Go to content

Family Dispute Resolution Service

***Legal Aid NSW is now conducting most mediations online via Zoom.
Please contact your mediation organiser if you have any concerns about participating in online mediation.

Who we are

The Family Dispute Resolution Service of Legal Aid NSW helps people to resolve their family law dispute without going to court by inviting the parties involved in the dispute to attend a mediation.

Who we help

To take part in a Legal Aid family mediation, either you or the other party to your dispute must have been granted legal aid for your family law problem. A grant of legal aid pays for a lawyer to represent you at the mediation.

The first step is for you or the other person (or both) to apply for legal aid for a mediation. To find out how, call LawAccess on 1300 888 529.

If you apply for legal aid to go to court, and we think a mediation might help, we may require you to attend a mediation first.

How we can help

We can help you settle your dispute more quickly than going to court. Mediation is also a very good way of helping you to work out what’s best for your children.

At a mediation, you will get a chance to express your point of view openly and try to work out a solution that all parties agree on.

You and the other person will meet to discuss your issues with an independent mediator. If you have legal aid funding your lawyer will attend with you. If you have a private lawyer they can attend, although this is not essential. A lawyer for the children may also be present. Legal Aid does not charge anyone who attends the medation.

Mediations can be held face to face, by video or by phone.

Some mediations are in shuttle format - which means the parties do not see or speak to each other, but communicate only through the mediator.


Legal Aid family mediations are available for parties anywhere in NSW.

Contact us

For more information call the Family Dispute Resolution Service on 02 9219 5118 or 02 9219 5119 or FDR.UnitInbox@legalaid.nsw.gov.au

More information & forms

FDRS Brochure

FDR Checklist
pdf iconpdf 1.2MB Word icon Word 176KB

FDR Property Checklist
pdf iconpdf 1.1MB Word icon Word 119KB

FDR ICL Checklist
pdf iconpdf 0.9MB Word icon Word 82KB

FDR Confidentiality Agreement
pdf iconpdf 1.4MB Word icon Word 47KB