LAWS 3022 Family Dispute Resolution

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 200772

Coordinator Brett Mcgrath Opens in new window

Description This subject develops mediation skills and understanding of family dispute resolution. It builds on LAWS 3023 (200633) Family Law to deepen student knowledge of and capacity to assist separated parents to resolve disputes about their children and property. Particular attention is given to processes concerning children and processes to assist families who present with highly complex family dynamics, including the presence of family violence. This subject develops students’ skills to recognise and understand the drivers of conflict for separating couples, and how to conduct family dispute resolution in both the court and non-court context.

School Law

Discipline Family Law

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Pre-requisite(s) LAWS 3023

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Conduct assessment of clients with family relationship issues to assess their suitability for family dispute resolution processes
  2. Analyse the impact of family domestic violence on families and children and take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of family members who are subjected to violence
  3. Manage casework in a family law context
  4. Apply the Family Law Act and other relevant legislation and principles to assist clients with post separation problems
  5. Conduct family dispute resolution and outcomes that promote the best interests of the children
  6. Reflect on development of professional competence in family dispute resolution
  7. Critically evaluate family dispute resolution

Subject Content

1. Introduction and Family Dispute Resolution - the context
2. Approaches to Family Mediation & Role of the Mediator 
3. Issues for Separating Couples and Parents & Children
4. Understanding Family & Domestic Violence
5. Children’s Voice
6. Issues for Couples: New and Established Relationships
7. Mediating Property & Financial Issues
8. Mediating other family disputes
9. Practice Considerations: the process
10. Additional practice considerations
11. Principles of Practice
12. Language of Mediation – Language & Culture
13. Reflective Practice in Family Law dispute resolution 


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Report 2000 words 20 N Individual
Essay 3000 words 35 N Individual
Professional Task Practical – co-mediating in pairs 30 mins conducting FDR. 30 N Group
Reflection 500 words 15 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Linda Fisher & Mieke Brandon, Mediating With Families, (Thomson Reuters 4th ed, 2018)  

Structures that include subject