Separation Agreement covering everything you need to move on.
  5. Your final step is to have the agreement converted into a legally binding document.

Guided Separation mediation is adapted to suit you both. You choose the way meetings are held, when they are held and by what date you wish to reach agreement. You stay in control of the process and the ultimate agreement, with a Guide to help you along the way.

How does Guided Separation compare to the typical separation process?

How much does Guided Separation cost?

The legally qualified mediators in the Separation Guide Network charge $350 plus GST per couple per hour. There’s also a $900 plus GST per person fee charged by The Separation Guide for onboarding, documentation and ongoing Separation Support.  Most simple matters cost around $3000 plus GST per person, and mediations are usually completed within 10-12 weeks. Your Guide will advise you in your first meeting if your case is particularly complex – for example if you have a complex asset pool.

Guided Separation includes:

  • a free initial consultation
  • evaluative mediation sessions with a legally-qualified Mediator
  • Getting on the Same Page tables, which form the basis of your negotiation
  • support and legal advice throughout the mediation to guide you to a fair outcome
  • your Heads of Agreement document ready to be converted into legally binding instruments
  • access to templates and tailored content to keep you informed
  • connection to other professionals who can support all aspects of your separation
  • ongoing Separation Support sessions with your Separation Consultant.

Guided Separation does not include your consent order applications or binding financial agreements. These are the legal instruments that render your agreement legally binding. We connect you both with independent lawyers to draft your agreement into legally binding documents and to provide independent advice in relation to your agreement.

Why use lawyers in The Separation Guide Network to complete the orders?

Lawyers in our Network work collaboratively to document your backend orders. That means they work together with you, your Mediator and your partner’s lawyer to finalise the documentation phase and lodge your application to the Court.

Their pricing is aligned with standard industry fees and they have signed our Ethical Charter with a focus on Court as a last resort.

You can have confidence that they understand the Guided Separation approach and provide their independent opinion on fairness without the risk of untangling the agreement you have made.

Would you like to talk about Guided Separation?

Book a 15-minute chat with a Separation Consultant to talk through your situation.
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What people are saying about Guided Separation

“Non-judgemental, professional, compassionate and I felt like we would be able to settle without too much drama because of the knowledge and experience of the mediator.”

Troy, QLD

“It’s been a far easier process than what was anticipated and truly, it’s a credit. to people like yourself and Jack in knowing how sensitive the whole process can be. Being given clear and succinct direction in such practical matters has made a big difference to the process.”

Alice, NSW

“Thank you so much for all of your help during this process. The Separation Guide and your guided mediation suited our needs perfectly and we really appreciate your patience and expertise through what could have been a far more trying time.”

Cara, VIC

“The Separation Guide has been wonderful in explaining what seemed like a daunting process and helped us get to a fair and equitable outcome.”

Shane, NSW