Who is the Family Relationship Centre for?
Family Relationship Centres provide information and referrals for families at any stage of their relationships, as well as individual and joint Family Dispute Resolution sessions for separating or separated families.
How can a Family Relationship Centre help?
A Family Relationship Centre can help you by providing information about family relationships at all stages – forming new relationships, overcoming relationship difficulties or dealing with separation.
If you are going through separation, staff will talk with you to help you focus on your children’s needs and help you decide what to do next.
Family Relationship Centres specialise in providing joint Family Dispute Resolution mediation sessions with the other parent or family members to help you agree on parenting arrangements.
Centre staff can also refer you to other specialist services that can help, such as family law counselling or programs about parenting after separation.
Centres also offer a range of other services and programs such as information sessions and seminars.
- provision of information, support and referrals for families
- education and child focused sessions
- specialist child consultant
- provision of family dispute resolution (mediation)
- drafting of parenting plans
- issuing s60I certificates under the Family Law Act.
What is Family Dispute Resolution?
Family Dispute Resolution is a process where parents can be helped by an independent and neutral third party, who is a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP). The FDRP will assist parents to communicate with each other about what is important and how to make decisions aimed at resolving disputes and matters relating to their children and property.
It is now compulsory for parents wishing to go to the Family Court in relation to parenting matters to first attend Family Dispute Resolution and make a ‘genuine effort’ to resolve their dispute. Some exceptions to this requirement apply, for example, in situations involving family violence or child abuse, or in urgent matters.
Are the services free?
The Centre is funded by the Australian Government. Family Relationship Centers provide information, referral and individual sessions free of charge.
Centres also provide up to one hour of joint Family Dispute Resolution sessions free of charge.
Family Relationship Centres will charge clients earning $50,000 or more gross annual income $30 per hour for the second and third hours of Family Dispute Resolution.
Centres are committed to providing a safe environment and can put into place arrangements to assist with your safety or the safety of your children. You should let staff know if you have any concerns as soon as possible.
What about matters relating to property?
If your dispute is in relation to property settlement, financial matters, please click here for information on the Dispute Resolution and Mediation service.