What Family Dispute Resolution Could Do For You & Your Loved Ones

What is family dispute resolution?

When conflicts arise within family separation, family dispute resolution (FDR) provides a practical way to resolve disputes relevant to parenting matters. During this process, families will discuss any major problems and consider different options before matters progress to the courtroom. Family dispute resolution encourages parents to focus on the needs of their children. 

This type of mediation uses a neutral and accredited family dispute resolution practitioner to guide discussions. Instead of seeking legal services, FDR enables people to work through issues without the stress, time or cost of court appearances.

What you can expect at family dispute resolution

Typically, the FDR practitioner will help you identify the issues that need to be resolved. They will encourage each party to listen to each other’s point of view. The aim is coming up with workable solutions that are in the best interest of the children. Depending on the situation at hand, it may not be suitable to have each person in the same room so the practitioner may arrange to speak to each party in private. Sometimes this is necessary to help move issues along or to discuss options for negotiation. 

Once the two parties have come to an agreement the participants will be guided in developing a parenting plan. From there on, it is the FDR practitioners responsibility to make sure everyone understands what is being agreed upon. Once an agreement is reached it can be recorded as a parenting plan. These parenting plans can be re-negotiated overtime if necessary. If an agreement was not able to be reached through family dispute resolution,  a FDR practitioner will be able to issue a certificate to allow an application to be made to a family law court. 

Benefits of family dispute resolution

I you’re considering FDR there are many positive outcomes:

  • Court proceedings can be expensive and a much longer process. FDR will save you money and time.
  • A more effective means of conflict and greater longevity
  • Less stress or trauma than court proceedings
  • A safe and supportive environment
  • The promotion of co-operation and communication which enhances stronger co-parenting alliance.
  • Facilitates structure in which future disputes can be resolved more readily

If you are looking for positive outcomes and a future without conflict, Meaningful Mediation can help. We focus on resolving disputes in a professional, ethical and timely manner.

Family dispute resolution practitioners 

Have you been googling “marriage, families and separation brochure”? If so, then you’re probably looking for information around how a divorce could impact your children and divide your assets. When a family disagrees about arrangements for children after separation, a FDR practitioner is a good person to ask for help. 

A FDR practitioner is an accredited independent person who is trained in mediation and specialises in family disputes. Is it a FDR practitioner’s responsibility to create a safe environment that allows people to openly discuss and clarify issues. 

At Meaningful Mediation, we understand that after family separation respect and trust can be damaged. That’s why our team of experts work with families over a period of time, targeting both short and long term aspects of parenting- reintroducing these aspects.

How much does a Family Dispute Resolution practitioner cost?

If a dispute can be resolved through mediation, it will be significantly less expensive than having to go to court. Not only is mediation typically a more cost-effective way to resolve disputes it can also have a quicker turnaround. In regards to family matters, a court case could take 12 to 24 months to complete. 

Depending on the complexity of the issues at hand, there is no simple answer to how long the mediation process will take. When each family member makes their child’s interests the priority, workable parenting agreements can be reached sooner. Family conflict can take a toll on you and your children and should not be coupled with stress and long delays for service. That’s why at Meaningful Meditation we focus on creating positive outcomes in a swift and thorough manner.

Counselling and Family Dispute Resolution

Unlike counselling, FDR does not focus on the emotional side of relationships but rather resolving specific disputes. If the issues at hand cannot be resolved through FDR, we recommend other options such as counselling. Given our psychological and legal background, we can support families and individuals to develop a strategy to stay focused on achieving a positive outcome.

Child-inclusive mediation

Separation can be an extremely difficult point for you and your child. Unfortunately when our emotions are running high, we sometimes don’t make the right choices. We understand how grief and loss impacts people’s co-parenting relationships and how children also grieve. Child-inclusive mediation allows your child’s voice to be heard in a non-judicial way. At Meaningful Mediation, we facilitate child inclusive mediation when it’s appropriate. This allows the child’s views to be given consideration and appropriate weight. We understand legal disputes don’t always solve the problem and the conflict, that’s why we focus on generating meaningful outcomes.


When you decide to work with a FDR practitioner you can trust your information will be kept confidential.  As specially trained FDR practitioners, we pride ourselves on being non-judgmental and completely confidential when discussing important issues. However, there are some exceptions when dealing with confidentiality:

  • The threat to someone’s life or health
  • The commission of a crime
  • Child abuse or any Indication of a child at risk of abuse

At Meaningful Mediation, we provide a safe environment that enables both parties to feel comfortable. We focus on facilitating a constructive conversation on issues that need to be resolved. If you would like to enquire today, our friendly team of experts here to help wherever they can.

Is family dispute resolution legally binding?

No, as with other forms of mediation, FDR sessions are not legally binding.  With that being said if both parties come to an agreement during a session, an official agreement or parenting plan can be prepared by a lawyer. Following that, these documents can then be filed at court. 

To ensure each person is prepared, each party may wish to seek their own independent legal advice from a family dispute lawyer. A lawyer may be able to provide advice on the situation as well as suggestions for suitable proposals during the FDR process. We do strongly encourage both parties to seek legal advice in respect to property matters. 

Where can I find a family dispute resolution practitioner or services?

In most cases, you can find a government-funded services that provides family dispute resolution services. However, your mediator may not be legally or psychologically trained and waiting periods can take up to 5 months. 

If you’ve been searching for “family dispute resolution centre Brisbane”, Meaningful Mediation can help. Our team of FDR practitioners consult for family relationship centres throughout Brisbane. We’ve worked with over 1,000 families conducting non-legally assisted mediation who are experiencing separation and disputes over parenting/property matters.  

As a family mediation centre, we specialise in Queensland services but also offer services in NSW, Perth, Victoria and the Gold Coast. For more information about how we could assist you, get in touch with our friendly team of experts today.

Why meaningful mediation can help you

If you are looking for a reputable practitioner, Meaningful Mediation can help you. Our team has a diverse background in law, psychology and counselling specialising in divorce and separation. We understand the legality in respect to all issues concerning parenting and property. With previous experience working as family lawyers and facilitating legally assisted mediation, our team is well versed to deal with all disputes.

Online Family Dispute Resolution 

We understand parties may not have the ability, time or desire to mediate face-to-face. At times mediation can be a stressful and confronting process. At Meaningful Mediation we offer a unique and responsive online option for all our clients to resolve disputes. We understand that with everything going on in the world right now, health is a priority. Participants can choose times that work best for them and can mediate from anywhere. So, if you’re looking for an online service that can allow both parties to feel more at ease in the comfort of their own home, we can help.


Need support? Enquire today.

Our priority is to focus on creating an outcome that is flexible and feasible for your family. We believe in meaning for outcomes where court interventions can be avoided. 

So, if you need support with respect to co-parenting, grand-parenting, workplace disputes or complex issues related to aging and elder law matters, Meaning Mediation can help.  For more information to assist you, get in touch with our friendly team of experts.