Family Dispute Resolution and mediation
What we do; family separation, parenting arrangements, property, general, community and work place mediation.
Family dispute resolution (FDR) and mediation is less stressful and more economical for separating families to reach an agree on arrangements for their children and property without having to go to court. FDR is not just for separating families and is successful for mediating, community, and general and workplace disputes.
Is FDR compulsory?
If you wish to apply to a family law court for a parenting order you will need a certificate form an accredited FDR practitioner, the certificate will state you have made a genuine effort to resolve your dispute through mediation (FDR). This includes new applications and changes to existing parenting orders.
You can only apply to a family law court for a parenting order when you have a certificate from an accredited FDR practitioner which states that you have made a genuine effort to resolve your dispute through FDR. The requirement to participate in FDR applies to new applications, and applications seeking changes to an existing parenting order.
FDR, who can go?
Both parties need to be involved in the process.
If there is no objection a support person or other family member may attend
If you would like your lawyer present, this must be discussed prior to the session
Information and you rights
An FDR will talk to you about the process, your rights, our qualifications and our fees. We recommend you seek legal advice prior to attending FDR.
IHow does FDR it work?
An assessment is made first to see if FDR is suitable for you
FDR practitioners are impartial, they will help you to explore family issues and for you to both communicate positively towards one another and generate options so you can both reach a resolution.
FDR can be used to develop a parenting plan to set out arrangements for your children. The FDR practitioner will check in with both of you to make sure everyone understands what has been discussed and agreed upon.
If FDR is not working then the FDR practitioner can discuss other options which may include counseling.
Everything you say is confidential except if there is a risk of harm to yourself or someone else or if there is a crime being committed. FDR practitioners must also report child abuse or anything that may indicate a child is at risk.
Separation and disputes can be a time of high anxiety, it is important that you feel safe at all times this includes before, during and after FDR. If at any time you do not feel safe and we can stop the process or terminate the process completely.
Alternatively it may mean that parties can still proceed without being in the same room. You are not required to attend FDR if there has been family violence or child abuse.
Agreements reached at FDR?
Agreements reached on arrangements of your children, can be recorded as a parenting plan, the parenting plan must be dated and signed by both parties. Parenting plans can be renegotiated as children grow so does their needs and often renegotiation is a part of the process.
Changes to care arrangements for children can affect child support, family assistance and income support payments.
If you’re parenting plan includes specified amounts for child support the child support agency (CSA) can enforce your agreement if it is valid support agreement and either you or the other parent has asked CSA to accept it as an agreement.
Your parenting plan or financial agreement can become legally binding if you apply to the court to have your agreement made into a parenting order, You can get you lawyer to do this or do it yourself.
If you want to make your final parenting plan or financial agreement legally binding, you can apply to the court to have your agreement made into a consent order. You can do this yourself or ask your lawyer to do it for you.
If FDR doesn't work?
In cases where an agreement cannot be reached, you will need a certificate issued from an FDR practitioner, which will say;
the other party did not attend
you and the other party attended and made a genuine effort to resolve the dispute
you and the other party attended but one or both of you did not make a genuine effort to resolve the dispute
the FDR practitioner decided your case was not appropriate for FDR, or
the FDR practitioner decided it was not appropriate to continue part way through the FDR process.
You should be aware that if you do not attend FDR or make a genuine effort to attend, this can influence the timing of your court hearing. The court may also order you to pay the other party's legal costs.
To help alleviate any stress please allow at least two to three hours per session.