FDR is the legal term for mediation when couples are affected by separation and divorce to talk about and address family disputes. FDR exists to help both parents agree on important issues, primarily involving the children but also property and money and any other issues that may be affecting the family at this time.
The FDR process involves two steps. Firstly, a confidential and private meeting with the FDR practitioner to discuss the current issues at separate times for both parents. This is normally for an hour and half. The second step is the FDR mediation where both parents meet with the practitioner to discuss the issues and consider options that they feel are in the best interests of their children. The practitioner does not take sides with either parent but is there to assist and help to explore family issues, look at options and work out how you may reach agreements together in an objective and positive way. This joint session is normally for three hours.
Any agreements that are reached will be written up as a Parenting Plan that you may take a way with you on the day. Parents are able to formalise this Plan if they wish at a later date, either as a Parenting Agreement or Consent Orders. In some instances, no agreements are made but it is hoped that at as a minimum, the FDR process will have assisted both parents to communicate better with each other and their children.
The Relationship Practice NSW FDR practitioners are accredited with the Federal Attorney Generals Department. All practitioners work within the Family Law Act (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners) Regulations 2008. If either parent wishes to go the Family Court as they have not been able to reach agreements that both parents are comfortable with, the practitioner can provide section 60I Certificates which in most instances, the Family Court require before proceedings.
The Relationship Practice NSW offers flexible times for the Private Sessions to assist working around parenting and childcare – please talk to our Practice Manager about options.
Meeting ethical practice, the FDR Practitioner will not offer other services such as counselling, family therapy or family reports to any family or its members that have been involved in a Family Dispute Resolution mediation in this practice.