What is Family Dispute Resolution?

Supporting separating parties to respectfully negotiate parenting, property and financial issues following separation. This process is often referred to as mediation. Our specific program name for this mediation process is ‘Family Dispute Resolution’.

What is involved?

Family Dispute Resolution is a supportive and respectful process which helps separating parties reach agreements on parenting, property, financial and personal issues following separation.

The Family Dispute Resolution process is tailored to meet the requirements of those participating.
The process begins with an individual intake session where the family dispute resolution practitioner will get an understanding of you and your situation, will make an assessment as to whether Family Dispute Resolution is appropriate for you and your situation, and will prepare you for the Family Dispute Resolution sessions.

If Family Dispute Resolution is determined to suit your needs, Family Dispute Resolution sessions which normally take 2 - 3 hours may be scheduled. More than one meeting is not unusual.

If FDR is convened in a Family Relationships Centre a group information session will be offered after intake and Child Consultants may be involved where appropriate and agreed.

The agreements reached in Family Dispute Resolution are drawn up in good faith and commit you in that way. If you wish the practitioner can discuss with you how these agreements can be made legally binding.

Who Is Family Dispute Resolution For?

Any people who are separating or who have separated, including those in defacto or same sex relationships, and those with or without children. (Please note that those people without children would not be clients of a Family Relationships Centre.)

The Benefits of Family Dispute Resolution
  • The process supports good decision making that concerns your children.
  • Solutions are negotiated and self-determined.
  • The process is cost effective.
  • Sessions take place in a safe and neutral environment at mutually convenient times.
  • The service is private and confidential.
  • The process assists in skill building for problem solving and conflict management.
  • The process can encourage cooperation and can improve communication.
  • FDR provides a structure in which future disputes can be resolved more readily.
  • It is generally less stressful and expensive than Court proceedings.
  • The process is also available online or via the phone  (Telephone Dispute Resolution Service – TDRS) for those who can’t meet.