The Purpose of the Intake Interview

March 2023 - blog post

In Australia, mediation is a more and more common alternative to traditional court proceedings for resolving family law problems. A crucial step in the mediation process is the intake interview, which enables mediators to determine whether mediation is a good option for the couple who are presenting. Also, by conducting these interviews, professionals have the chance to get to know both clients, hear their opinions, and help them find a solution. But in some cases, including domestic abuse, mediation may not be the best course of action. The function of intake interviews in Australian family law mediation will be covered in this article.


Intake interviews were primarily designed for the practitioner to be able to assess if mediation was suitable for the presenting couple. Mediation is unsuitable where there is a possible risk of harm to either client or the practitioner; this is most evident in cases where dome.  Practitioners will make their own assessment as to whether the situation is manageable or not and this depends very much on the confidence and skill level of the practitioner. However, for me, the intake interview is also an opportunity to develop a relationship with both clients. To hear both sides of the dispute, to hear where the issues are and in many cases, to hear where the common ground or possible solutions lay.  So the intake interview is also an opportunity to listen to the client and hear what they think and feel without judgment. The interesting thing is, that being heard and acknowledged, can go a long way to helping clients find a way through their own emotions and to focus on their children’s needs and get on with their lives.


Intake interviews are very important in Australian family law mediation. They provide professionals a chance to determine whether mediation is a good option for the couple presenting, and they assist them in forming a bond with both clients. Practitioners can help to promote a path to resolution that puts the welfare of all persons involved first by fostering a safe and non-judgmental environment. Although there are some situations in which mediation may not be appropriate, for many couples, it may be a very successful means to settle family law conflicts.




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