What is family dispute resolution?

If you are going through a separation or divorce, you may have come across the term ‘family dispute resolution’.

Let’s take a look at exactly what family dispute resolution is, and how it could potentially help you move on quickly and more affordably than engaging expensive family lawyers and dragging your divorce through the courts.

What Is Family Dispute Resolution?

Family dispute resolution is a process through which two conflicting parties are encouraged to communicate effectively to help realise what is important and make decisions to resolve their dispute.

This process is overseen by a family dispute resolution practitioner. The practitioner will support both parties and help them come to mutually agreeable decisions.

Family dispute resolution practitioners do not give legal advice. They will, instead, explore the issues at hand and discuss potential outcomes that would be in their best interests and in the best interests of the children (if there are children involved).

For anyone wanting to go to Court, family dispute resolution is actually a compulsory first step. Parties need to show they have made an effort to resolve their issues before it reaches the court, although urgent matters are exempted from this process, such as where family violence or abuse may be involved.

The Key Steps Of Family Dispute Resolution

A family dispute resolution practitioner will first identify the issues that need to be resolved.

Each party will then be speak without interruption and be asked to listen carefully to what the other has to say.

Once each party has had a chance to speak, the parties will be encouraged to share information, consider different options available and make decisions on how to proceed.

Agreements reached during family dispute resolution can then be put into writing, although these are not legally binding unless converted into consent orders in the Family Court.

Issues that can be dealt with at family dispute resolution include property matters, financial matters and matters relating to children and their care.

The Benefits Of Family Dispute Resolution


Family dispute resolution can be much cheaper than going through the courts.


It is much quicker than the court process, especially where agreements are reached.


Talking through your issues can be a much more amicable way to resolve them, rather than fighting it out through lawyers and in front of judges.


Family dispute resolution can be more effective than decisions reached in court. This is because when people make decisions of their own choice, they’re much less likely to breach the agreements, compared to ones imposed on them.


Choosing family dispute resolution allows parties to stay in control of the process and the potential outcomes.

Once a matter goes to court, the decisions are no longer yours to make.

If you are considering family dispute resolution in Perth, speak to Ian today.

Move On Mediation can help you move on quickly and affordably through effective family mediation in Perth.