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Have a question?
Below you’ll find frequently asked questions, if you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to contact us
Do I need Family Dispute Resolution?
Family Dispute Resolution is a mediation service available to families when they would like support to discuss parenting and property arrangements.
This can be because parties have attempted to resolve their disputes and have been unsuccessful or if they simply wish to formalise their agreements further.
Is Family Dispute Resolution compulsory?
For parenting and child-related matters under the Family Law Act 1975, Family Dispute Resolution is a mandatory pre-filing step in approaching the Family Court.
This means that prior to asking the Family Court with assistance to resolve disputes, families must first attempt to do so in FDR or meet an exemption.
Attending this service is voluntary, however, in order to provide a pathway to resolve disputes with the help of the Family Court, practitioners may issue Certificates as per the above requirement.
What if I am invited and do not wish to participate?
If you have been invited by our service to participate as a result of another party engaging first and you do not wish to participate, you do not have to. Participation with this service is voluntary.
As we are unable to complete the service, the initiating party may be offered a Certificate to attend the Family Court to allow an alternate pathway to have the conflict resolved.
If you believe that you should not be required to attend or that you may meet an exemption from attending, we recommend seeking legal advice.
Please be aware that we are unable to provide both parties with a Certificate unless both parties are willing to engage with the service.
I am not sure why the other party has initiated this service. Can you tell me what they want to discuss?
Unfortunately, no. We are required under the Family Law (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners) Regulations 2008 to maintain a strict level of confidentiality, meaning we are unable to disclose information between parties without permission.
Equally, if you choose to participate, we do not advise the other party of information disclosed to us or what it is you wish to discuss.
The opportunity to hear what each party wishes to discuss is provided during a mediation session if appropriate.
If we complete an assessment, are we guaranteed mediation?
No. Mediators and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners are required by law to assess suitability for mediation in all cases prior to providing the service.
If at any stage in the process your practitioner deems the service not appropriate, they are required to end the service and provide each party with a Certificate.
Neither party is provided with a reason for this decision due to our strict confidentiality requirements. This decision is unable to be overturned.
Is our agreement legally binding?
No. Agreements reached in mediation are not legally binding but are goodwill agreements that reflect your agreed path forward.
Steps can be taken outside of the mediation process to formalise your agreements by completing an application for Consent Orders through the Family Court.
Consent Orders can be sought for parenting or property matters. Your practitioner is unable to assist parties with this due to the legal nature of the document and we recommend seeking legal advice prior to application.
What if I am unable to pay the fees?
If you require the service but are unable to meet the fee obligation, please consider the below:
If someone has engaged with our service, we are unable to end the service based on the fee structure without providing an alternate pathway, so we encourage anyone engaging with our service to ensure that both parties are able to meet the fee obligations.