What are Family Relationship Centres?

Family Relationship Centres (FRCs) are safe and secure environments where clients can receive information, advice, family relationship services or referral to a wide network of local services. At FRCs, diverse backgrounds and needs are acknowledged and respected.

Family relationship services are wrapped around child-focused family dispute resolution (mediation), which enables separating families to achieve workable parenting arrangements without the need to go to court. Family Dispute Resolution is a simple, inexpensive form of mediation that does not involve legal action. It is a confidential process where one or two trained mediators help people in conflict come up with solutions everyone can agree with.

Staff at our FRCs work sensitively, carefully and impartially with all clients to understand their needs and suggest the most appropriate services and courses of action. They journey with clients to help reduce conflict and to resolve issues and disputes. 

Our aim is to facilitate a process whereby well-constructed agreements, which reflect the wishes of parents and are in the best interests of their children, are reached. We will always do all within our power to protect children and vulnerable adults from the risk of harm.

FRC staff are professionally qualified in accordance with standards set by the Attorney-General’s Department, with academic backgrounds in social science, psychology or law.

Whether you are going through separation, starting a relationship, want to make your relationship stronger or having relationship difficulties, our expert FRC staff can help.
 
Click here for a copy of Interrelate’s fee schedule. 
 
FRCs operate as a hub and resource centre for community members to receive appropriate services and programs on site, and, as required, to be referred to other services available in the local region.

How can they help with property and financial matters?

FRCs offer Property & Financial Matters FDR which is provided to clients in conjunction with FDR for parenting. The service is delivered by accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners (FDRPs) who have received additional training to provide Property and Financial Matters FDR.

FDRPs will walk parents through the process which is fully supported by information and handouts to reach an appropriate agreement. FDRPs will remain impartial, providing a professional service to both parents by managing constructive negotiation in a safe environment. 

The property and financial matters Family Dispute Resolution process

At initial contact, parents are asked if they are interested in completing a property settlement. During the process, parents provide an outline of their property, other assets and debts and will be provided with information sheets and a detailed form to complete. Parents are requested to sign an agreement which sets out the arrangements for themselves and the FDRPs to apply as they work through the process.

Full disclosure

The Property and Financial Matters FDR process can only operate with success for parents if both parents provide full and frank disclosure of all their property and financial information.

Legal advice

FRCs and FDRPs do not provide legal advice to their clients. During the Property and Financial Matters FDR process, the importance for parents to obtain independent legal advice will be explained. Such advice provides information as to how a property division may be determined, and also provides information on possible outcomes which prepares parents to negotiate with each other. It is generally acknowledged that legal advice assists parents to speed up the process of negotiation and brings about a realistic outcome in the interests of both parents.

When can it occur?

Separating parents may decide to negotiate a property settlement at any time during the process of separation. It is not necessary to wait 12 months or until a divorce before making a property settlement. Time limits do apply once a divorce has been granted.

Parents generally have 12 months from the date that their divorce order takes effect to apply for court orders to resolve their Property and Financial Matters. For de facto couples, a two-year time limit generally applies from the date that this relationship ends.

To successfully agree a property settlement requires both parents to be ready to settle their property and financial matters, and it requires an amount of preparation to assemble all the necessary facts and information.

While parents are encouraged to use the service of the FRC to undergo property and financial matters FDR, which is voluntary, parents need to believe they have chosen the appropriate time to negotiate a property settlement.

  • Central & Far West
  • Central Coast
  • Hunter
  • Lower Mid North Coast
  • Northern NSW
  • Sydney South
  • Upper Mid North Coast

Program locations