Family dispute resolution and victims of family violence: Ensuring a safe process and outcomes

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Family dispute resolution (FDR) is a positive first-stop process for family law matters, particularly those relating to disputes about children. FDR provides the parties with flexibility within a positive, structured and facilitated framework for what are often difficult and emotional negotiations. However, there are a range of issues that arise for victims of family violence in FDR that can make it a dangerous and unsafe process for them unless appropriate precautions are taken. This article discusses the nature of FDR and identifies the many positive aspects of it for women participants. The article then considers the nature and dynamic of family violence in order to contextualise the discussion that follows regarding concerns for the safety of participants in the FDR process. Finally, it offers some suggestions about how Australia could approach FDR differently to make it safer for victims of family violence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-193
Number of pages9
JournalAustralasian Dispute Resolution Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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