Changes to the family law system from July 2008 have made Family Dispute Resolution a requirement before you can apply to the court for a parenting order, with some exceptions.
People are not required to attend FDR when the following circumstances apply under the Family Law Act:
• where people are applying for a consent order;
• where an application has been made for procedural or interim orders while the main proceedings are happening;
• where there has been, or there is a risk of, family violence of child abuse;
• in cases of contravention within 12 months of a court order showing serious disregard for obligations under that order;
• where the matter is urgent, including cases of child abduction or the need for immediate protection of a child;
• where a party is unable to participate effectively in FDR eg due to incapacity or physical remoteness.
The Family Law Regulations require the Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner to assess the suitability of each case throughout the FDR process.