The law requires separating families who have a dispute about children to make a genuine effort to try to sort it out through family dispute resolution (FDR) before filing an application for parenting orders in court.
This requirement applies to anyone wanting to file an application with a family law court. It also includes those seeking changes to an existing parenting order. There are a few exceptions to this requirement, such as cases involving family violence, child abuse or urgency.
Unless an exemption applies, parties seeking to have a parenting matter determined by a family law court will need to file a certificate from an accredited FDR practitioner. The certificate is issued under Section 60I of the Family Law Act 1975 and is commonly known as a Section 60I Certificate.
An FDR practitioner is an independent person who can help people discuss issues, look at options and work out how best to reach agreement in disputes about children.
The process of family dispute resolution includes:
- the first person makes contact with our office seeking family dispute resolution;
- an Intake and Assessment Session is conducted with the first person;
- the second person is invited for family dispute resolution;
- an Intake and Assessment Session is conducted with the second person;
- the Joint Session is conducted if the matter suitable for mediation.