Parenting Matters: Live with and time with children

(Previously known as residence and contact)

“Your children’s wellbeing and happiness is your utmost priority. Our aim is to help you reach an agreement about parenting matters as swiftly as possible to reduce disruption and ease transition.”

 – Nicole Le Pou, Family Lawyer.

Ease the transition for you and your children.

Separation and divorce is never easy for children. But there are several ways to reduce the stress and emotional cost of the transition. Often a child will live mainly with one parent and may spend specified time with the other parent, or sometimes an “equal time” agreement can be reached. Whatever the arrangement, it’s imperative to reach an agreement swiftly and with as little stress as possible to reduce family disruption.

The Family Law Act 1975 (the Act) requires a person to make an attempt to resolve disputes about parenting matters using family dispute resolution before applying to a court for a parenting order. 

The Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) Process

Family dispute resolution is a practical way for separating families to try and reach agreement about future parenting arrangements. FDR is essentially mediation and is conducted by a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner. 

The Family Law Act 1975 requires a party to obtain a certificate from a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner before they file an application in court for parenting orders, this certificate is usually referred to as a section 60I certificate. There are some exemptions from obtaining a s60I certifcate, if an exemption applies to your circumstances you can issue court proceedings seeking parenting orders without first obtaining a s60I certificate. 

What are the exemptions to providing a s60I certificate?

Under section 60I(9) of the Act, you can seek an exemption from providing a certificate in the following circumstances:

  • If your matter is urgent;
  • If the Court is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that:
        • There has been child abuse and/or family violence,
        • There is a risk of family violence by a party, and/or,
        • There is a risk of child abuse if there were to be a delay in applying to the Court.
  • Where a party is unable to participate effectively in family dispute resolution (for example, due to an incapacity to do so, or physical remoteness);
  • If your application relates to an alleged contravention of an existing order that was made within the last 12 months.

Read more about Family Dispute Resolution on the Family Law Courts website.

  Going to Family Court.

In some cases a mediated agreement through Family Dispute Resolution may not be possible and it becomes necessary to go to Court. If that's the case in your matter we’ll guide you through the complexities of going to court and ensure your case is presented in the best possible way to achieve your desired outcome for your children’s wellbeing.

Got a question about parenting matters?

Call us today on (03) 7002 6222 or send us an email enquiry

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