Parenting FDR is different from private mediation
Parenting FDR is conducted under Australian family law. While much of the FDR process is similar to private mediation, there are some differences.
Private mediation is normally provided by an accredited mediator; parenting FDR needs to be provided by an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) who is specially trained to comply with family law and to take into account those things mandated by the Family Law Act and a number of regulations. This includes ensuring that any parenting agreement reached is in the best interest of the children involved.
The purpose of Parenting FDR is to assist two people who are or have been married or in a de facto relationship sort out their differences in relation to the arrangements for parenting their children. By the end of the session. the parents may reach an agreement. Such an agreement may remain informal, although written down, or they may wish to have a formal agreement drafted by their respective lawyers.
Parenting FDR may also be of help to parents who are not separated or separating but want assistance in resolving any differences they may have within the relationship, including about parenting.
Parenting FDR is usually carried out over a 2½-hour session, with the possibility of further sessions as needed. As children grow and develop, arrangements may need to be changed and this may lead to the parents wanting another session some time in the future.
The FDRP is not able to give any advice but will lead the parties to identify when such advice may be necessary.
Before a parenting FDR session can commence, the FDRP will have an assessment session with each party (up to an hour with each) to fulfil the requirements of the Family Law Act. The parties will also be asked to sign a Parenting FDR Agreement before the first session.
Further information about FDR can be found in FDR FAQs.