As divorce mediation specialists in Perth, we sometimes see couples where one party wants to proceed with family dispute resolution, yet the other does not want to engage. Here are some helpful tips from accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner, Ian Shann, on what to do when your ex refuses family dispute resolution.


Try To Understand Why Your Ex Is Refusing Family Dispute Resolution


In any divorce or separation there are likely to be feelings of anger and animosity.

Before you even begin to convince your ex to attend Family Dispute Resolution (FDR), it may help to understand this may be the key reason or reasons they are refusing to engage. Chances are that no matter what you say, your partner may not trust you to go along with your suggestion.

If that is the case, your other option is to allow someone else attempt to assist them – and who better than an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner?


Speak To A Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner


The first thing you should do is discuss your circumstances with an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and ask them to contact your ex about attending FDR. The approach coming from someone neutral will usually be more effective than coming from you.

There are several possible reasons why your ex may refuse Family Dispute Resolution and accredited practitioners are fully trained and experienced in extracting them from unwilling participants.

Often it is the fear of handing over control to a third party. Once the FDR practitioner has explained that the process is fair and they remain impartial at all times, offering both parties the same legal assistance on their rights, your ex may agree to attend.

It could also be that your ex is unsure of costs or may think it might take too long and slow the divorce process down. The mediator is the best person to explain that mediation is by far the quickest method of divorcing and most certainly the least costly.

Another possible reason could be that your ex thinks the purpose of the dispute resolution is an attempt at couples counselling with the ultimate goal being for you to get back together again.

Or it could be that they feel disadvantaged by not having access to all the facts regarding any possible financial information.

The FDR practitioner will explain that although all information is voluntary, if one feels the other partner may be withholding any financial information, the FDR practitioner will investigate the matter thoroughly and will take immediate action to rectify that if needed.

If your ex is afraid of becoming emotional or wants to avoid being in same room, if there has been any history of abuse, the FDR practitioner will reassure him/her that they may bring in a relative or a friend or even their own lawyer for support or more legal advice and the process can still take place in separate rooms or by video conference.


Explain The Benefits Of Family Dispute Resolution To Your Ex


Apart from being mandatory under Australian Family Law, to first attempt FDR, if children under 18 years are involved, FDR practitioners should always clearly spell out the benefits of dispute resolution or mediation as opposed to the alternative options available.

The most basic and fundamental being that FDR is by far the least costly and quickest method of divorcing as well as both parties get to make their own decisions jointly, instead of leaving it up to a Judge. By divorcing amicably through FDR, it also sets the tone for improving communication now and in the future.

Even if only some of the points of contention are agreed through FDR, the process would have still been worth it, as these issues will not have to be argued in the Family Court, making that process much smoother and less costly.


What To Do If Your Ex Still Refuses Family Dispute Resolution


If all this advice fails and your ex refuses Family Dispute Resolution even still, then they must simply face the stark reality of divorcing through the Family Court, where each spouse appoints their own lawyer at their own costs and let the Court decide on all matters, including financial, or on the individual issues that remain unresolved.

For any matters pertaining to children, a certificate will be issued to the spouse who initiated the mediation. The certificate will then be submitted to the Family Court.


Find out more about how Ian Shann from Move On Mediation in Perth can help you to get your ex to see the benefits of family dispute resolution.

Get in touch for a confidential discussion or read about our thorough divorce mediation process here.