Family Dispute Resolution

Separation/Divorce is a crisis – a crisis of change. It is during this crisis that you are called to make important decisions regarding your children, their future and how you are to separate your assets. This can be a very distressing time for you and your children.


At Bendigo Mediation we assist our clients to move beyond this crisis by:

  • Supporting parents to establish future focused and child centred Parenting Agreements.
  • Providing information, education and assistance to parents in transforming their previous ‘intimate’ relationship to a ‘business like’ co-parenting or parallel parenting relationship.
  • Facilitating conversations and assisting clients to establish their asset pool and develop a fair and equitable Property/Financial Settlement.


The Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) services we offer help our clients to avoid the financially and emotionally costly process of resolving these matters in the courts. Bendigo Mediation provides Parenting and Property/Financial Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) services.


Accredited Practitioners

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a dispute resolution process where FDR Practitioners (mediators) assist people who are ending their relationships, to resolve issues related to: the ongoing care of their children and/or the division of their property and other financial matters.


FDR Practitioners are accredited mediators who have completed post graduate studies at the Graduate Diploma of Family Dispute Resolution level or above and have been approved by the Attorney-General’s Department to mediate these matters. FDR Practitioners are bound by rules of conduct and a code of ethics which deal with how the FDR process must be facilitated.


All mediators who work at Bendigo Mediation are nationally accredited mediators and are registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners with the Australian Attorney-General’s Department.


Family Dispute Resolution is a voluntary process, in which both of you are responsible for finding workable solutions to your issues. These solutions may not be perfect, but are solutions that you can live with, and allow you to move forward with your life. Any decision made, or action taken by you, as a result of FDR consultations provided by the FDR Practitioner is at your own risk and remains solely your responsibility.


When is FDR Mandatory?

FDR must be attended and a genuine effort must be made to reach a parenting agreement before applying for a court order in relation to a child, unless and exception applies.


You are not required to attend FDR:

  • Where you are applying for consent orders.
  • Where you are responding to an application.
  • Where the matter is urgent.
  • If the court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that:
    • There has been family violence or child abuse by a party.
    • There is a risk of violence by a party; or
    • There is a risk of child abuse if there were to be a delay.
  • Where the party is unable to participate effectively (for example due to an incapacity of some kind).
  • Where a person has contravened and shown serious disregard for a court order made in the last 12 months.


When applying to the court you will need to provide information to demonstrate that one of the exceptions applies to you. If you want to apply to the court for an order in relation to a child you will need to obtain a Section 60i Certificate (S60i Certificate) from a FDR Practitioner before applying, unless an exception applies.


A court may take into account the type of S60i Certificate you are issued when deciding whether to make an order referring you back to FDR or to award costs against a person.