I have received a lot of emails recently asking “is family dispute resolution compulsory?”
So I thought the easiest way to answer this is through a blog post.
First of all, family dispute resolution (fdr) is another term for mediation. In Australia, family law disputes fall under the Family Law Act and Family Law Rules.
The Act and Rules do not require parties to participate in mediation for property matters. However, the Rules do require you to try and resolve matters before going to court.
When it cones to parenting matters – it is compulsory. With parenting matters you must provide the court with a certificate. And the family dispute resolution practitioner is the only person who can give you this.
WHAT ARE THE EXCEPTIONS TO FAMILY DISPUTE RESOLUTION?
There are some exceptions to this and they are:
(a) there would be a risk of abuse of the child if there were to be a delay in applying for the order; or
(b) there is a risk of family violence by one of the parties to the proceedings.
That being said, the mere existence of a domestic violence order does not automatically mean that family dispute resolution is inappropriate. Depending on your history and individual circumstances there may be ways that family dispute resolution can be done safely
So, as is usually the case when it comes to questions of law – the answer is both yes and no.
Ultimately the aim of the legislation is to provide you with as much encouragement as possible to resolve your disputes outside of the Court system. There is a good reason for this which I will address in another post.
If you would like to find out if family dispute resolution or mediation is right for you and your family you can schedule a call with me here.