Overview

Who It's For

It is compulsory under Australian family law for separated parents to attempt Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) before applying to a family law court for parenting orders. There are exceptions such as where FDR will be unsafe or unsuitable. This includes where there has been violence or one or both parents are unable to participate effectively.

How We Help

FDR offers a safe and impartial space to help you make decisions in the best interest of your children, navigate property and financial mediation, establish child-focused parenting agreements and manage changing family structure dynamics.

What to Expect

Our highly trained staff will have several conversations with you individually to determine whether FDR is right for you and your family. Initial consultations sessions are usually 30 minutes, and we’ll work with you to plan a session at a time and location that suits your needs.

We can support you with:

01
Help with making decisions on matters relating to children
02
Property and financial mediation
03
Family law information and referrals
04
Providing referrals to help support children through separation
05
Post-separation workshops for parents and children
06
Domestic and family violence screening and referrals
07
Lawyer-assisted family dispute resolution
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FAQs

Once you’ve made the decision to separate, it can be confusing and overwhelming to know what to do next. We welcome you to contact Relationships Australia NSW to help guide you through this process, and put you in contact with the services that you may need. We can help you determine the approach that’s most suitable for your unique situation. We also encourage all clients to seek their own legal advice.
If you are separating and you have children, and your partner refuses or fails to participate in the FDR process, then our Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner may issue you with a 60i certificate. This then enables you to apply to the Court for parenting orders. If you are separating and do not have children, and your case involves only property or financial matters, we recommend that you seek legal advice if the other party does not wish to participate in FDR.
The first session with your FDR Practitioner is called a Pre-mediation assessment. This is an individual session between yourself and your assigned practitioner for 1.5 hours. The purpose of this session is to determine whether Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is appropriate for your situation, and whether it is likely to achieve the outcomes each party want. We’ll consider the parties involved, the issues you present, and the proposed timing of FDR.
In some cases it can be agreed by both the FDR Practitioner (mediator) and the other party for other people to be present during mediation sessions including lawyers or support persons, however, this needs to be discussed and negotiated ahead of time. Please talk to your Family Advisor or FDR Practitioner if you would like to consider these options.
After you make an enquiry about mediation, our staff will conduct a screening process. This is to find out more about you, your ex-partner, and how safe your situation is. If mediation isn’t suitable or safe for you, we can provide you with a Section 60I certificate. We can also refer you to other services that can provide you with support, such as counselling, behaviour change programs, and domestic violence support groups.
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