Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a type of Mediation that assists separating families come to their own agreements.
FDR involves a conference with all the parties to a dispute and a neutral third party, known as the Family Dispute Resolution practitioner (or a Mediator). The conference aims to avoid the dispute from going to court, as this can be a long, expensive and stressful process and encourages discussion about the issues in the matter and different options that can be taken whilst focusing on the needs of the children.
FDR is compulsory under Australian family law legislation and requires families or separated parents to attend FDR before applying for parenting orders in Court, as it is a practical and low cost way to creating a parenting plan.
There are some exceptions to this requirement, such as:
- urgent matters;
- where family violence or child abuse is a factor;
- when formalising an agreement through 'consent orders'; and
- if a person is unable to participate effectively.
If FDR is successful, the agreement can be recorded as a parenting plan which is in writing, dated and signed by both parents. The agreement can be enforced through 'Consent Orders' via the Court.
If FDR is unsuccessful, the Mediator can issue a 'Section 60I certificate', to allow an application to be made to the Court.
The certificate can only be made by an accredited Family Dispute Resolution practitioner and will state one of the following reasons as to why FDR was innapropriate or unsuccessful:
- The individual did not attend;
- You and the other individual attended and made a genuine effort to
resolve the dispute;
- You and the other individual attended but did not made a genuine
effort to resolve the dispute;
- The practitioner decided that FDR was not appropriate to continue
part way through; or
- The practitioner decided the matter was not appropriate for FDR in
Call us on (03) 9086 8666 to arrange a phone conference or Skype call to discuss your family matter and how FDR can assist.