Everything You Need To Know About Family Dispute Resolution (FDR)

What is FDR?

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a practical way for you to resolve issues without the stress and extra expense of going to Court.

FDR is mediation attended by you and the other party. If you are legally represented, your solicitor is encouraged to attend with you however this is not a requirement. FDR can take place in person (in the same room or separate rooms), by telephone or by other electronic means such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

If an agreement is reached, you, or your solicitor if you are legally represented, can draft a Parenting Plan or Minutes of Consent for filing in the Court.

When is FDR Compulsory?

If you want to apply to the Court for a parenting order, in most cases you will need a certificate from a Registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner confirming that an attempt at FDR was made.

There are some exceptions including cases involving family violence and child abuse and where orders are made by consent.

What is the FDR practitioner’s role?

The role of the FDR practitioner is to assist parties to resolve their parenting and/or property settlement issues through a process of discussion, identification of the issues, negotiation and option generation.

The FDR practitioner does not make decisions or judgments or provide legal advice or counselling.

Is FDR Confidential?

Anything said or done during the FDR mediation is confidential and cannot be used in Court or disclosed unless both parties consent, with the exception of the following:

  1. To protect a child from harm;
  2. To protect a person from a threat;
  3. To prevent damage to property; and/or
  4. To comply with Commonwealth or State legislation.

What if our situation is not resolved?

The vast majority of matters are resolved through the dispute resolution process. If your matter is not resolved and involves parenting issues, we are able to issue a certificate stating one of the following:

  1. One of the parties did not attend;
  2. You and the other party attended but one or both of you did not make a genuine effort to resolve the dispute;
  3. You and the other party attended and made a genuine effort to resolve the dispute;
  4. Your case was not appropriate for FDR.

What happens if I don’t attend or try to resolve the dispute?

If FDR is required in your case and you do not attend or you do not make a genuine effort a certificate will issue to this effect. The other party can use that certificate and apply to the Court for parenting orders.

The Court may consider this in deciding costs and may order you to pay some or all of the other party’s legal costs.

The Court may order you and the other party to attend family dispute resolution.

Our Mediation Services

Judy Stewart of our office has facilitated mediations since 1995 and conducts parenting and property mediations. Our friendly staff can assist with arranging mediation and inviting the other party to attend. We offer dedicated mediation rooms at no extra cost and we have an online calendar to assist you to select a convenient date for mediation.

Judy is a recommended Leading Family Law Mediator on the Doyle’s list. Judy is a Registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner able to provide certificates required under the Family Law Act to commence Court proceedings for parenting disputes. Contact us today for expert family law mediation services in Brisbane.

Contact us to arrange Family Dispute Resolution today.

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Judy Stewart

Judy Stewart

Accredited Family Law Specialist