Daykin Family Law

Expert Family Dispute Resolution in Brisbane

At Daykin Family Law, we specialise in providing expert family dispute resolution in Brisbane, guiding you through each stage of the process. With our focused approach and wealth of experience, we aim to minimise conflict and facilitate agreements that serve your best interests and those of your family. Trust Daykin Family Law to be your dedicated advisors in navigating the intricacies of family dispute resolution – contact us today.

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Why Choose Family Dispute Resolution?

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When facing a family conflict, it’s easy to think that the courtroom is the only place where issues can be definitively resolved. However, our family dispute resolution services in Brisbane offer several advantages over traditional litigation that can make it a preferable option for many.

More Control Over the Outcome

In a courtroom, decisions are ultimately made by a judicial officer who may not become fully aware of the intricacies and emotional complexities of your specific family situation, due to the nature of the process, what is relevant, what is admissible etc in that process. 

Family dispute resolution empowers you and your family to retain control over the decisions that affect your lives. The process is designed to facilitate discussion and reach a mutual agreement that respects everyone’s needs and interests.

Speed of Resolution

Litigation can be a protracted process, taking months or even years to conclude. This lengthy timeline can not only be emotionally draining but can also create prolonged periods of uncertainty for your family. Family dispute resolution, on the other hand, can often be completed in a shorter time frame, allowing you to move forward more quickly.


Legal battles can be financially draining, with costs that can skyrocket as time passes. Our family dispute resolution services in Brisbane are generally a more cost-effective alternative, focusing on constructive dialogue rather than expensive legal manoeuvring. This means you can allocate resources where they’re truly needed: in starting the next chapter of your life.

Daykin Family Law’s team of expert mediators and lawyers are trained in family dispute resolution processes, associated techniques and methods, ensuring that you’re getting the most efficient, cost-effective, and personally tailored service possible. Trust us to guide you through this critical juncture with the utmost professionalism and care.

How We Can Assist

Every family is unique, and so are the challenges they face. That’s why at Daykin Family Law, we offer a range of services tailored to meet the specific needs of each situation. Our comprehensive approach aims to resolve disputes as amicably as possible, focusing on the best interests of all parties involved.

Parenting Arrangements

Navigating co-parenting during or after separation can be one of the most emotionally taxing experiences for a family. We facilitate constructive dialogue to help parents arrive at agreements that serve the best interests of their children, encompassing everything from time arrangement to educational choices and financial aspects of raising children.

Property Settlements

Property settlements and financial disputes are often complex, involving a lot of emotions and high stakes. Our expert lawyers guide parties through mediation which can achieve an equitable distribution of assets and liabilities, considering not just legal entitlements but also any unique familial circumstances.

Child Support

Child support is an essential element that needs to be thoughtfully handled to ensure the well-being of the children involved. We can assist in creating a fair and balanced child support agreement that both parties can commit to.

Spousal Maintenance

For some separated couples, spousal maintenance is a necessary point of discussion and resolution. We provide a neutral ground to negotiate these sensitive matters, helping you arrive at an arrangement that is financially sustainable and appropriate.

Other Family Matters

In addition to these common issues, we also extend our services to mediate other family matters like relocation cases, grandparent rights, and even disputes involving separation and family businesses.

By choosing Daykin Family Law for your family dispute resolution needs in Brisbane, you’re choosing a team with an impeccable reputation for excellence, a deep understanding of the law, and a genuine commitment to helping you reach resolutions that pave the way for a more harmonious future.

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The terms “mediation” and “family dispute resolution” (FDR) are often used interchangeably, but they are not identical processes. Mediation is a broader concept that encompasses facilitated negotiations between any two or more disputing parties, whether they are involved in commercial, civil, or family matters. In mediation, a neutral third party helps the disputing parties talk through their issues, exploring options etc, in hopes of reaching a mutually agreeable solution.

On the other hand, family dispute resolution is a specialised form of mediation which is governed by legislation in Australia. Unlike general mediation, which can deal with a wide range of disputes, FDR focuses exclusively on family issues such as parenting arrangements, child support arrangements and can extend to property settlement (division of property).

The cost of family dispute resolution can vary depending on the complexity of the issues involved, the duration of the sessions, and the mediator engaged. We recommend contacting us for a more specific quote tailored to your situation.

Preparation is key for a successful family dispute resolution session. Before the session, it’s advisable to:

  • List the issues you want to address.
  • Gather any relevant documents, like disclosure, financial records or parenting plans.
  • Prepare emotionally by identifying your concerns and desired outcomes.
  • Consult with your lawyer, if you have one, to understand your legal rights and responsibilities.

Daykin Family Law can guide you through all the preparatory steps to ensure you’re ready for the session.

Yes, grandparents can attend family dispute resolution sessions if their involvement is relevant to the issues being discussed, such as parenting, seeking time with grandchildren or even as a support person. Their inclusion in the process would need to be agreed upon by all parties involved if they are not a party to the mediation.

Get In Touch

Have an enquiry?

Please fill out this form and one of our team will be in touch with you as soon as possible.

Our Location

Fortitude Valley, Brisbane (Main Office)
Level 12, 269 Wickham Street
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006

No relationship breakup is ever easy, especially when the financial burden of separation or divorce can be so heavy on the parties involved.  On top of that, going to court to resolve your family law matters can be not only costly but also time consuming.  Sometimes, the court process can take up precious financial and resources for years.

It is always best to consider litigation as a last resort, if you have exhausted other alternatives to resolving your dispute.  It is for this reason that, in recent years, the courts have been placing greater emphasis on “Family Dispute Resolution” (FDR) processes which aim to assist parties to resolve disputes and settle matters outside of court.

Read on to get an understanding of two commonly used FDR processes for resolving disputes, namely, mediation and conciliation, and how they can assist you in your family law matter.


Mediation is a well-regarded FDR process which aims to assist parties in family law matters to settle disputes by discussing differences and attempting to negotiate a potential outcome that would work for everyone involved.

Mediation is normally facilitated by a trained third-party known as a “mediator”.  A mediator is a trained professional whose main role is to act as an impartial third-party to facilitate discussions and negotiations and keep matters focused on resolving issues in dispute.

Mediation is usually a voluntary process parties agree to, however the court has also developed mandatory dispute resolution procedures in some cases in order to assist parties in avoiding the high costs involved with litigation.  For example, in parenting matters, the court requires compulsory mediation to be attempted by all parents seeking to obtain orders regarding children unless an exemption applies.   We consider the reason for this is because courts have recognised that mediation is, in fact, a proven and successful way of resolving many disputes.

Mediation can take place with all parties and/or their legal representatives in the same room.  Or, as an alternative, it can be conducted via “shuttle”.  This means that the respective parties will remain in separate rooms during the mediation, with the mediator moving between the rooms and having separate meetings with any legal representatives. 

Failing to reach an agreement and section 60I certificates  

It is a requirement under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) that separating couples seeking parenting orders of the court need to first indicate that a genuine effort to resolve the dispute by FDR has been attempted.  However, it may be the case that you find yourself dealing with another parent who is not willing to make a genuine effort in this regard, or simply the fact that an agreement cannot be reached despite a genuine effort being made.  In such circumstances, a form known as the “section 60I certificate” is necessary to be filed with the court.  Only registered FDR practitioners can issue such certificates and they allow parents to commence proceedings for parenting orders.

The following are five types of section 60I certificates that can be issued:

  1. You did not attend FDR due to the refusal or failure of the other party to attend;
  2. You did not attend FDR because the FDR practitioner did not consider it would be appropriate to conduct FDR in your circumstances;
  3. The parties attended FDR and made a genuine effort to resolve the issue(s) in dispute, but an agreement was not reached;
  4. The parties attended FDR but one or more of the parties did not make a genuine effort to resolve the issue(s) in dispute; and
  5. The FDR process commenced, but the mediator considered that it would not be appropriate to continue.

If you receive a section 60I certificate and decide to file an application in court, you will need to file it together with your initiating application.


Another common FDR process is conciliation.  Conciliation is similar to mediation insofar as its main purpose is to assist the parties in reaching an agreement on the various issues in dispute and, in so doing, to avoid the incursion of further legal costs.

Legal representatives are permitted to represent parties in this process and, sometimes, are court ordered to do so.

Notably though, the main difference is that the conciliation conference is conducted by a court Registrar.  A Registrar is a court lawyer that exercises certain judicial powers, such as the making of Orders.  At the conciliation conference, the Registrar will look at the case from both sides and assist in exploring options for settling your case without the need for a final hearing.  A Registrar cannot give legal advice, however they can talk with you about the legal principles that are applied when deciding cases.

As with mediation, the parties are expected to make a genuine effort to reach an agreement at conciliation.  With that in mind, you should go to conciliation in a spirit of compromise and adopt a practical approach.

Seek legal advice

Overall, it has to be said that both mediation and conciliation is more cost-effective and speedier than litigation which can often go on for years.  However, we understand that every single case in Family Law is different depending on your individual circumstances and the needs of your family.

For this reason, knowing what type of FDR process is most suitable for your case, if any, and when to consider engaging in such events, can be confusing and even daunting for many people.  This is why it is best to seek legal advice about your case, your obligations and entitlements, as well as tailored advice regarding the best options to suit your individual needs and the needs of your family.

Contact us today and make an appointment with Shannon Daykin, an Accredited Family Law Specialist, to discuss your circumstances and needs.  Shannon was recently named as one of Brisbane’s Leading Family & Divorce Lawyers (Recommended) and Leading Parenting & Children’s Matters Lawyers (Leading) 2021, Brisbane, in the prestigious Doyle’s Family Law Guide.  We offer a reduced fixed fee initial consultation, which can be conducted in person, by phone or by video conference.

We give you expert legal advice on the most appropriate and cost-effective course of action for you and your family.  Contact us on (07) 3852 5490 to make an appointment for a fixed fee initial consultation today.


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