What is Family Dispute Resolution (FDR)?

Under the Family Law Act 1975, the law requires separating families who have a dispute about children to make a genuine effort to try to sort it out through a family dispute resolution process (aka FDR).

Is FDR compulsory?

Yes, you can only apply to a family law court for a parenting order when you have a S60I Certificate from an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) which states that you have made a genuine effort to resolve your dispute through FDR session. The requirement to participate in FDR session applies to new applications as well as applications seeking changes to an existing parenting order.

Are there any exceptions?

Yes, there are a few exceptions to this requirement, such as cases involving family violence, child abuse or urgency.

Who can provide FDR session?

Only accredited FDR Practitioners can conduct FDR session and issue S60I Certificate.

More information about accredited FDR Practitioner

An accredited FDR Practitioner is an independent person who can help people discuss issues, look at options and work out how best to reach agreement in disputes about children.

An accredited FDR Practitioner is required to have territory qualifications in Law, Psychology, Social Services or equivalent.

The Australian Government Attorney-General Department is responsible for accrediting FDR practitioners. An accredited FDR practitioner meets specific standards contained in the Family Law (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners Regulations) 2008.

FDR Practitioner’s Role

The Practitioner’s role is to facilitate the FDR process whilst they remain impartial, ensure all parties receive information about the FDR, assist all parties to understand the mediation process and have access to an interpreter or support person if required.

To apply to go to a court parties will need a certificate from an accredited FDR Practitioner. The certificate is issued under Section 60I of the Family Law Act 1975 and is commonly known as a Section 60I Certificate.

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