Family dispute resolution is a process in which a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner assists parties who are affected by separation or divorce to resolve some or all of their disputes with each other in relation to arrangements for children.
Family dispute resolution is compulsory in most parenting matters before court proceedings can be issued. The Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner must assess the people involved in the dispute to determine whether family dispute resolution is appropriate. The Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner must be satisfied that this assessment has considered whether the ability of the person to negotiate freely is effected by:
- A history of violence among people involved in the dispute;
- The likely safety of people involved;
- The equality of bargaining power;
- The risks that a child may suffer abuse;
- The emotional, psychological and physical health of the people involved; or
- Any other matter that the Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner considers relevant to the proposed family dispute resolution.
If at the end of this process the parties have been unable to resolve their dispute, the Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner will issue a certificate which will then entitle the parties to commence court proceedings.