What you can expect from your Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner

Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners have obligations under the Family Law Act 1975 and the Family Law (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners) Regulations 2008.

That is why it is important to make sure that you only work with accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners. Unaccredited practitioners such as mediators who have not currently accredited Family Dispute Resolution practitioners are do not have the ethical and legal obligations that qualified and accredited practitioners do.

The FDR Process

Family Dispute Resolution is a process by which people who are in conflict can be supported to communicate with each other about what is important for them and how to make decisions relevant to resolving their dispute.

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is now compulsory, meaning that people who wish to resolve disputes relevant to their children (parenting matters), are now required to attend Family Dispute Resolution and make a genuine effort to resolve issues, before they progress through the court system.

Situations involving family violence, child abuse or extremely urgent matters are exempt from Family Dispute Resolution. Only a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner can issue you with a Section 60i Certificate to indicate the FDR is not appropriate or that it has been attempted or refused. 


Family Dispute Resolution practitioners must not disclose a communication made to them unless the disclosure is required or authorized under the Family Law Act 1975 – Section 10H. 

A Family Dispute Resolution practitioner may disclose a communication in Family Dispute Resolution if they believethat the disclosure is necessary for the purpose of protecting a child from the risk of physical or psychological harm.

A Family Dispute Resolution practitioner is required under the Family Law Act to screen and assess clients relating to the history of family violence. Screening and assessment is continuous throughout the Family DisputeResolution process.

Mandatory reporting is a legislative requirement imposed to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect to government authorities. Notifications of a child in need of protection are made under state child protection legislation.

Mandatory reporting of child abuse includes abuse that involves causing a child to suffer psychological harm, including by the child being exposed to family violence. 

It is necessary to make a professional judgment of the available information to ensure that the response isappropriate to the situation. Each situation will be differentand require a different response. In considering the mosteffective response to ensure the safety of a child will be togather information and facts.


Our Family Dispute Resolution practitioners will understake a mandatory individual risk assessment meeting with you to make sure that FDR is safe physically and psychologically. 

Please be open and honest with them. What you say is confidential unless there is a risk that someone may be harmed. 

Even if meeting face to face is deemed to be too much of a risk there are other ways to participate in a mediation process. 

Video Mediation is our preferred approach to mediation if there are safety concerns.