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In addition to being a family law solicitor and NSW Law Society Accredited Specialist in Family Law, Ashley Stevens is a nationally accredited mediator, and a member of the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators (AIFLAM).


Ashley can assist parties to mediate all aspects of family law matters, including property settlement and parenting mediations.

Mediation is a process whereby parties (with or without the assistance of their own independent solicitors) attempt to negotiate an amicable resolution of their family law matter, with the assistance of an independent, impartial, qualified mediator.

Benefits of mediation

There are many benefits to mediation, including:

  • Obtaining a date for mediation is much quicker than waiting for a Court hearing date
  • Mediation is private, whereas Court proceedings are public and open
  • Mediations are generally much cheaper than Court proceedings
  • Mediation can take place at a time and venue/location suitable to you
  • Mediation is generally a lot less stressful, formal and uncomfortable when compared with formal, adversarial Court proceedings
  • You retain control over the outcome, rather than putting the decision in the hands of a Judge who does not know you, your family, or your children
    • In parenting matters this means you can structure your agreement and arrangements around your individual children and your individual circumstances and make arrangements that best suit everyone
    • In property matters this means you have control over who retains what assets, in what proportion, what assets are sold, transferred or retained, rather than control being in the hands of someone else
  • You can choose your mediator rather than having a Judge allocated to you without any opportunity to choose or change
  • An agreement reached by consent, amicably, is often much more successfully implemented than an outcome imposed on you by a Court
  • An amicable agreement usually leads to a much better ongoing co-parenting relationship in parenting matters, which is to the benefit of everyone involved and especially your children

Family Law Mediations can involve discussing:

  1. property settlement (the division of assets, liabilities and superannuation),
  2. parenting arrangements, or
  3. both property settlement and parenting arrangements.
Ashley Stevens

The format of mediation is flexible. Parties can choose whether mediation proceeds by way of shuttle mediation (parties remain in separate rooms), or all together, or sometimes a combination of both as needed.

Mediation can occur at our office, at your solicitor's office (location dependent), or by Zoom. There is no room hire fee to mediate at our Newcastle office, and shuttle mediations can be accommodated.

As mediator, Ashley is independent and impartial, and assists parties to have their say, share their points of view, raise issues of importance to them, and helps parties to reach an amicable agreement.

Ashley has an empathetic but professional approach, designed to make mediation as comfortable as possible for all parties involved. Being a family law solicitor and Independent Children's Lawyer, Ashley understands the legal issues surrounding your family law mediation which can assist with the process.

Ashley will not impose an outcome at the end of the day. It is entirely up to the parties to reach an agreement that they are satisfied with. If solicitors are present, parties can obtain independent legal advice as they go, and solicitors can draft up legally binding documents to record the agreement.

Generally, support persons cannot attend mediation unless all parties to the mediation agree in advance.

Child Inclusive Mediation

Child Inclusive Mediation is gaining popularity, and is an extremely effective way to mediate parenting matters.

Generally, the process involves a Child Consultant who will interview your child or children in a relaxed and child friendly setting, prior to the mediation. A Child Consultant has qualifications and experience in interviewing and speaking with children, and is trained to make the process as comfortable for your children as possible.

After meeting with your child or children, the Child Consultant then attends the beginning part of the mediation, and represents the voice of your child/ren. Your children do not attend the mediation. The Child Consultant shares feedback from your children that they have given permission to be shared. This assists all parties involved to keep the best interests of the children at the forefront of mind, which helps in reaching child-focussed outcomes.

Ashley Stevens is a strong supporter of, and is happy to act as mediator in, child inclusive mediations. Ashley can suggest a Child Consultant if you require, or is happy to work with a Child Consultant nominated by the parties.

Not all matters are suitable for mediation. If you have a solicitor, you should discuss the appropriateness of mediation for your matter with your solicitor. If you don't have a solicitor, please contact our office to discuss whether mediation is suitable for your matter.

How to get started?

Please telephone our office to obtain details of available dates and fees. Alternatively, please click this link to access our calendar to see availability and request a tentative booking.

Click this link to open our Mediation Booking Request Form. Please complete this form and submit it to admin@stevensfamilylaw.com.au and we will contact you to confirm a date and the mediation details.

Law Council of Australia Family Law Section
The Law Society of NSW
Independent Children's Lawyers
Accredited Specialist Family Law
Hunter Valley Family Law Practitioners Association