Mediate First


Why negotiate rather than mediate?

Mediation is not an option in every Family Law situation – you may consider it to be a worthwhile idea but your former partner may not. For mediation to have a chance of success both you and your partner should want to attend a mediation conference and want it to succeed.

If mediation is not a viable alternative for you but you believe a Family Law financial settlement can be reached by negotiation, either directly with your former partner or with their lawyer, MediateFirst can provide you with legal representation to negotiate on your behalf in an endeavour to reach a settlement.

A negotiated property settlement can be a far more acceptable and cost effective method of resolving financial issues arising from the breakdown of personal relationships than incurring the stress, time and frequently disproportionate expense of a Court ordered division.

What are the benefits of using MediateFirst for property settlement negotiations?

Kim Henderson blends his considerable Family Law experience with pragmatism and a desire to reach a practical resolution for all his clients. His skills promote and support co-operation and a non-confrontational approach to Family Law issues.
The result is a negotiating technique that looks for solutions rather than problems and that aims to arrive at appropriate settlements without laying blame or intimidating former partners. Kim has an awareness of the need to avoid causing irreparable damage in family situations where the parties to the relationship will need to have ongoing future contact.
Kim encourages his clients to be honest, open and transparent. His negotiating methods are designed to promote agreement rather than to inflame what can already be a tense and stressful situation.

What if my former partner issues a Family Law application?

The unique MediateFirst model and philosophy are based on providing non-litigious options and solutions.
In order to maintain the integrity of our approach, we have chosen not to engage in or offer litigation services.
Accordingly if your former partner has already issued Family Law proceedings or chooses to do so during the course of negotiations Kim will be unable to represent you or continue to act on your behalf.
If you have retained MediateFirst to represent you prior to proceedings being commenced you can request a referral to a suitable family lawyer in the event that a Court application is issued.

What is Collaborative Law and how does it work?

For Collaborative Law to work both you and your former partner would each usually need to engage a collaboratively trained family lawyer.
Each lawyer would undertake to endeavour to reach a settlement on their client’s behalf through negotiation and without resorting to litigation.
If a negotiated settlement is ultimately unable to be achieved both lawyers would discontinue representation.

You and your former partner would then each be referred to family lawyers prepared to issue or respond to Court proceedings and to provide ongoing representation in a litigation environment.
Kim has undertaken Collaborative Law training to widen the range of negotiation options available to his clients.


Fees for legal representation in relation to Family Law advice, negotiation and collaborative law representation are charged at the rate of $330 (inc GST) per hour.
Payment is required within 14 days by cheque, EFT or direct deposit