Q: Why do I need to go to a Family Dispute Resolution? Can I go directly to Court?
A: You must attend a Family Dispute Resolution session before making application for a parenting order to the Family Court.
Pursuant to section 60i of the Family Law Act 1975 if you intend to make an application to the Family Court for parenting orders you must attend FDR and obtain an FDR Certificate (section 60i Certificate) before making your application to the court.
Family dispute resolution (FDR) is a process involving you and your former partner meeting with a family dispute resolution practitioner (FDRP) to try to sort out your family law issues. These issues might include:
• who your children will live with,
• who they will spend time with and other matters FDR can help separating or separated couples to reach an agreement without having to go to court.
The Family Court will not accept your application without a section 60i Certificate unless you fall within one of the following exceptions:
• you are filing consent orders ;
• has been or is a risk of child abuse;
• has been or is a risk of family violence;
• your application is about contravention of a parenting order that was made less than 12 months ago
• your case is urgent;
• you are unable to participate effectively in FDR, (you live in a remote area, you are incapable of participating in FDR).