Family Dispute Resolution and Separation (FDR)
Separation and divorce is an emotionally taxing period in the life of a family and while this is a difficult time it does not need to be acrimonious.
Due to recognition that more needs to be done to assist separating couples from dragging parenting matters through the court and in many cases being detrimental to the family unit, compulsory Family Dispute Resolution was introduced.
In 2006 the Government rolled out various Family Relationship Centres around Australia. These centres provide mediation services to separating couples to assist parties to reach an agreement regarding parenting matters. Not only does this provide a more facilitative approach, it also allows parties the ability to shape their outcomes.
When attending a Family Relationship Centre a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner will assess whether mediation is suitable at a separate intake process. If there are issues of domestic violence this service may be deemed unsuitable.
Upon attending the mediation process each party is given the opportunity to voice concerns, needs and put forward possible solutions. These solutions can then be made into parenting plans or legal documents.
The Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) will then be required to issue a 60I certificate stating whether or not the parties have made a genuine effort to reach an agreement. The court will place great emphasis on whether or not a genuine effort has been made by the parties to make arrangements for minor children.
Family Dispute Resolution plays an important role in the community and provides parties with a forum to make plans for their children as opposed to a Court making decisions regarding arrangements for children.
You can find your local Family Relationship Centre or contact a centre for more information at www.familyrelationships.gov.au