How to Resolve Family Law Matters Outside of Court?

Family law disputes can be tiring, overwhelming and a lot to process. And taking the issue to court seems like a very daunting prospect as it involves a lot of time, effort and legal fees. However, there are ways for you to settle your disputes outside of court and hopefully get the whole process to go a lot more smoothly.

Family Dispute Resolution

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is a confidential formal mediation process that assists separated partners sort out arrangements and come to mutual agreements on how to proceed with things in the future. It is conducted by an accredited practitioner who has completed training on dealing with these types of mediation. The practitioner will help resolve some (or all) issues that are due to separation/divorce including property settlement and any matters relating to childcare.

The FDR practitioner is a neutral body. Their main role is to help both parties come up with a parenting plan that is in the best interest of the children. This is a practical and low-cost way for families to come to an adequate agreement on family disputes with the help of a professional.


Negotiation can come in the form of both parties meeting in person, by letter, by telephone, email correspondence, text, video calls or other forms of communication and coming to an agreement together.

They can negotiate themselves or get the help of a legal representative. Negotiations can also take place in a round table conference type manner, where both parties bring their respective lawyers to try and reach an agreement.

Alternatively, individuals can get their lawyers to represent them in negotiations, meaning the lawyers are in charge of all communication between the parties in order to reach an agreement.

What happens when you reach an agreement?

Once both parties have come to an agreement, the agreement can be formalised in the court with a consent order. A consent order is essentially the court making your agreement binding. The court needs to ensure the terms of agreement are just and equitable as well as in the best interest of the children before signing off on it.

If you’re looking to discuss your options for mediation or if you’re wanting to apply for consent orders, Terry Johnson Legal will be more than happy to answer your questions. Our first consultation is also free of charge, so give us a call on 02 6262 9376.

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