The courts Child Dispute Services (CDS) area offers expert clinical services that provide assessments and advice to judges of the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia. CDS comprises around 80 internal Family Consultants and a number of external (regulation 7) consultants in each state and territory (excluding WA).

Family consultants are psychologists and/or social workers who specialise in child and family issues after separation and divorce. Family consultants can help families and the courts in many ways. They can:

  • prepare  comprehensive assessments of child and family functioning following separation and divorce
  • identify and  assess risk factors that impact on families and children after separation and divorce
  • identify significant issues for families and children
  • advise the Court as an expert witness
  • provide advice regarding resources and services which may help families and children
  • assist the parties to resolve their dispute, if possible.

For more information about Child Dispute Services see the publications:

The following publications provide information to assist children understand the role of the family consultant: