Who It's For

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is available to all separating or separated couples. We help you come to an agreement about how to divide up your shared property, finances and assets. If you have children, we can also help you negotiate future care and parenting arrangements, and manage changing family dynamics through this challenging time.

How We Help

Avoid costly legal battles in court, and secure a more positive future for your family. With 75 years of experience helping families going through difficult times, we can help you find peace of mind when the stakes are at their highest.

What to Expect

Our trained and trusted mediators stay neutral, and treat all parties involved with respect. We offer a safe and impartial space to help you make decisions for the future. We offer flexible hourly pricing to suit all income levels, and generally resolve disputes faster than those taking the legal route.

What is Family Dispute Resolution? 

Family Dispute Resolution is a practical way for separating or separated partners to resolve disagreements, and make arrangements for the future. During your sessions, an independent and impartial accredited mediator will help you find an agreed outcome between you and the other person.

You'll jointly work through decisions in relation to your children, finances and property.

Read our comprehensive guide to FDR here >>

We can support you with:

Help with making decisions on matters relating to your children
Dividing up shared and individual property, assets and finances
Family law information and referrals
Providing referrals to help support children through separation
Post-separation workshops for parents and children
Domestic and family violence screening and referrals
Lawyer-assisted family dispute resolution
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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.
If you have any feedback or would like to make a complaint about our Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) and Mediation service, we encourage you to speak directly with your practitioner in the first instance.

If they’re unable to resolve your concerns or you don’t feel comfortable raising the issue with them, they can refer you to a team leader. They’ll manage your complaint internally via the process outlined in the information pack you received from your Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner when you first engaged with the service.

If we’re unable to resolve your complaint internally, or if you prefer, you can use the Australian Attorney-General’s Department complaints process. To make a complaint with the Attorney-General’s Department, please use the channels below:

Email: flscomplaints@ag.gov.au
Phone: 02 6141 6666
Family Law Services Section
Attorney-General’s Department
Robert Garran Offices
3–5 National Circuit
Barton ACT 2600

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Relationships Australia NSW will be closed from Saturday 23 December 2023 until Tuesday 2 January 2024.  

Click here for more information. 

If you are in crisis, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Relationships Australia NSW will be closed from Saturday 23 December 2023 until Tuesday 2 January 2024.  

This closure includes all local centres, head office and our customer care team. For any enquiries during this period, please email enquiries@ransw.org.au and a member of our team will be in touch as soon as we reopen.

Click here for more information. 
If you are in crisis, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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