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Family dispute resolution

The Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act 2006 (Cth) also implemented a system of Family Dispute Resolution, a key feature of which is compulsory family dispute resolution before filing of a court application. The object of this is to compel people to visit a family dispute resolution practitioner (previously called a counsellor or mediator) and make a genuine effort to resolve their dispute.

Family Dispute Resolution centres have been established to provide the above compulsory service; however, family dispute resolution may be provided outside these centres. A certificate is provided upon completion of this process.

There is little that is new in the concept of compulsory dispute resolution, particularly in relation to children’s matters; however, the difference under the amendments is that these processes are made compulsory before filing, rather than afterwards.

Exception for violence or abuse: The requirement to attend family dispute resolution prior to filing a court application does not apply where there are allegations of child abuse or family violence. For further information on this topic, see Chapter 5.4: Family Violence.

The following agencies may be able to provide Family Dispute Resolution:

Family Mediation Centre (Head Office – Moorabbin)
Level 4, 1001 Nepean Highway, Moorabbin Vic 3189
Tel: 9556 5333
Email: family@mediation.com.au
Web: www.mediation.com.au
Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria
Level 4, 456 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Tel: 9603 8370; 1800 658 528
Email: dscv@justice.vic.gov.au
Web: www.justice.vic.gov.au/disputes
Roundtable Dispute Management (Victoria Legal Aid)
Tel: 9269 0500; 1800 136 832
Web: www.legalaid.vic.gov.au (follow links from “What we do”)
Lifeworks Relationship Counselling and Education Services
Counselling (by appointment) at: Bayswater, Broadmeadows, Chadstone, Frankston, Geelong, Melbourne, Moonee Ponds, Preston, Wangaratta and Wyndham
Tel: 8650 6200
Web: www.lifeworks.com.au
Cairnmillar Institute
993 Burke Road, Camberwell Vic 3124
Tel: 9813 3400
Web: www.cairnmillar.org.au
Centacare Catholic Family Services Melbourne
Admin: 9287 5555
Consultations (by appointment) at:
Bundoora: 9466 7353
Dandenong: 9793 2200
Footscray: 9689 3888
Geelong: 5221 7055
Kinglake: 5786 1016
Malvern: 9576 2377
Mitcham: 9873 4344
Web: www.centacaremelbourne.org
Drummond Street Relationship Centre
195 Drummond Street, Carlton Vic 3053
Tel: 9663 6733
Email: enquiries@dsrc.org.au
Web: www.dsrc.org.au
(Non-denominational)
Relationships Australia (Victoria)
Counselling (by appointment) at: Armadale (central office), Ballarat, Cranbourne, Croydon, Greensborough, Kew, Narre Warren (Children’s Contact Service), Shepparton, Springvale, Sunshine and Traralgon.
Tel: 1300 364 277 (call will automatically be directed to the nearest centre in your area)
Web: www.relationshipsvictoria.com.au
(Non-denominational)
Family Court of Australia
Counsellors and welfare officers are also attached to the Family Court. Their aim is not to engage in long-term counselling but to supplement the services of marriage counselling organisations.

Family dispute resolution :: Last updated: Fri Feb 28th 2014