FDR is the legal term for services (such as mediation) that help couples affected by separation and divorce to sort out family parenting disputes. FDR is a process to help parents consider and agree on the future lives of their children and family and decide how the future will be for them all.

Children are often hit hardest when a couple undergoes divorce. Parents need to determine the best way to share parenting responsibilities between them.  Married and de facto couples separating are obliged to try Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) after separation to resolve parenting concerns for their children before resorting to Court and litigation.

The FDR process is managed and controlled by the independent Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) but the parents are in control of all the topics that need to be resolved and the parenting outcomes that are agreed.

You can only apply to a family law court for a parenting order when you have a certificate from an accredited FDR practitioner which states that you have made a genuine effort to resolve your dispute through FDR. The requirement to participate in FDR applies to new applications, and applications seeking changes to an existing parenting order.

Before FDR can commence, an assessment will be made to see whether FDR is suitable for your situation.

SHAW FDR practitioners are impartial, can not give legal advice and will not take sides. They can help you to explore family issues in an objective and positive way. Unlike counselling, FDR does not focus on the emotional side of relationships. It concentrates on resolving specific disputes.

FDR can help both of you to discuss issues, look at options, and work out how best to reach agreement. Importantly, you can use FDR to develop a parenting plan to set out arrangements for your children. An FDR practitioner will also check that everyone understands what is being said and agreed upon.

Following FDR, if you want to make your final parenting plan or financial agreement legally binding, you can apply to the court to have your agreement made into a consent order. You can do this yourself or ask your lawyer to do it for you.

Should separating parents be unable to reach an agreement about what is the best interests of their children, then SHAW FDR is able to produce the necessary Section 60I Certificate required before issuing court proceedings or litigation.

View Alison Shaw’s Profile here.

Let’s Parent!

Our Locations

‘I chose mediation because I thought that it could be a much more friendly and amicable way to resolve our issues. The expense and time delays relating to court and the effect on the children were things that I did not want. I did a lot of research online and chose SHAW Mediation, in particular FDR Mediator Alison Shaw because of her good reputation and background as a Family Law Lawyer, to me it just made sense to have a mediator that knew family law also. The set fees associated with the mediation was something I needed.

Alison is clearly and simply good at what she does. The process can be extremely overwhelming, Alison and her team walked me through from first contact, to the end of the mediation. Alison managed it beautifully and she’s definitely in the right job.  I would 110% recommend SHAW Mediation Australia, so much so, that I would like to work with one of you in the future!’

Suzi C

Family Parenting Plan and Property Settlement