16 May Family Dispute Resolution – is it for me?
This is a compulsory step before a parent can commence proceedings for Orders relating to their children and the arrangements for who they live and spend time with.
Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is not required in every matter and often parents can come to their own agreement without the assistance of a mediator for family law settlement.
Occasionally when a matter is urgent, or FDR considered not appropriate, for example in cases where there are domestic violence issues or a child is at risk, the parent wishing to take the matter to Court can apply for an exemption for FDR.
FDR can be used in many cases to assist the parties to reach a formal agreement and even where a private FDR practitioner is engaged at a cost to the parties, the fees incurred can be substantially less than letters being sent back and forth between lawyers.
Whilst there are a number of qualified FDR practitioners, it is important to choose one with good negotiation and mediation skills, as it is a process that is often wasted if the right FDR practitioner is not engaged.
Many a case that settles on the footsteps of Court could otherwise have been resolved by pre-Court FDR being embraced by both parties and fruitful negotiations occurring during that process.
Some parents will be put off by the cost of private FDR and will elect to either not engage with a mediator chosen by the other parent or wait for a session with a Government funded organisation, however this leads to further delays and/or inevitable Court proceedings at a far greater cost to the parties than their half share of private FDR.
If you want to learn more about Family Dispute Resolution or would like us to recommend someone to assist you, please give us a call.