At the end of the family dispute resolution process, this specialist will issue what is known a Section 60I Certificate.
The Family Law Act provides a process for the resolution of controversies about the time children will spend with parents and also other important people in their lives.
Alterations to the Family Law Act in July 2006 introduced the concept of family dispute resolution. Parties are required to attend mediation with a registered family dispute resolution practitioner before filing an application in Court, except in some circumstances.
At the end of the family dispute resolution process, this specialist will issue what is known a Section 60I Certificate. If you haven't been able to reach an agreement with the other parties, you can use that Certificate as a “permit” to start proceedings.
Courts to consider seeking advice from family consultants
Section 11e of the Family Law Act
(1) If, under this Act, a court has the power to:
(a) order a person to attend family counselling or family dispute resolution; or
(b) order a person to participate in a course, program or another service (other than arbitration); or
(c) order a person to attend appointments with a family consultant; or
(d) advise or inform a person about family counselling, family dispute resolution or other courses, programs or services;
(e) may, before exercising power, seek the advice of:
(i) if the court is the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court--a family consultant nominated by the Chief Executive Officer of that court; or
(ii) if the court is the Family Court of a State--a family consultant of that court; or
(iii) if the court is not mentioned in subparagraph (i) or (ii)--an appropriately qualified person (whether or not an officer of the court);
as to the services appropriate to the needs of the person and the most appropriate provider of those services; and
(f) must, before exercising power, consider seeking that advice.
(2) If the court seeks advice under subsection (1), the court must inform the person about whom the advice is sought:
(a) whom the court is seeking advice from; and
(b) the nature of the advice the court is seeking.
To go to Court, you will need to prepare court documents. An “Initiating Application” is a document in which you tell the Court what Orders you would like to have them make. An “affidavit” is a document for which you tell the Court your story and why you would like them to make the Orders you seek. You may have to file affidavits from other witnesses.
Within the court process, you need to attend Court. You may also need to participate in the meetings with a Family Consultant (previously referred to as a Family Court Counsellor) or other Expert. That Family Consultant or Expert will prepare a Report for the Court to assist the Court in deciding what to do in your matter.
If needed, your matter may go to a Final Hearing. In cases like this, you and any other witnesses you have may be asked to attend Court to answer questions about their evidence.
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.