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FDR – What is it and why have I been asked to attend?

FDR stands for Family Dispute Resolution. Section 10F of the Family Law Act gives a basic definition of FDR to be a non-judicial process where an FDR practitioner assists separated couples to resolve some or all of their disputes. An FDR practitioner is independent of all parties involved in the matter.

If you or your former partner have applied for a legal aid grant to go to Court, Legal Aid may ask you to attend an FDR conference first.

The FDR practitioner must first consider whether your matter can be appropriately dealt with through FDR. Things that will be considered include whether or not there is a history of family violence, the safety of each party, psychological and physical health of each party, the history or risk of child abuse.

There are certain confidentiality and disclosure requirements involved in the FDR process.

An FDR conference can help you and your former partner settle your dispute without the costly and timely process of going to court. Both the distribution of your property and the future arrangements regarding your children can be discussed.

At FDR both parties are able to talk about their positions towards a settlement, you and your lawyer can both attend the conference and if required a lawyer can also be there to represent your children.

If you or the other party requests that the FDR process be terminated or your lawyer thinks it is no longer appropriate the process can be stopped at any time.