what is family dispute resolution

Family Dispute Resolution is also called mediation.  In Australia, the technical term is Family Disute Resolution, when it’s trying to resolve a dispute that involves separated families. It’s all about helping families resolve conflict in a way that supports all members, especially the children.

It is a process where a neutral third person (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP)/the mediator) helps a couple have discussions to hopefully bring about agreement with respect to the issues in dispute. Usually they are discussions about parenting and/or sorting out financial & property arrangements after separation.  The mediator’s role is to provide a structure and process to help the couple not only reach agreement, but to do that in a way that is kinder on a human level and, where appropriate, helps their ongoing communication as separated parents.

The mediator will provide a safe environment for what are difficult discussions, to take place, and hopefully help you reach agreement on issues in dispute.  Agreements can be made for different lengths of time.  Sometimes, especially soon after separation and/or parenting of young children, it can help to make short term arrangements to give a particular parenting schedule time to see how it goes and then make adjustments without initially being locked in to a long term arrangment. Of course longer term arrangements can be made too at mediation.

There is flexibility in the way mediations can take place, to suit your individual family circumstances.

I am a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner registered with the Attorney-General’s Department, and as such am qualified to provide Family Dispute Resolution and issue s60I certificates in parenting matters.

During the mediation process:

As your mediator, I will:

  • help you stay focussed.
  • Where there are children will help you focus on what is in their best interests.
  • help you identify the issues you wish to discuss with each other.
  • provide a structured process in which to have those discussions.
  • help you identify options and discuss them.
  • challenge you, reality test, provide referrals if required.
  • help you, if possible, reach agreement.

As  your mediator, I will not:

  • make any decisions for you.
  • tell you what to do.
  • take sides with either party.
  • provide legal advice.  You have a right to obtain legal advice before, during and after the mediation process.  We recommend you at least obtain legal advice prior to mediation.

Mediation can be utilised at many different stages during the separation process. I can help you work out when is the best time for you to mediate according to your situation.

Feel free to call me on 0409 076 040 to see how I can help, or you can send me an email via the contact page.