If you separate and don’t agree about what will happen with your kids, the law says it is good to go to family dispute resolution (FDR).

Family dispute resolution (FDR) is mediation. This means you talk together with your ex-partner and a mediator. You talk about the problems and decide together how to fix them. It helps you and your ex-partner decide about your kids, your property (house, car), and your money.

FDR is the first step. Most of the time, you and your ex-partner can decide together in FDR and you don’t need to go to court.

Text based resources about this topic


Arrangements for children
Divorce and living arrangements (family law)

This web page has information for young people about separation, divorce and living arrangements (family law). 

Parenting Arrangements – Frequently Asked Questions

This is for parents who are separating or getting divorced and need to work out how to share the care of children.

Watch videos about this topic


What’s the law? Family law

This video talks about family law in Australia (3 minutes).


Family dispute resolution at the NT Legal Aid Commission

This video talks about how NT Legal Aid can help people make parenting arrangements (3 minutes).


Family dispute resolution at the Family Relationship Centre

This video talks about how the Family Relationships Centre can help with making parenting arrangements (2 minutes).


Moving beyond family conflict – A guide to family dispute resolution

This video shows what you and partner can do when you don’t agree on family matters when you’re separating (15 minutes).


Glossary: What these words mean


A mediator helps people who are in a dispute make an agreement.

A mediator is an independent person. This means they are not on your side or your partner’s side.


Property is something a person owns. It can include:

  • real estate: family home, investment property or commercial property
  • vehicles: cars, trucks, caravans, boats, trailers and motorbikes
  • money: cash or in bank accounts
  • shares or stocks: in a business or partnership, or a family or public company
  • insurance policies
  • superannuation
  • jewellery
  • furniture and household items
  • debts: mortgages, loans, credit cards and personal debts.

Mediation is a process where you and your partner try to work through relationship problems with someone who can help direct the conversation. This person is called a mediator. A mediator is an independent person. This means they are not on your side or your partner’s side.


When two people who are married, partners, or in an intimate relationship split up or end the relationship it is called separation.

family dispute resolution (FDR)

When two people are separating, family dispute resolution (FDR) can help them decide what happens with children, property and money. It is cheaper than going to court.

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