379 Collins Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
P: (03) 8625 3666
Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 8pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 8pm
Friday 9am - 4pm
Melbourne FRC has a focus on providing support and services to families experiencing separation. We can help you to discuss issues, focus on your child’s needs and make decisions regarding your children, without going to court. The Centre is committed to providing an inclusive service for all families. We acknowledge and respect the wide-ranging needs, backgrounds and diversity of families in our community. Anyone can contact the FRC for information, advice and referrals. We can offer family dispute resolution services to anyone involved in caring for a child, including grandparents, step-parents, same-sex and gender diverse parents and other significant people in a child’s life.
Underpinning the current family law system is the importance of promoting healthy family relationships, preventing conflict and separation, encouraging agreement rather than litigation, and promoting the right of children to have meaningful relationships with both parents.
Our aim is to provide a service model that allows parents to reach easy, simple and efficient agreements which are in the best interests of children while at the same time protecting children and vulnerable adults from risk of harm. We do that by working in partnership with a range of services including legal services and we provide a setting in which parties can feel safe and confident they will be treated with dignity and respect.
The family dispute resolution process involves the parties:
Family dispute resolution is now compulsory, in the sense that people who wish to go to court to reach a settlement in relation to children are now required to first attend FDR, and make a 'genuine effort' to resolve their disputes. Some exceptions to this requirement apply - for example, in situations involving family violence or child abuse, or in urgent matters.
View the Melbourne FRC brochure here.
The Melbourne FRC has a Community Liaison Officer who engages with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) and Indigenous communities. The Centre works closely with multicultural communities on a range of complex family issues, utilising its partnership with government, legal services and the community sector to deliver culturally-appropriate services.
Family relationship information sessions
The Centre can provide tailored information sessions to multicultural community groups and service providers about the role of FRCs, family dispute resolution, the impact of separation on children and the Family Law system. We also work in partnership with various communities and services to develop programs aimed at helping to strengthen family relationships. Please contact a Community Liaison Officer to arrange an information session or to find out more about our multicultural programs.
Family dispute resolution (FDR)
This is a process that helps couples and families who are in conflict to communicate with each other and reach agreement about issues relating to their separation (such as care of children, financial arrangements and property settlement).
Legal partnership program
The centre works in partnership with Victoria Legal Aid and the Family Law Legal Service to deliver a range of services for families. These include: information sessions for FDR, legally-assisted dispute resolution, and individual legal advice appointments for those participating in FDR.
Parenting After Separation Series
Based on the Key Steps to Parenting after Separation program, this series informs parents about the impact of separation and divorce on children. It provides parents with key information and strategies to assist children adjust to separation and divorce successfully. The group meets the requirements for Court Orders and is available to men and women. Contact the centre for further details.
This is a three-hour seminar to assist separated parents to have strong, healthy relationships with their children. The program is designed to assist participants to understand the effects of family separation on children, understand the impact of parental conflict on children, improve their communication with the othjer parent and know what they need to to be a more effective parent. Contact the Centre for details on upcoming programs.
In 2012/13, the Melbourne and Greensborough FRCs are participating in a program run by Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria, How 2 create a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex inclusive service. As part of this program, we have been looking at ways in which our Centres work with Rainbow Families, their experiences of using our services and how we can improve outcomes for individuals, families and children.
We have been revieweing our access and intake processes, disclosure and documentation, cultural safety, professional development and training for staff, as well as conducting community consultations. All staff at Melbourne FRC have now received specific training around working with same-sex parented families. A report on our involvement in this program and the results of our community consultation will be available on this website in the near future. For more information about this program, please visit the GLHV website.
Melbourne FRC is committed to providing an inclusive service and we welcome any complaints, feedback and suggestions on how we can improve our services. You can contact the Centre Manager on 8625 3666.
Click here to view the Melbourne FRC's Rainbow Families brochure.
For more information on Melbourne FRC programs please contact the Community Liaison Officer on (03) 8625 3666.
The Melbourne FRC is managed by a consortium with Relationships Australia Victoria as the lead.