Can I have my own lawyer?

Yes, you certainly can have a lawyer assist and attend with you throughout the process. A lawyer can have an important role in providing advice and advocacy for a client during the mediation process. Some clients are comfortable participating in mediation without a lawyer - it's really a matter of personal choice. It can be helpful to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer prior to attending FDR, though this is not a requirement.

Why choose FDR Private?

  • Mark Dickinson is our principal mediator. He adopts a multi disciplinary approach to practice - with training and experience in family law, the social sciences and dispute resolution. See his professional profile on the home page of this website.

  • His primary professional focus is mediation - and his experience and expertise means your case is more likely to settle by mutual agreement.

  • We keep our overheads low so we can provide an affordable service.

  • Generally, clients are offered an intake appointment within one week of the initial enquiry. Once both parties have attended their intake appointments typically a mediation can occur within one week (subject to client availability) 



Is FDR right for me?

FDR is particularly well suited where parenting arrangements or property settlement issues are unresolved and the parties:

  • have a desire to resolve the dispute/s; and

  • agree for a mediator to help

FDRPs are required by law to assess the parties’ suitability to participate in FDR. This broadly concerns each party’s ability to negotiate during a mediation, which can be impacted by any history of family violence and imbalances in bargaining power, among other factors. The FDRP will conduct the process in a manner that aims to ensure the process is fair and safe. If a party so chooses, they may have a lawyer attend with them.


The FDRP may suggest that the mediation be structured in a certain way in order to promote fairness and safety. In some circumstances however, FDR may be considered inappropriate. In that event the FDRP will issue a certificate – known as a section 60I certificate – to the parties, confirming the matter is assessed as not suitable for FDR. These certificates allow parties to file a parenting application in the family law court if they chose to.

If you are interested in FDR but are unsure if the other party would be, you can suggest FDR to them if you are comfortable to do so. You may prefer that we contact the other party to see whether they would like to participate.

Is FDR compulsory?

That Family Law Act 1975 requires parties to make a genuine effort at Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) prior to taking a parenting case to court (unless an exception applies). Participation or attempted participation in FDR is confirmed by a section 60I certificate issued by a registered FDRP. Unless an exception applies, a section 60I certificate must be filed at the time a parenting case is filed. All mediators with FDR Private are authorised to issue section 60I certificates.

What is a section 60I certificate?

A section 60I certificates is required to be filed at the same time that a parenting orders application is file, unless an exception is applied for. A section 60I certificate confirms to the court that Family Dispute Resolution has been conducted or was attempted. These certificates can only be issued by registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners (FDRPs). There are five types of certificates:

a) That a party failed or refused to participate in FDR

b) That FDR is considered not suitable for the parties

c) That the parties attended FDR and made a genuine effort to resolve the dispute

d) That a party attended FDR but failed to make a genuine effort to resolve the dispute

e) That FDR commenced but as subsequently considered not suitable to continue 

The court may take into account the type of section 60I certificate issued when considering whether to make a costs order against a party – relevant where a party fails to attend FDR (certificate “a”) or fails to make a genuine effort at FDR (certificate “d”).

Can mediation happen only in person?

Traditionally mediation was conducted face to face.


COVID-19 has changed the way mediations are convened with more mediations taking place using video conferencing. Online mediations work well, are convenient for participants, and allow parties to view documents and to meet with the mediator in "private rooms".


We offer a national online mediation service and face to face mediations in Hobart, Tasmania. 

How much does FDR Private charge?

Please click below for our fees


Unless otherwise agreed, fees are shared equally between the parties.

Please note: the extent and complexity of disputes vary. This affects the length of time recommended for a mediation. In some cases more than one mediation can be beneficial. Prior to undertaking work we will confirm our fees in writing. The length of time set for a mediation will be agreed with you in advance.