The Federation Press

The Fundamentals of Family Mediation


This book provides a clear model of mediation, an understanding of the theory of negotiation, and an analysis of separation and divorce not only as it affects family members, but also as a social and legal event.

It is designed as a mediators’ handbook and can be used by practising mediators as well as trainee mediators to solve a wide spectrum of problems.

This book provides people with hands-on advice as they enter family mediation practice as well as providing directors of training programs with a text dealing with the ’how to’.


Haynes’ landmark text The Fundamentals of Divorce Mediation has been adapted by Charlesworth for the Australian and New Zealand setting and remains a comprehensive ground plan for family law mediators. ... this text is of value to anyone interested in conflict resolution. Haynes provides the trained mediator and trainee with hands-on advice and a ’how-to’ text explaining the step-by-step activities of the mediator. Therapeutic inquiry is not pursued beyond suggestions for a referral. All details of living arrangements, parenting, assets, and finances leading to a memorandum of understanding are covered. The family violence protocols and eight appendices are particularly useful for a practitioner. ... The outstanding feature of Haynes’ approach, in this primarily technical manual, is his clarity and practicality. ... The nuts and bolts of mediation that are focused on are covered exceptionally well. ... this is a core text which offers an ideal starting point for the trainee mediator and a reference work for the practitioner. - ANZ Journal of Family Therapy, Vol 22 No 3, September 2001

The book explains the nature of mediation and how this process deals with identifying matrimonial problems and their solutions; the process addresses the care of children, division of property, budgeting and financial support. Provision is made for ascertaining background information as to assets, liabilities and income of the parties. There is advice on all matters which are likely to be in dispute in matrimonial proceedings in divorces - for example valuations, future assets, tertiary education and parties moving from one location to another. There is a useful chapter explaining the contents of a Memorandum of Understanding which sets out the decisions which have been made and which is to form the foundation of a formal agreement to be submitted to the court. There are also suggestions as to the arrangement of the furniture in a mediator’s office and the mediator’s tone of voice. The last chapter contains advice on how to build up a mediation practice. ... [The book] contains much material which will be useful to all practitioners who deal with family law matters. - Tasmanian Law Society Newsletter, November 2000

... one of those books that belongs on every mediator’s bookshelf. - Journal of Family Studies

... worthy of a place in a mediator’s library. - Australian Law Librarian

... an important contribution to the professional resolution of family disputes. - Justice Alastair Nicholson, Chief Justice, Family Court of Australia

Table of Contents

The Process of Mediation
Beginning a Mediation
Managing the Budget and Support Sessions
Dividing the Property
Future Parenting Responsibilities
Negotiating Behaviour
The Memorandum of Understanding
Building a Mediation Practice
Guide to Mediation: Arbitrators’ Institute of New Zealand
Family Court of Australia: Guidelines for Individual Intake Interview Family Violence Policy Guidelines
New Zealand: Child Support Formula
Australia: Child Support Formula
Mediator’s Heads of Agreement Letter
Example: Information Form for a Mediated Agreement
New Zealand: What Happens When Your Marriage Breaks Up
Family Mediation Service Worksheet
Annotated Bibliography

Of interest...