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Let CHOICE FDR help you

No one wants to start a relationship to have it end. Whatever your reason is, let me first say I acknowledge how hard it can be. I appreciate this might be a very difficult time for you and your family. I know it is easy for me to say, but let me say to you that things can and most often get better.

What are some of the biggest challenges for separated parents?

(1) Re-defining your new relationship as separated parents. The way you were when you were together, does not automatically continue now that you are separated. There needs to be a conversation about this so you both know where each of you stand.

(2) Building the type of “co-parenting “relationship that works for you both. You are your own parents, and you might have very different parenting styles. Now that you are separated there needs to be conversation about your parenting expectations and a discussion about how you both wish to continue to raise your children. You don’t have to parent the same way, but for the sake of your children, it would be better that your children can see that you are still a united front.

(3) Ongoing conflict – a functioning co-parenting relationship is often very difficult when there is prolonged, bitter and unresolved conflict between the parents. Research shows that it is the ongoing conflict and tension that children cannot cope with.

What are some challenges for separated couples dealing with their property matters?

(1) Issues of mistrust, not feeling validated and acknowledged for what you have contributed over the course of your relationship and what your needs are moving forward.

(2) Dealing with “it’s all about the principle of the matter” versus “can we just sort this out”.

(3) Reaching a financial resolution that you can live with and be at peace with.

This process is not about reconciliation and it also isn’t about counselling. What this process can do though is help you both to be have meaningful and helpful discussions, be future-focussed, focus on the needs of your children, and help you to reach a point you can live with.

Go to the Legal Info page to find useful information about separation for your reference.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the family dispute resolution process.

Let CHOICE help you.

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Choice Family Dispute Resolution

About Choice FDR

CHOICE Family Dispute Resolution & Mediation is a Perth-based business with over 23 years’ experience in the legal and community legal sector. The core of that experience is about working with people – people who live with and have lived with a multitude of issues and who need support in some shape or form to guide them through to the next phase of their situation.

CHOICE has been created with the focus to assist couples in the very difficult and emotional transition from a relationship with their partner to coming to terms with having a separated relationship.

CHOICE specialises in assisting separated/separating couples with issues regarding the living arrangements and decision-making for their children and with settlement of their financial affairs.

CHOICE has access to numerous networks within the community legal sector, mental health sector, private legal sector, relationships and counselling sector, and Legal Aid sector. If there is an issue that carries over to an area that is outside our expertise, we can offer you direct referrals to specialised services that are ready to assist you if you wish.

CHOICE gives you the opportunity to engage in genuine and meaningful discussion within a safe and open environment. An environment that gives you the opportunity to make informed decisions and to reach a resolution that is in your children's best interests and that you are prepared to live with.

Unless your circumstances require it, going to the Family Court should be your last resort. Family Court is a very protracted process, tremendously expensive (moreso if you have a lawyer acting for you) and a Judge or Magistrate will make a decision for you and/or your children whether you like it or not. CHOICE gives you the opportunity to voluntarily engage in a fast, balanced, fair, safe, and competitively priced process where any agreement that is made is made because you and the other party have chosen to do so.

CHOICE’s principal practitioner genuinely wants to enable you to focus on the root of your dispute – clearing away the secondary matters that tend to fuel conflicts so that you can make the best decision possible.

About JD Roussety

Please take a look at my practitioner snapshot for details of my experience and qualifications.

I have worked in the legal and community legal sector for over 23 years in several capacities. My original motivation to work in this area has been and continues to be to help people.

In recent years I have worked exclusively in the area of family law. I worked in a busy private practice dealing with complex family law, child protection, and restraining order matters. I was in court every day and I have represented clients throughout the entire court process.

What became clear to me was how sad and a lot of the time how awful clients’ situations were. As a lawyer, I am a person’s metal detector – guiding you through the family law minefield. More often than not though, you use a lawyer when you are already caught up in the minefield. Now I help couples to make decisions that will keep you well clear of the minefield entirely. What's more, you will be making that decision together.

I am a massive believer in assisting separated couples to help them understand "Why?!". I believe you need to understand "the root" of your dispute otherwise issues will just probably resurface down the track like a weed growing back. Often separated couples avoid the core of what is driving the conflict - "Why are we always fighting?!" "Why can't she just listen to what I am trying to say?!" "Why can't he just acknowledge what he did to us?!". Any discussions separated couples have are not as meaningful as they could be. If anything, discussions just add to the mounting ill-feelings because the core issue still has not been dealt with properly.

Often couples aren't ready to negotiate. Often one or both of the parties aren't able to move forward because of some past issue that they haven't sufficiently processed at that time.

Sometimes separated couples would be better served if they were prepared to engage the services of a family counsellor - not to help them get back together, but to help them understand their situation better and develop meaningful strategies to move forward. Like lawyers though, there are many counsellors out there to access! Where do you begin?! Please feel free to take a look at my referrals page for details of counsellors you can approach to help you get started.

Please be aware that I cannot give you legal advice - my referrals page also has the details of select family lawyers, and other legal services, you can approach to be informed about your options moving forward.

I acknowledge that it has taken a lot of courage to initiate this step. Take the next step and get in contact with me, I will be happy to answer any questions you might have.

I very much look forward in assisting you and your family in this difficult phase of your relationship.

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Mediation Services

Conferences about your child/ren.

I will prepare an outline of the issues you have discussed, the main points you spoke about, and what you have agreed to with each issue. If there is an agreement, I will prepare an outline of that agreement that can be used as the basis for a 'Parenting Plan' or can be used to accompany an "Application for Consent Orders" (Form 11) to the Family Court to make your agreement enforceable.

Child Inclusive Approach

If you would like to further enhance your mediation outcome, consider using a "child inclusive approach". This approach works towards further improving the way you as parents work together for the benefit of your children. It also provides your children with an opportunity to let you know how they are travelling in a fun, safe and supportive environment. A specialised "Child Consultant" conducts this part of the mediation process. Please read the My Two Worlds information sheet for details about this invaluable service.

Issuing Section 60I/66H Certificates

For child-related matters, if you feel you have no other option but to commence Family Court proceedings regarding your child/ren, the Family Law requires that you obtain a Certificate to show that you have at least attempted to engage in family dispute resolution first. There are situations where you do not have to get a Certificate first - please seek legal advice from a Family Lawyer about your situation. As a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner accreditted by the Commonwealth Attorney General's office, I am authorised to issue you a Certificate in particular situations. I can explain more about this when we meet.

Conferences about your property.

For property matters, I will create a "Schedule of Assets and Liabilities" for you. This Schedule is a comprehensive spreadsheet that lists your the assets and liabilities that make up your asset pool, the agreed values, who owns or is responsible for each item, and what you propose to happen with each item eg: you keep the house, they keep the car, etc. The Schedule then shows you the effect of your proposal in terms of percentages. If you choose to, you can submit this Schedule with an Application for Consent Orders to the Family Court to make your agreement official.

Links to other services.

I have links with numerous legal and non-legal services that might be of benefit to you. Once I have met with you and the other party, I can offer you directs referrals and pathways to a variety of services to assist you with the matters I cannot resolve.

Please ask about this when we meet.

Professional Development Training.

The Family Law system is overwhelming enough for clients, let alone professionals who assist clients who are caught up in the system. I have over 23 years experience in this sector. I can provide you and your staff with the insight as to the Family Law process. It is critical for clients to understand this process before engaging in family dispute resolution. Understanding what is potentially ahead of them allows them to make informed decisions about their children, their property, and even influences how they conduct their negotiations.

If you work in an area where your clients are exposed to the Family Law system, but you are not as confident as you could be regarding this complex area, please contact me to talk about how I can help you and your staff.

Go to the Legal Info page and select the Professional Development link for more details.

FDR "Mediation" Process.

1 - Meet with you and the other party individually for a "Screening & Assessment Interview".

2 - Assess whether it is suitable/appropriate to conduct joint meeting.

3 - Decide how long you require, either half-day or full-day.

4 - Agree on a suitable date and time and conduct the conference.

Screening & Assessment Interview$150*
Family Dispute Resolution Conference#
(half-day 4 hours)
Contact us to find out more*
Family Dispute Resolution Conference#
(full-day 7 hours)
Contact us to find out more*
* Note: if there is a need to cancel, ensure that you provide more than 24-hours notice for full refund. If less than 24-hours notice is given, only 50% of the fee will be refunded.
# If you wish to conduct a Family Dispute Resolution Conference on a Saturday, please add an additional $200 to the Conference Fee
(all prices quoted in Australian Dollars; GST not applicable)
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Process & Timeframe

Step One: Assessment Interview

Meet with Parent/Participant 1

Step Two: Assessment Interview

Meet with Parent/Participant 2

Step Three: Dispute Resolution Conference

Half Day (4 hours) / Full Day (7 hours)

Step Four: Follow-up Conference

(if required)

Please note timeframes will vary depending on how soon both parties make contact and depending on availability of the Practitioner and parties’ solicitors (if applicable).

If child-related matters, and if Parent 2 does not engage with our service, I will attempt to contact that Parent after 8 and 16 working days. If no contact has been made, or the other parent does not wish to engage, I can then issue a Certificate to Parent 1 if requested.

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Legal Info

This page contains important information about the laws regarding family dispute resolution - the mediation process - and documents you need to read and prepare for the mediation.

Please read through these when you can.

Just click on the files and you will be able to save a copy to your computer.

Information for Participants

Session Documents

Other Useful Documents

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Family Lawyers

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Judy TAM
Jeraldine MARTIS

Hearty & Tam

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Bannerman Solicitors

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Jeanette PEDULLA

Pedulla and Associates

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Klimek & Wijay

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Calverley Johnston

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Platinum Legal

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George, Helene,

Ferrier, Athanasiou & Kakulas

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Tania WENN

Wenn Law

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Revathi MOHAN

RM Law

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Corinne Griffin & Co

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Kimberley MORRISON


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Rebecca BUNNEY

Cullen Macleod Lawyers

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HBR Family Lawyers

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Michael KLIMEK

Klimek Family Law

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Kondwani MWENDA


FMD FAHEY MWENDA D'ADAMO Divorce and Family Lawyers

Other legal services

Family Relationship Advice Line

Law Society of Western Australia

Legal Aid Western Australia

The Community Legal Centres Association of WA

Family Counsellors

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Bronwyn Tough

Psychology Services

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Centrecare Family Law Counselling


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Child Consultants

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Finance Brokers

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Your Finance

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Michael PHAM


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Please let us know about your experience with CHOICE? Your testimonial could be featured here... Contact us to send in feedback!

Abigail Davies

Barrister - Francis Burt Chambers

"Dear JD, I would like to thank you for your generosity in supervising me. I did find the experience incredibly rewarding and to have seen how you support conflicting parties in search for what they might be able to live with was nothing short of inspiring. While the circumstances and personalities of the parties varied, what clearly reoccured was the parties leaving the room at he end of the mediation as if the weight of the world had been lifted from their shoulders. Reducing people's suffering isn't in any of the FDRP reading materials as such. I feel lucky to have been placed with someone who is so mindful as well as highly skilled."

Julie E

Child-related parenting matters

JD is very professional, non-judgemental, calm and appropriate in managing all points of the mediation process. JD is a highly skilled mediator. He has a non-biased approach, and an ability to manage difficult issues and points of discussion in a non-threatening way, whilst maintaining focus and a clear direction. I highly recommend his service."

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