Preparation for FDR / PDR Conferences

If your matter is relatively simple and there are no significant risk issues at play, attending Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) and / or Property Dispute Resolution (PDR) without a lawyer alongside you may be appropriate (although it is strongly recommended that you receive independent legal advice before the conference).

Many separated couples find FDR and / or PDR helpful for the purpose of reaching agreement as to how they will care for their children and divide their assets and liabilities after separation.

dispute resolution conference

Dispute resolution conference in Ballarat

In most circumstances, the law requires you to attempt out of court negotiations before commencing legal proceedings.

It is always wise to obtain independent legal advice before attending FDR or PDR for the purpose of gaining a clear understanding of the law as it applies to your situation, your legal rights, obligations and likely entitlements. At Cargill Family Law, we provide independent legal advice and are able to answer your questions before the mediation.

Independent legal advice

Family Dispute Resolution

Many parents find FDR or private mediation very helpful for the purpose of reaching agreement as to how they will care for their children after they separate. FDR is best suited to relatively straightforward parenting matters where the children are not at risk.

During the FDR conference, both your and your ex-partner will negotiate parenting arrangements for your children which will usually address parenting arrangements during school term, school holidays, special occasions (ie. Christmas, Birthdays, other special religious holidays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, etc).

When providing independent legal advice to our clients, we recommend a parenting arrangement which takes into account all of the facts and circumstances of your case and the various factors that the Court takes into account when determining: safety, what is in the children’s best interests and what is practical in the circumstances.

Property Dispute Resolution

Many separated couples find PDR or private mediation very helpful for the purpose of reaching agreement as to how they will divide their assets and liabilities.

Like FDR, PDR services are offered by a number of community organisations and private accredited mediators. PDR is best suited to relatively straightforward family law property matters where the value of all assets and liabilities is known and where there are no complex legal issues at play.

When providing independent legal advice to our clients, we recommend a property settlement range once the true value of all significant assets and liabilities have been identified and where all of the important facts and circumstances are known. This settlement range takes into account all of the known facts and circumstances of our client’s case and the various factors that the Court takes into account when determining what would be a just and equitable property settlement in all of the circumstances.

How Cargill Family Law can help you prepare for your mediation

Our FDR / PDR conference preparation service is available in Ballarat, Bacchus Marsh and Melbourne. We can help with:

  • Parenting matters – provide you with clear advice about what your legal rights and obligations are and what parenting orders the court would be likely to make having regard to what is in the children’s best interests and what is practical

  • Property matters – provide clear advice about what your legal rights are and what your future property entitlements are likely to be. This may also involve recommending that you obtain further information and evidence such as taxation advice or property valuations

  • Prepare a written summary of our preliminary advice which may assist you during mediation
  • Draft the terms of any settlement agreements reached by way of either parenting and / or property orders or a binding financial agreement.

The initial consultation immediately soothed my anxiety around the matter.

“Having Rachel take on my case has eased the burden on me enormously. The initial consultation we had immediately soothed my anxiety around the matter. As we’ve progressed, she’s been warm and empathetic, but also provided honesty, clarity and practical advice. She is also very eagle-eyed, spotting errors in documents even I, as an editor, didn’t see! I would highly recommend this family law practice.”

– Lily, Ballarat

Rachel guided me through the process very thoughtfully and professionally

“Rachel was a delight to work with. I was always kept updated with all developments, always consulted before any correspondence was sent. Nothing was to much trouble. Going through a divorce and settlement is an extremely stressful time, but Rachel guided me through the process very thoughtfully and professionally. Her fees were also very reasonable. I would highly recommend Cargill Family Law.”

– James, Ballarat

Mediation FAQs

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) is an informal mediation between two separated parents before a trained mediator. The purpose of FDR is for the parents to reach an agreement concerning the ongoing care of their children. FDR services are offered by a number of community organisations and private mediators. Such services are provided to assist parents to iron out any areas of disagreement concerning the ongoing care of their children.

Prior to attending FDR, the parties will usually be required to attend an information session (at separate times) for the purpose of being educated about the importance of co-parenting constructively and without conflict.

The Family Law Act requires parents to attempt FDR before commencing family law proceedings. Exceptions will be made if the matter was deemed unsuitable for FDR (usually as a result of family violence) or in the event of urgency.

Regardless of the circumstances, it is highly advisable that each party obtains independent legal advice before attending FDR or private mediation so that they can obtain an understanding of the law as it applies to them and gain an appreciation of what orders a court would be likely to make in all of the circumstances.

Remember, the mediator that facilitates your FDR conference with your ex-partner, must act impartially and cannot provide you with independent legal advice.

Property Dispute Resolution (PDR) is an informal mediation where the parties come together before a trained mediator to try and reach an agreement as to how they will divide their assets and liabilities.

PDR services are offered by a number of community organisations. Similarly, there are a number of private mediators that specialise in mediating family law property settlements.

YES! It is very important that you obtain independent legal advice before you attend FDR or PDR so that you gain a clear understanding of what your childrens’ best interests are (from a legal perspective) and what your future property / financial entitlements are likely to be.

Remember, the mediator that facilitates your FDR / PDR conference with your ex-partner, must act impartially and cannot provide you with independent legal advice.

Get in touch for a free 30-minute consultation