Family Dispute Resolution

The Family Dispute Resolution Service supports relationships between children and separated parents, or children and their extended family (most often grandparents), which are safe and in the best interest of the children.

Mother, daughter and son looking at camera

This is achieved by facilitating a safe and neutral space that allows family members to enter into discussions around arrangements, which enable children to maintain their relationships with the significant adults in their lives.

What we can offer:

Family dispute resolution, also known as mediation, can be provided in different ways. We'll work with you to find the solution that suits you best. 

At all times our highest priority is keeping all parties safe during the process.

There are three parts to the process clients must attend:

  • Information session with other clients that outlines the process (but not with the other party to their case)
  • Individual client assessment
  • Family dispute resolution sessions

Other programs that may assist parties making agreements within the Family Dispute resolution process include:

  • Lawyer Assisted Family Dispute Resolution - Family Lawyers from our local Community Legal Services work in collaboration with Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners to assist parties by providing legal advice and support during mediation.
  • Child Inclusive Practice – Our Child Inclusive Practitioners work with children to provide feedback to parties about how children are experiencing family separation and conflict. This allows the adults in their lives to have a better understanding of the children’s perspective when making decisions.
  • Property Family Dispute Resolution - Parents can access property mediation after child related matters are finalised.

Due to resource issues and to ensure our services are catering to client’s individual needs, access to these other programs is at the discretion of Family Relationship Centre staff.

Decisions are made on a case by case basis.

Who is eligible?

Parents, grandparents, extended family members and those adults who would be considered under the Federal Family Law Act 1975 (amendments 2006) to be ‘significant others’ in children’s lives.

Clients can live anywhere in Australia but generally at least one of the parties will live close to the Broadmeadows local government area in Melbourne, Victoria.

How to access this service:

For information on how to access this service contact the Family Relationship Centre on (03) 9351 3700.

Clients must have the other party’s address as the Family Relationship Centre is required by law to invite them into the process via a written letter. 

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