Family Dispute Resolution is a form of mediation that helps separating families reach their own agreements.
The main goal of Family Dispute Resolution is to help participants to make a parenting plan that sets out agreed future parenting arrangements. It's a practical and low cost way for separating families to obtain professional help to agree their future parenting arrangements.
During the process, participants discuss disputed issues. They consider different options, and are encouraged to focus on the needs of their children.
It's compulsory under Australian Family Law for separated parents to attempt Family Dispute Resolution before they apply to a Family Court for a parenting order unless there are issues of family violence and child abuse or there are urgent issues.
It’s important that participants feel safe before and during mediation. If a participant has concerns about their safety or the safety of their child/ren it may not be appropriate for mediation to proceed.
Everything that is said in mediation is confidential and cannot be used as evidence in Court.
A mediation practitioner must report child abuse or anything that indicates a child is at risk or other crimes.
If agreement is reached at mediation it can be recorded as an agreement or as a Consent Order of the Court.