We can undertake Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) on your instructions or assist you in applying for an exception to the requirement to attend FDR as part of pre-court action procedures, for example, if there has been family violence or the matter is urgent.
Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a process in which an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) in a safe and controlled environment helps the parties to resolve their disputes. These disputes might include who the children will live with, who they will spend time with, and what to do about your shared property. FDR can help separating or separated couples or interested parties to reach an agreement without having to go to Court.
If you are intending to ask the Court for parenting orders, or to make changes to current parenting orders, you will be required (except in very limited circumstances) to attend FDR and obtain an FDR Section 60I Certificate before being able to commence Court proceedings.
There is no requirement for you to attend FDR if you only want to resolve property or financial issues. However, FDR can be a useful process to help resolve these sorts of disputes.
An FDRP is a mediator who has undertaken special training and is nationally accredited by the Attorney General’s Department to satisfy certain legislative requirements and standards. An FDRP is independent of all the parties involved.
The Family Law Act 1975 requires most separated parents to attempt FDR. However, if both parties make a ‘genuine effort’ during mediation and it is not possible to reach agreement, we can provide you with a Section 60I certificate, that will enable you to take the matter to court.
During the mediation process, FDRPs help parents to discuss parenting issues, identify options and work out parenting and property agreements that are in the best interests of the children. A well conducted mediation often takes several hours and is not something that should be rushed.
Post Separation Parenting
When parents separate or divorce, they want to make decisions about parenting arrangements in their children’s best interests. However, they do not always agree about what is in the best interests of their children. Our FDR and mediation division provides a safe and controlled environment for parties to have a constructive conversation that enables them to better understand each other’s perspective.
Principles of Mediation
There are some important facts that are worthwhile knowing as you begin to consider the possibility of mediation:
- Mediation is future focused, and future focused and child focused in parenting matters.
- The role of the mediator is to be neutral – mediators do not take sides with either party. We won’t make decisions for you and won’t tell you what to do.
- Because mediators are neutral, it does not matter who requests the mediation process. Both parties are treated equally and are able to raise topics for discussion prior to and during the mediation.
- We are focused on providing a process that is safe for each party. If you have any concerns about your safety, it is really important that you let us know as appropriate arrangements can be made for you.
- We are proponents of the mediation process because it offers the possibility of a much less expensive and less conflictual process to the alternative of a legal process through the Family Law Courts. It is also healing.
- It may take more than a single session of mediation to pave the way forward for you.
- And, if you are unable to reach agreement in mediation, and decide to pursue the legal process, typically everything discussed during the mediation process is inadmissible as evidence in the family law courts.
- The Family Law Act 1975 requires most separated parents to attempt FDR. However, if both parties make a ‘genuine effort’ during mediation and it is not possible to reach agreement, we can provide you with a Section 60I certificate, that will enable you to take the matter to court.