Family Relationship Centres

Contributed by SueFoster and current to 13 February 2019

Family Relationship Centres are a first port of call when families want information about relationship and separation issues.

Through information and referrals, the centres help families strengthen relationships and deal with relationship difficulties. Where families separate, the centres provide information, advice and family dispute resolution (mediation) to help them reach an agreement on parenting arrangements without going to court. They also refer families to a range of other services that can help.

Services available

Provide information for families

People of all ages at any stage of their family relationship are able to use the centre to enhance relationships and resolve individual relationship issues. They provide access to indigenous advisors who can provide culturally appropriate options and referrals to relevant services.

Help families use other services

The centres make it easier for families to find out about and use the many existing services throughout Australia that can help them resolve their relationship issues. These other services include early intervention services that prevent relationships from breaking down.

Provide assistance for separating families

As well as providing information and referrals, centres are able to help separating parents in a number of ways, including:
  • individual interviews for separating/separated parents to help them identify issues and options and focus on the needs of their children;
  • joint family dispute resolution sessions for separating/separated parents to help them reach agreement on parenting arrangements - these are conducted by Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners who can issue Section 60I Certificates enabling parents to proceed to court if matters are not resolved;
  • with the consent of parents a Child Consultation session can be arranged to hear the views of the child/ren;
  • group programs and public information sessions on parenting after separation.

If it is appropriate, you can bring family members or a support person with you. Lawyers don't usually participate in centre sessions but you are encouraged to seek legal advice at any stage outside the centre. Centres are committed to providing a safe environment and can put into place arrangements to assist with your safety or the safety of your children. You should let centre staff know if you have any concerns as soon as possible.

Costs and charges

Centres provide individual advice free of charge. Depending on individual income levels, centres may also provide up to three hours of joint family dispute resolution sessions free of charge .

Charges will apply after the first three hours of joint sessions. Any fees charged after these three hours will take into account the client's ability to pay. In some cases fees will be waived.


Darwin Family Relationship Centre

For information and appointment bookings:

Freecall: 1300 364 277
Tel: 8923 4999

Centres also operate in Katherine and Alice Springs.

Family Relationship Centres

The Family Relationship Centres form part of a national network with the Family Relationship Advice Line which provides free information, advice and referral services. Family Relationship Advice Line: 1800 050 321 between 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 4pm Saturday.

Family Relationships Online

Family Relationships Online provides access to information about the changes to the family law system and about family relationship issues and services available to assist families.

Visit Family Relationships Online:

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