Section 60I of the Family Law Act 1975 states that the Court must not hear an application in relation to children unless the party making the application has filed a certificate from a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.
What is a Section 60I Family Dispute Resolution Certificate (“Section 60I Certificate”)?
After you attend or attempt Family Dispute Resolution, the Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner will issue a Section 60I Certificate.
There are four different types of Certificates the Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner can issue:
- The party or parties did not attend family dispute resolution with the other party to the proceedings, but that person’s failure to do so was due to the refusal, or failure, of the other party to attend.
- The party or parties did no attend family depute resolution with the other party to the proceedings because it is considered, having regard to the matters mentioned in the regulations that it would not be appropriate to conduct the proposed family dispute resolution,
- The parties attended family dispute resolution and all attendees made a genuine effort to resolve the issue or issues in dispute.
- The party or parties attended family dispute resolution but did not make a genuine effort to resolve the issue or issues in dispute.
The type of Section 60I Certificate the Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner issues may give the Court an indication of a party’s willingness to make a genuine effort to resolve the dispute.
Am I exempt from providing a Section 60I Certificate for a Parenting Matter?
It is possible to apply for an exemption of the requirement to attend dispute resolution in the following circumstances: –
- The proposed orders are to be made by consent between the parties;
- If you are responding to an application that another party to the proceedings has made;
- If the Court is satisfied there has been or there is a risk of abuse of the child/ren by one of the parties to the proceedings or there is a risk of abuse if there were to be a delay in applying for an order;
- If the Court is satisfied there has been or there is a risk of family violence by one of the parties to the proceedings;
- Where the application is made in relation to an issue about which an order has been made in the last 12 months and a party has contravened the order in a way that shows serious disregard for their obligations; or
- The situation is urgent.
Prior to commencing court proceedings regarding parenting issues advice should be obtained from a Family Law specialist about the requirements to comply with Section 60I.