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2. Family law matters

2.3. Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) Service

2.3.1 Consideration of resolution processes other than litigation

In a Commonwealth family law matter Legal Aid NSW must consider approving Early Resolution Assistance (ERA) for an applicant to participate in FDR services before it considers granting aid for litigation services at any stage in the proceedings.

See: Policy Online: ERA for early intervention mediation

2.3.2 Appropriateness of participation in FDR services

Legal Aid NSW will only approve ERA requiring an applicant to participate in FDR services if it considers that this is appropriate in the particular case. Participation in FDR services is usually not appropriate where:

  • the matter is considered to be an urgent matter under guideline 2.2.1
  • for family law matters relating to a child of the parties, there are any current reported allegations of child abuse, or investigations or court proceedings relating to child abuse are currently taking place
  • a party's safety or ability to negotiate effectively is jeopardised by behaviour of the other party such as violence, intimidation, control or coercion, or a history of such behaviour, or
  • one or more of the parties to the proceedings is unable to participate effectively in family dispute resolution (whether because of an incapacity of some kind, physical remoteness from dispute resolution services or for some other reason).

Date Last Published: 10/01/2022