About family dispute resolution

Todd is registered with the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.

What is family dispute resolution?

Family dispute resolution is a service that helps people in dispute over family law issues to reach agreement.  These issues can include disputes about property settlement and children.

What is a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner?

A family dispute resolution practitioner is accredited by the Attorney-General’s Department to assist people in dispute about family law matters.  They are able to issue certificates under section 60I of the Family Law Act.

When is FDR compulsory?

Generally speaking, if you want to go to Court about your children then you need to obtain a section 60I certificate first.

Exceptions to this general rule include the following: (i) where you are applying for consent orders, (ii) where you are responding to an application made by another person, (iii) where your matter is urgent, (iv) where there has been or is a risk of family violence or child abuse, (v) where you are unable to participate effectively (for example, due to geography or incapacity), or (vi) where a person has breached and shown a serious disregard for a court order made in the last 12 months.

Who can attend FDR?

Obviously, the parties will attend.  If you have a lawyer, you are able to bring them with you.  You can attend with a family member or support person if the other parties agree.

What happens during FDR?

Initially, an FDR practitioner will conduct a suitability assessment to determine whether your matter is suitable for FDR.

If the matter is considered suitable for FDR, an FDR event will be held.  This will be scheduled to occur over one day, and will take up to four hours.  The event will be facilitated by the FDR practitioner.  The role of the FDR practitioner is an impartial one.  Their purpose is to help people resolve their disputes by facilitating discussion of the issues in dispute and options for resolution.

Is FDR confidential?

Generally speaking, things that you say at FDR are confidential.  However, there are some exceptions to that rule which allow FDR practitioners to disclose things which have been said.  These will be disclosed during the suitability assessment.

What if FDR doesn’t work?

After FDR concerning children, FDR practitioners are able to issue a section 60I certificate.  There are different types of certificates that can be issued, depending on (i) whether or not both parties attended mediation, (ii) whether or not both parties made a genuine attempt to resolve their dispute, and (iii) whether or not mediation is appropriate in your circumstances.

More information

For further information about FDR, contact us now.