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Family Dispute Resolution

Family Dispute Resolution and other post-separation services offered by Relationships Australia Canberra and Region.

Family Dispute Resolution Services (FDRS), operating in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and regional southern New South Wales, provide a range of affordable services in family dispute resolution, counselling and post-separation programs to support individuals, couples and children experiencing relationship breakdown.

FDRS is a joint project of Relationships Australia Canberra and Region, Catholic Care Canberra-Goulburn, and Marymead Child and Family Centre with funding support from the Australian Government Attorney General's Department.

You can access the FDRS in the following regional centres:

  • Canberra
  • Cooma
  • Bega
  • Goulburn
  • Moruya

Family Dispute Resolution Services

Family Dispute Resolution (formerly known as Family Mediation) is a structured, problem-solving process designed to help people manage conflict and reach agreement. In family dispute resolution, parties identify the relevant issues in a dispute, and investigate alternative solutions with the assistance of the family dispute resolution practitioner, an impartial third party.

Family Dispute Resolution and Separation

Family Dispute Resolution can be helpful before, during or after separation, and both before or after legal proceedings have begun. A separating couple may wish to make either temporary or final arrangements about future parenting, property settlement and financial affairs. Many couples find they can achieve agreement on these matters in family dispute resolution.

Benefits of Family Dispute Resolution

  • Self-determination - tailor your own decisions about parenting and property
  • Reduction of family conflict - continuing family conflict can harm children
  • Learn to deal more effectively with future disputes
  • Save money, time and stress resolving family disputes without going through the Court process

Family Counselling Services

Counselling can assist people to retain or re-gain their emotional stability around the time of relationships breakdown, and to adjust to the consequences of relationship breakdown.

Counselling can support both individuals and couples to:

  • explore the possibility of reconciliation
  • improve their relationship as separated parents
  • adjust to the consequences of Court orders.

Counselling can also assist children to come to terms with relationship breakdown - to provide them with an opportunity to express their feelings and opinions and to relieve feelings of guilt and anxiety.

Child-Inclusive Practice

Under our unique Child-Inclusive Practice (CIP) model, our trained Child Consultants work with a child and his or her parents, mediators and counsellors to help establish an effective parenting alliance that properly supports the child through separation and afterwards. CIP facilitates the factoring of the child's views and perspective, and issues related to his or her welfare, into the dispute resolution process.

Post Separation Programs

FDRS post-separation programs promote the positive role development of single parents and a goal of co-operative relationships with the former partner. Our programs address legal and health issues, and issues around re-connection with children, the self and the community. Post-separation programs may be delivered over several weeks or in workshop form.

FDRS post-separation groups cover similar issues in a peer environment - providing support for separated parents on a 'needs now' basis.

An FDRS program/group is tailored for the specific needs of the regional community in which it is delivered.

To make an appointment for family dispute resolution, contact our Intake Officer on (02) 6122 7130.

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