Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a process whereby people who are in conflict are supported through structured communication with a Family Dispute Resolution practitioner to try and reach an agreement regarding issues arising from their separation. It provides a platform for separated parties to discuss with each other important issues and how they wish to move forward and make decisions that will resolve the dispute.

Family Dispute Resolution – Know the process.

Family Dispute Resolution is a part of the pre-action procedures required to be complied with prior to commencing a parenting matter in the Family Court. 

There are exceptions, but in the majority of matters, parties must undertake Family Dispute Resolution prior to filing an Application for Parenting Orders with the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court.

Family Dispute Resolution

Step One

FDR Counselling is the first step that must be undertaken before any proceedings are commenced in a parenting matter.

Both parents are required to attend counselling with a qualified FDR practitioner. This provides the opportunity to attempt to resolve the dispute before making an Initiating Application to the Court. If there are complicating factors such as family violence, child abuse or urgency factors, the matter may be exempted from FDR. In that case, an Initiating Application may seek an exemption from the normal pre-action procedure.

Evans Brandon Family Lawyers have a purpose-built mediation centre on the Gold Coast and can help you participate in FDR. The counsellor will guide you through the process and develop acceptable solutions that may lead to mutually satisfactory agreements. If you successfully navigate the issues it may result in a Parenting Plan or Parenting Order.

The Resolution process involves:

    • Identifying the issues that need to be resolved
    • Both parties listening to each other without interruption
    • Each party presenting relevant information regarding any issues of conflict
    • Exploring ideas and options to resolve conflict
    • Testing the possible solutions 
    • Putting decisions and agreements in writing 

Step Two

If the matter remains unresolved after participating in Family Dispute Resolution, you will be issued with a Section 601 Certificate. This Certificate is filed with your Initiating Application in respect to parenting matters filed with the Court.

The Family Court of Australia has published a brochure explaining the FDR process. Click the link below to read the brochure. 

If you need assistance with the FDR process, please call us on 07 5574 1888.


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