High Conflict Family Dispute Resolution

High Conflict Family Dispute Resolution

High Conflict FDR

High Conflict Family Dispute Resolution is for couples who have trouble using standard Family Dispute Resolution services due to high conflict behaviour or  family violence.

The service is made up of pre-mediation coaching followed by video mediation or if either does not want to meet face to face even on video then we use video shuttle mediation.

If you do not have children the New Ways Post Separation Parenting Coaching is replaced by a Pre-Mediation Coaching Session.

New Ways coaching package

Skills Before Decisions

New Ways for Families course and two coaching sessions for individual learning support. Discover how to deal with the stress of co-parenting and improve your negotiation skills.

High Conflict Family Dispute Resolution

Safe Online FDR

May be possible to proceed even if you have a section 60i Certificate from another service. If you want to try to reach an agreement then see if HC Family Dispute Resolution can help.

Why it works

Skills Before Decisions

Pre-mediation coaching helps you to work with a certified New Ways for Families Coach in a way that you can’t do in post separation parenting classes.

You will work with the coach on the specific issues you face with your former partner and they will help you to prepare proposals for mediation using an approach that works even with high conflict people.


Safe Online Mediation

If either of you is fearful or have high conflict reactions mediation has probably already been tried and failed or you were told that it isn’t suitable.

That might be true or it might be that you need a process that feels safer and  mediators who are qualified to work with high conflict family situations.

 Making your own decisions together is always going to give you the best chance that the agreement will be followed.


High Conflict FDC

The first step in the High Conflict FDR is for you both to participate in our New Ways for Families Pre-Mediation Coaching Program.

New Ways for Families online course teaches you new ways to deal with stress and to negotiate.

If you don’t have children you could participate in pre-mediation coaching instead. Find out more about pre-mediation coaching.

The online course and New Ways Coaching teaches you the 4 big skills –

  • managed emotions,
  • moderate behaviour,
  • flexible thinking and
  • checking yourself

It also teaches you how to use proven strategies for negotiating the kinds of issues that families encounter when restructuring due to separation of the parents or when married or de facto couples without children end their relationship and need to reach a property settlement.

Once you have started the New Ways for Families course you can get started with your mediator.

They must undertake a pre-mediation risk assessment and help you prepare for the mediation. This is not a replacement for the pre-mediation coaching / New Ways for Families Coaching as the work the coach does with you is different to pre-mediation.

Even if you and/or the mediator decides not to proceed with mediation the Coaching will help you to cope with the situation you are in and develop skills to deal with your difficult co-parent.

What happens in Pre-Mediation?

The pre-mediation preparation stage is conducted by a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner who will undertake risk screening and talk to you about safety.

  • If you have been the victim of family violence they will talk with you about your Safety Plan to help protect yourself and your family from future incidents of violence.
  • If you have used family violence tactics with your family they will talk to you about programs available to help you to change your behaviour so that you do not hurt the people you love by your words and actions in the future.

During this stage in the High Conflict Mediation Process they will also help you to prepare for the mediation by talking with you about:

  • parenting plans – these are written and signed agreements about parenting. They can be long term or, as we recommend when you are making major changes, for a set period of time with a review session pre-planned.
  • asset pool disclosure – full disclosure of everything that you have and everything that you owe is the first step if you need a property settlement agreement. In this part of the process the mediator will talk with you each about your asset pool, ways that people value the various items. In most cases people leave the  pre-mediation session with an action plan of tasks needed to determine the asset pool
  • what you want – you will already have done some work with your New Ways Coach on making proposals. The mediator will check that you have a clear understanding of your preferred options, your fall back position, your non-negotiables (if any) and how those options compare with your legal advice. If you have not had legal advice they will help you to understand the value in understanding your legal rights and obligations.
  • explaining the chosen process – if there has been high conflict or family violence happening in your family you are probably feeling pretty nervous about what  is going to happen in High Conflict FDR. The mediator will explain the process, their role, your role and that of your former partner. They will answer any questions you have and make sure that you are OK to proceed.


High Conflict FDR is a live video mediation session. You can be face to face (online) with the other person or we can run it as a shuttle session.

If one of you is very nervous it will be done as video shuttle.  That means that you will both be online at the same time but that the mediators will not be putting you in the same virtual room.

They will talk to one of you then put that person on hold so you can not see or hear anything online, while you are on hold they will talk with the other person. This will alternated back and forward to try to work towards a resolution. Shuttle mediation isn’t a very efficient process due to the amount of time you each spend waiting while the mediator talks to the other person.

Support Person

It is a good idea to have a support person with you so that you can talk to them while you are waiting.

You can always have a support person or advisor when we are facilitating Shuttle Video Mediation. It is by agreement if you are meeting face to face online.

In this process the mediator works with each of you to document your proposals and share them and any information you want shared with the other person. The process isn’t done with you both available on the web meeting at the same time so it takes longer to get the message back and forward than High Conflict FDR. The advantage is that you are not sitting in front of your computer waiting while the mediator speaks with the other person.

What if it isn’t appropriate?

If someone is emotionally fragile we generally recommend Mediator Facilitated Negotiation. Find out more about Mediator Facilitated Negotiation.

This may also be a preferred approach if there are practical reasons such as time zones or work commitments that make a live meeting impractical.

Pre-Mediation Coaching

Single Session
$ 195 Per person
  • Certified New Ways Coach
  • Workbook included

New Ways for Families Coaching

2 session program + New Ways for Families Course
$ 365 Per person
  • New Ways for Families Online Course
  • 2 x New Ways Coaching Sessions


High Conflict Family Dispute Resolution
$ 198 Per Hour
  • Individual pre-mediation sessions
  • Video FDR - 2 or 3 hour sessions
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