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Family Dispute Resolution

Family Dispute Resolution

Separation can be a difficult and challenging time whether you are married, in a de facto or same-sex relationship, or a grandparent.

LifeWorks’ Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) services can help resolve conflicts around parenting arrangements, property and money through a respectful, professional and structured process.

LifeWorks’ accredited FDR practitioners work impartially with the separated couple and/or other parties to help them communicate affectively and identify unresolved issues, future options and negotiate agreements.

LifeWorks is approved by the Federal Attorney-General’s Department under the provision of the Family Law Act 1975. This means that we are able to provide FDR services to couples that are required to undertake professionally facilitated mediation before lodging any court applications in relation to parenting issues.

LifeWorks Family Dispute Resolution can help:

  • Make the process of moving on with your lives after separation easier
  • Settle Money and property matters
  • Avoid costly and time consuming legal action
  • Where children are involved, assist in negotiating interim and future parenting arrangements (parenting plans)
  • Provide a safe place for your children’s voices to be heard (Child Inclusive Practice)
  • Provide you with an opportunity to be supported by a lawyer through the dispute resolution process if you so wish (legally assisted FDR)

How does the Family Dispute Resolution process work?

Initial Contact

The first step in the mediation process is to make the initial call or email to find out about LifeWorks’ FDR services or to make an appointment for an intake session.

Individual Intake Session

At the intake session a LifeWorks FDR practitioner will spend around an hour and a half listening to your story, discussing the mediation process and working out if dispute resolution will be helpful in your situation. Following the initial intake session, your former partner and/or other parties will be invited to attend a similar intake session if appropriate.

First Joint Session

The FDR Practitioner will explain the process and establish the rules of the session which you both agree to. Each party has the opportunity to outline their own view of the issues without any interruptions. The practitioner helps break down the dispute into manageable issues, develops an agreed agenda and a plan of action on how to find solutions. When financial issues are involved, a joint financial statement is prepared.

A joint session can then be booked if Family Dispute Resolution is deemed safe and appropriate.

Further Joint Sessions

Sessions typically run for two to three hours. In some situations issues are resolved within one session, however, in most cases the process can take two or three sessions, sometimes more, depending on the issues. During the sessions, the FDR practitioner will help each party communicate directly on each issue, examine a range of possible solutions and work towards an agreement which takes into account everyone’s needs and concerns. At the end of the session, each party is provided with a summary, highlighting important points discussed and any agreements reached.

More Information?

For more information you can call us on 8650 6200 or email lifeworks@lifeworks.com.au to discuss your situation in more detail.

Click here to access a range of resources related to the dispute resolution process, including tips on communication, children and separation, and general mediation.