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Derek Legal Blog

Family Dispute Resolution

Before applying for a Parenting Order under Part 7 of the Family Law Act parents must attend family dispute resolution.

This is carried out by a family dispute resolution practitioner. There are private family dispute resolution practitioners and organisations such as Relationships Australia that carry out family dispute resolution. The idea is to endeavor to resolve the parenting matter without the necessity for a trial. Family dispute resolution is carried out like a mediation, with the family dispute resolution practitioner acting as the mediator to try find common ground between the parents. At the end of the procedure, the family dispute resolution practitioner will issue the parents with a Section 60I certificate which will allow them, if necessary, to commence an action for Parenting Orders.

There are five types of Section 60I certificates, each of which reflects what happened at the dispute resolution conference. For instance, one states that the parties to the proceedings in relation to the issue/s that the Order would deal with and that all the attendees made a genuine effort to resolve the issue/s. If one of the parents failed to attend the certificate would reflect that.

Subsection 9 of Section 60I provides for circumstances in which the parenting application under Part 7 can be made without a Section 60I certificate. In broad terms, the subsection provides that if all the parties consent the certificate is not needed. Another is if, there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been abuse of a child by one of the parties or there is a risk of the abuse or family violence.

A certificate is not needed if the matter is urgent, or if one or more of the parties is unable to participate effectively in family dispute resolution.

If a parent commences proceedings for Parenting Orders and does not attend family dispute resolution and Subsection 9 does not apply, the Court must consider making an Order that that person attend family dispute resolution.

Posted in: Derek Legal Blog at 06 June 18

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