Encouraging resolution through child-centred approaches

The Family Relationship Centre assists families affected by separation to come to child focused parenting arrangements in the best interests of their children. Families are supported in discussing issues and reaching agreement through family dispute resolution (FRD) rather than having to attend court.

Property Dispute Resolution is also offered as an alternative to the court process to resolve property settlements.


What does a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) do?
The FDRP will advise and guide you through the FDR process, if necessary refer you to other family support services and inform you of our child-focused practice [and sometimes child inclusive practice] when working with parents. You will be informed of other services available to you, you will be strongly advised to obtain independent legal advice as to the FDR process and in regards to parenting plans.

An assessment is made prior to the commencement of FDR regarding whether your situation is appropriate. FDRP’s remain neutral and actively work with both sides using an unbiased and positive approach. The aim of an FDRP is to resolve issues and to ensure that all understand what is being discussed and agreed upon. The process is used to work out a parenting plan to settle on arrangements for your children. FDRP’s may suggest other options like family counselling when FDR is not effective.

The content of FDR is confidential and disclosure is mandated if it is necessary to comply with any law. The FDRP may also report to the relevant authorities to protect a child from risk of harm or to prevent a threat to life, health, property or to advise an Independent Children’s Lawyer [ICLJ. What is discussed during FDR cannot be used in court for evidence; however FDRP’s must report child abuse and indications that a child is at risk ofharm. In some instances this may be used as evidence.

Please be aware there may be a waitlist for Family Dispute Resolution.



Regional Family Dispute Resolution (RFDR)
RFDR services offer families counselling sessions for specific issues related to separation and conflict.

Strengthening family relationships
Helping families stay together
Assisting families through separation

Is Family Dispute Resolution Compulsory?
It is compulsory under Australian family law for separated parents to attempt Family Dispute Resolution before applying to a family law court for parenting orders, however exceptions do apply. For more information please seek legal advice and visit the Family Relationship Centre website

Help For You And Your Changing Family
You can learn more about Australia’s family law system on the website of the Attorney-General’s Department

Fee Costs

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Get in touch with us to find out more about the Family Services offered by UMFC

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