Family Dispute Resolution
Putting children first
Family Dispute Resolution - also known as mediation - helps parents to resolve disputes during a separation or divorce. Resolving issues through mediation reduces the conflict that children experience.
What is Family Dispute Resolution (FDR)?
Separation and divorce can lead to an increase in parental conflict and anger which can lead to emotional, social and behavioural problems in children.
Our FDR service is for anyone having difficulty agreeing on parenting and financial arrangements during a separation or divorce.
FDR Practitioners help parents to communicate respectfully, resolve conflicts and discuss arrangements for their children, finances and property.
Both parents attend FDR without their children. The FDR Practitioner will not take sides; they will support both parents to look at problems in an objective way.
During FDR, parents receive help to:
- focus on the needs of their children
- clarify important issues
- listen to each other
- resolve issues together
- find outcomes that are fair for everyone, especially children
What are the benefits?
Conflict during separation or divorce can be stressful and traumatic for children. FDR improves communication and reduces conflict, which gives children the best chance of having positive relationships with both parents and other family members.
Does FDR include counselling?
FDR Practitioners don’t provide counselling. Instead, they help parents to resolve specific disputes. If you need support with the emotional side of relationships, we have a Counselling service for children, adolescents and adults to identify, develop and maintain healthy family relationships.
Does FDR provide legal advice?
No, our FDR Practitioners are not practicing lawyers and do not provide legal advice. We encourage both parents to seek independent legal advice. FDR will not impose legal outcomes on you.
Does FDR involve the courts?
Generally, FDR is a service that does not involve court. However, where children's issues are being negotiated, courts will usually require people to attempt FDR before attending court. In these cases, we can provide a certificate to confirm that you have undertaken FDR with us.
FDR services are subsidised by the Commonwealth Government. A means-tested co-contribution is required from those accessing the services.
Concession cardholders, Health Care cardholders and students pay a minimum fee of $40 per session.
View the Family Dispute Resolution brochure on our Publications page.
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