Family Dispute Mediation

Parenting

If you are a parent, you have ongoing responsibilities for your children, regardless of whether you are separated, divorced, re-married, re-partnered or have never lived together.

In most circumstances, the law requires parents to engage in Family Dispute Resolution to reach an agreement in relation to the arrangements for their children, prior to issuing Family Court proceedings for Parenting Orders.

There are exceptions to the requirement to engage in Family Dispute Resolution, including family violence, child abuse or urgency.

Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners are accredited by the Attorney General’s Department to issue certificates to persons who want to issue Family Court proceedings for Parenting Orders.

They can do so only if:

  • A person did not attend Family Dispute Resolution due to the refusal, or the failure, of the other party or parties to attend.
  • The person attended Family Dispute Resolution with the other party or parties, but that person, the other party or another of the parties did not make a genuine effort to resolve the issue or issues.
  • The person attended Family Dispute Resolution with the other party or participants and made a genuine effort to resolve the issues.
  • That it was not appropriate to conduct Family Dispute Resolution.

Family Dispute Resolution is a process that facilitates discussion between parents and separating families, so that they can try and reach a parenting agreement which can then be recorded in a Parenting Plan or Parenting Orders. The process recognises that every family situation is different, that parents and other family members know what works best for them and the children of the family and that parents and other family members are more likely to abide by any agreement which they have reached themselves.

A Parenting Plan is a written agreement between parents, that records any parenting arrangement between them. A Parenting Plan is not legally enforceable unless the arrangements contained within it are recorded in Parenting Orders.

The Family Court will make Parenting Orders by consent of the parties if they file an application for Consent Orders with the Family Court.

We adopt a child focussed approach to Family Dispute Resolution and aim to build a safe environment in which children can live, learn and mature.

Property and Assets

When married or unmarried couples separate, there is often conflict between them as to how to divide their property and assets.

Property Mediation can help couples to reach a property agreement which will deal with the division of all of their property and assets including houses, cars, boats, pets, jewellery, cash, shares, superannuation, personal effect, furniture and debt, including credit card debt and mortgages.

A written property agreement will not be legally enforceable unless the agreement contained within it is recorded in Property Orders.

The Family Court will make Property Orders by consent of the parties if they file an application for Property Orders with the Family Court.

Before attending Mediation, Family Dispute Resolution or filing an application for Parenting Orders or Property Orders with the Family Court, we recommend that you obtain advice from an independent lawyer.