family dispute resolution certificate
Family dispute resolution (FDR) is required by the Family Law Act to be undergone by separating couples to try to settle their dispute before going to court.
An FDR certificate will then be issued by the FDR practitioner as proof that there was a resort to FDR. The certificate will be issued either at the conclusion of the intake assessment which is determination whether dispute resolution is appropriate for the circumstances of the parties or it will be issued at the end of the FDR session. The FDR certificate is issued for the following:
- Both parties made a genuine effort to negotiate by attending and participating in the dispute resolution;
- Both parties attended and participated in the dispute resolution but the practitioner found that either one or both of them did not make a genuine effort to negotiate;
- A party was referred to dispute resolution but the practitioner, upon conducting an intake assessment, decided that dispute resolution is not appropriate for the parties’ circumstances;
- One party was referred to FDR but did not attend because the other party refused or failed to attend;
- Both parties attended and participated in the FDR which was halted by the practitioner because it would be inappropriate to continue.
The circumstances under which the FDR certificate is issued will affect the orders that the court will make. For instance, the court may adjourn the case and the parties ordered to first participate in a FDR. Another order that court may make is to order payment of costs against the party who did not attend the FDR or did not make a genuine effort in the negotiations.
In the case of Brianna and Brianna (2010) FamCAFC 97, the wife’s appeal against the trial court’s order that the parents undergo parentage testing was denied by the Full Court. The wife opposed the husband’s application for parentage and alleged that “the trial Judge's failure to require the parties to attend family dispute resolution and to hear the application without certification under s 60I of the FlLA that the parties had been to family dispute resolution”. However, the Full Court found that the wife has made it clear to the trial judge that there were no possibilities of resolving the parentage dispute.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.