Family Dispute Resolution


Registered Family Dispute Resolution practitioners (FDRPs) are trained to help you find sustainable levels of agreement in your dispute. They are able to provide to the Court an often legally-required Section 60i Certificate under the Australian Family Law Act (1975). This Certificate indicates to the Court if a genuine effort to resolve the dispute has been attempted by parents.


FDR is part of our Gracious Uncoupling® philosophy.  Types and Formats of FDR carried out by us include:

  • M/F gender-balanced co-mediation
  • Cross-cultural and culturally adaptive mediation
  • Child-inclusive mediation, which involves separate interviews with the child(ren) by Dr Rayleigh Joy to "bring their voices" into the co-parenting mediation

We cover children & parenting matters as well as property matters.


Further information or bookings for intake can be obtained by calling or emailing us.

Family Dispute Resolution


Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) allows you to agree to post-separation children’s arrangements and property division between yourselves. In many cases, this step is mandated by Courts to attempt agreement, particularly on children's arrangements, prior to Court processes. Such an agreement can:

  • Avoid a stressful, emotionally draining and potentially lengthy Court process;
  • Help you both retain a significant influence on outcomes rather than submit control to the Court;
  • Allow you to get on with living your life without waiting for Court availability;
  • Build a progressive foundation for longer-term co-parenting agreements;
  • Save you each an average of tens of thousands of dollars in legal costs; and
  • Arm you with personal ability and legal flexibility to evolve your co-parenting.



How does it work?


FDR attempts to move you away from a legal battleground and towards a mutually acceptable agreement by creating the space and process to do so. We operate with two co-mediators – Dr Rayleigh Joy and Dr Raj Aseervatham (see Our Team) - in a structured multi-step process.

FDR may occur with all parties in one room, or in separate rooms depending on the dispute circumstances. FDR usually takes around half a day when addressing parenting only or property only, or a full day when addressing parenting and property concurrently.

At the end of the process, we hope to help you reach an agreement that you can submit to the Court and gain its endorsement. But the final responsibility lies with you to achieve that.


What is our philosophy?


We aim to create a safe space in which to discuss and find mutual agreement on ways forward from where you are. We prioritise mutually respectful debate and diplomacy.

We are child-focused. It is important to us – and central to the Family Law Act – that the agreement you reach is in the best interests of your children.

In addition, and where circumstances warrant, we also offer child-inclusive FDR. This includes an additional step in the process where separate consultations are held with your children by our specialist child consultant, who then brings the voices of your children into your dispute resolution discussion.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do I have to, by law, undertake FDR?

    Please refer to your specific legal advice. In many (but not all) cases, the Court will not progress a family dispute case involving children until FDR has been undertaken and a Section 6OI certificate submitted to the Court by a registered FDRP.

  • How do I undertake FDR?

    We first do a 45-minute telephone interview (an “intake”) separately with each parent to assess whether FDR is appropriate for you. If we believe it is, and you are both independently agreeable to progressing, an appointment can be made for FDR.

  • Is this process confidential?

    Yes, what is discussed in FDR is not disclosed by FDRPs to anyone except if there are criminal or safety concerns that warrant alerting authorities. With the above caveat, nothing that is discussed in FDR is admissible in Court.

  • Should I get legal and financial advice before undertaking FDR?

    Yes, we strongly recommend you do both. Arrive at FDR as informed as you can be, so that you have sufficient understanding and confidence to progress towards agreement.

  • Do I have to, by law, include property in FDR?

    Generally no, unless specifically directed by the Court. However, depending on your circumstances and attitude, the dispute resolution process applied to co-parenting disputes may also help in alleviating property disputes faster and at lower cost than conventional legal routes.

  • Can I bring my lawyer with me to FDR?

    Yes, if you believe it will help with progressive and mutually respectful negotiations. Regardless, any draft agreement reached between parties would be finalised by your respective legal representatives at your instruction, together with the FDRPs’ Section 6OI certificate, before submission to Court for endorsement.

  • Can I bring other (e.g. family or friend) moral support to FDR?

    Yes, if you wish. Note that the number of support people permitted in negotiations, and their ability to contribute to a collaborative process, are determined at the discretion of the FDRP.

  • How long does it take to get a date for FDR?

    It varies depending on the time of the year and how busy everyone is, but around three to four weeks is normal. This allows time for you to get legal and financial advice before attending FDR. For property agreements, you may require more time to be adequately prepared, and we would encourage it.

  • How do I find out more?

    Please contact our office and a comprehensive pack including options for FDR structure and cost will be sent to you via email.