Use of, and Attitudes to, Mediation Services Among Divorcing and Separating Couples

This study was carried out against the background of the Federal Attorney-General's Department White Paper, Delivery of Primary Dispute Resolution Services in Family Law. The White Paper states that the Government is considering a greater community sector focus in the provision of federally funded primary dispute resolution services, in an effort to improve effectiveness.

Against that backdrop, this study:

  • Explored the sources of assistance divorcing and separating couple use, and assessed their relative importance;
  • Looked at how they arrived at their settlements and their satisfaction with those settlements;
  • Gauged their awareness of, and attitudes towards, mediation services.

The fieldwork for the study was carried out in May and June 1998.

The report shows that people who were not aware of mediation services at the time of their separation or divorce felt they might have been better off - in terms of cost, fairness of outcomes and access to information - if they had used family and child mediation to resolve their issues.

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