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Family Dispute Resolution
What you need to know

The Australian family law system encourages parents to develop cooperative parenting solutions without going to Court. Family dispute resolution (“FDR”) is a practical way for separating families to try to resolve any disagreements and make arrangements for the future. In an FDR conference, parents may discuss where the child lives, changeover locations as well as what time the child will spend with each parent on special days and holidays.

The Family Law Act 1975 (the Act) requires you to obtain a certificate from a registered family dispute resolution practitioner before you file an application in the Court for a parenting order under Part VII of the Act. Part VII of the Act covers a number of different types of orders relating to children. 

The certificate will set out one of the following:

  •  The other party did not attend
  • You and the other party attended and made a genuine effort to resolve the dispute
  • You and the other party attended but one or both of you did not make a genuine effort to resolve the dispute, or
  • The family dispute resolution practitioner decided that your case was not appropriate for family dispute resolution. 

If your application is a new application for a parenting order, then you must provide a certificate with your application to the Court unless there is an exemption such as risk of child abuse or family violence etc. 

If you or a family member requires further information about the compulsory FDR process, one of our family lawyers will be more than happy to assist.


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Family Dispute Resolution<br>What you need to know