Family Dispute Resolution

Family Dispute Resolution, also known as FDR, is a form of mediation that helps separating parents reach an agreement. Families are able to discuss any and all issues in dispute, whilst looking at the different options available to them. There is a strong focus on the needs of the children. One of our directors, Laura Donnelly, is a qualified Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and specialises in family law disputes.

At the conclusion of FDR, parents can enter into a parenting plan or, if they choose, apply to the Court for parenting orders to be made by consent. Either orders or a parenting plan clearly set out the agreement reached with regard to ongoing parenting arrangements.

When separating, it is mandatory for parents to attempt FDR before applying to the Court for parenting orders, unless certain circumstances apply including:

  • when you are formalising an agreement through consent orders when you are formalising an agreement through consent orders
  • where there has been family violence or child abuse
  • where the application is urgent
  • one party cannot participate effectively in mediation
  • one party has contravened orders made in the last 12 months.
A mediation may take 2 hours or number of days. That will depend upon the number of issues in dispute, and how complex those issues are. The costs of the mediation are dependent upon how long it runs.

It is important to note that mediation and FDR do not have to occur face to face. There is a process known as ‘shuttle mediation’ where you and your former partner will remain in separate rooms throughout the process. With a skilled FDR practitioner, an agreement can still be reached.