Mediation & Family Dispute Resolution
Prior to making an application to the Family Law Courts about a parenting matter, parents need to demonstrate that they have attempted to resolve the issues with their former partner. This process is known as Family Dispute Resolution or FDR. There are certain exceptions to the FDR requirement such as cases involving family violence, child abuse or where there is a reason for urgency.
Court may be avoided when the FDR is successful and the parents are able to resolve their parenting matters together with the help of a professional at The RelationSpace. Research has shown that agreements reached by parents about their children are significantly more likely to be with complied with than orders made by a judge.
Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners at The RelationSpace are accredited by the Federal Attorney Generals Department and meet the standards required by the Family Law Act (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners) Regulations 2008.
During the FDR process, parties isolate and discuss the issues in dispute, develop and consider options for resolution of these issues, explore the appropriateness and usefulness of these options and agree to options that are in the best interests of the child.
At the conclusion of the FDR process at The RelationSpace, a written Parenting Plan may be produced, which reflects the agreements reached by all parties. One or both parents may then decide to continue their progress with a therapist at The RelationSpace, to help achieve the goals of the Parenting Plan. They may undertake some individual, couple or family therapy. Sometimes, parents then decide to apply to the Court to formalise the Parenting Plan and make an application for a Consent Order.
The FDR practitioner at The RelationSpace can also issue section 60 I certificates to present to Court if the parenting issues have not been resolved through the FDR process. A section 60 I certificate is required under most circumstances to commence court proceedings.