(02) 9261 3122

Life's Series of Changes

There is a myriad of ways in which you and your partner can try to resolve a family law dispute. They can range from simply discussing matters together to attending round table conferences with your lawyers, mediation, family dispute resolution, negotiations via correspondence or using a Collaborative Practice approach. Ultimately if you are unable to resolve your dispute, your issues may need to be determined by a Court, or through Arbitration.

Before engaging in any form of dispute resolution, it is important to firstly obtain legal advice as to your rights, entitlements and obligations.

ATW Family Law can provide you with advice regarding your family law issues, inform you as to the various dispute resolution methodologies available and refer you to the most appropriate services to assist you in resolving your dispute.

Click HERE for a summary of the differences between the various dispute resolution methodologies.

Family Dispute Resolution

Gabrielle Gathercole is our Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner at ATW Family Law, which means that she is qualified and registered with the Attorney General’s Department as required by the Family Law Act and can issue a s.60I Certificate in parenting mediations if a resolution is not reached. The issuing of a s.60I Certificate means that a parent can then commence Court proceedings in relation to a parenting matter.

As a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, Gabrielle can conduct mediations in parenting, child support and property settlement matters.  Gabrielle conducts mediations with the parties alone, with parties and their solicitors and sometimes with the inclusion of other family members.

As part of the process, Gabrielle will have an intake session with each of the parties separately, which will usually last about one hour.   This provides the parties with an opportunity to express their needs and concerns about the issues that they wish to discuss in a confidential setting.  A joint session is then arranged, which can be for half a day (3 hours) or a whole day (6 hours). Gabrielle takes a tailored approached to each mediation, depending on the particular issues for the family involved.

A joint session may take place in a number of ways, including face to face or as a shuttle mediation where the parties are at the same location but not in the room together, or even over the phone or by other electronic means. The most appropriate format is decided upon after the intake sessions, when the issues of both parties have been discussed with Gabrielle, including any family violence issues.

There are a number of things for you to consider in any parenting or financial mediation.
See FDRP Mediation Parenting & Property Brochure.


Mediation is one of several alternate dispute resolution processes. Mediation is a really effective process as it is flexible and addresses the respective needs of each of the parties.

In Mediation:-

Mediations can be tailored to not only the parties’ particular issues, but also their circumstances:-

All of the practitioners at ATW Family Law are experienced in attending mediations with their clients. Sue Abrams, Jane Saltoon, Gabrielle Gathercole and Alex Namisnyk are Nationally Accredited Mediators.

Collaborative Practice

In Collaborative Practice, you, your partner and both of your lawyers formally agree to stay out of the court system and negotiate a settlement through a series of meetings assisted by a mental health professional, a financial planner and any other experts who might be needed to assist in the resolution of your dispute.

In the Collaborative process, you and your partner control the result, the timing and the costs.

The Collaborative process is private and confidential.

The process facilitates the creation of a broader range of settlement options than would be available in court, thus enabling us to help you achieve an outcome catering to your particular circumstances and needs.

The lawyers and any other experts who may be involved work with you both to reach a settlement, without going to court.

At ATW Family Law, all of our practitioners are trained in Interdisciplinary Collaborative Practice and are highly experienced in this process.


Litigation & Arbitration


Whilst ATW Family Law strongly promote the resolution of disputes by using a variety of dispute resolution methodologies, we recognise that sometimes the commencement of Court proceedings is the only option.

All of the practitioners at ATW Family Law are experienced litigators and have appeared in numerous Courts, but particularly the Federal Circuit Court, the Family Court, the District Court and the Supreme Court.

ATW Family Law can act for you in any family law Court proceedings including parenting, property, child support (in certain circumstances) and spousal maintenance.

Even though Court proceedings are commenced, this does not commit you to proceeding to a final trial. Settlement options are explored throughout the Court process and parties can settle at any time.


Arbitration is a private process whereby the parties jointly appoint and pay for their own Arbitrator (ie Judge) to determine the dispute between them and that Arbitrator’s decision is final.

Appointing an Arbitrator to determine a dispute means that the parties do not have to await a listing for a final Court hearing, thus saving considerably in the time that they would otherwise have to wait for a final resolution.

When an Agreement is reached

If you and your partner resolve your issues by agreement, ATW Family Law can draft the necessary settlement documents for you, which might include:-

ATW Family Law also provide ancillary services to ensure that the whole of your settlement can be implemented without you having to engage alternate legal representation – we can act on your behalf in relation to

Our Services

Speak To A Family Lawyer
Speak To A Family Lawyer

Speak To A Family Lawyer Today

Our Family Resources

Child Support

Child Support is generally determined under the Child Support (Assessment) Act through the Department of Human Services (Child Support) (“the DHS”) rather than the Family Court.  In order to determine the amount of child support

ATW Family Law Policies

At ATW Family Law we are committed to our client’s concerns and needs from start to finish. We are obliged to remain diligent to any possible conflict of interest that may arise in any matter