Family Law Disputes Involving Children Part I

By Carlos Turini – Accredited Family Law SpecialistCarlos Turini - Accredited Family Law Specialist

Section 60I Certificates

In July 2006, the Federal Government introduced some major reforms to the Family Law Act (“the Act”) in relation to family law disputes involving children. The overriding objective has been to make disputes between parents over children non acrimonious.  Substantial emphasis and resources have been invested to counselling, mediation and methods for parties to achieve agreement in family law disputes.

The first entry point to a family law dispute relating to children has shifted from the Family Court to counsellors and mediators (“family consultants”) located in Family Relationship Centres established throughout Australia and other centres such as Relationships Australia and the Conflict Resolution Centre in Canberra. Alternatively, parties may choose to engage private family consultants for this purpose.

Only in very exceptional cases, such as urgent cases or cases where there has been domestic violence,  may parties commence court proceedings in relation to children immediately without the need to attend mediation/counselling.

Section 60I Certificate

Normally a party may not commence court proceedings about a child unless an accredited family consultant has issued a section 60I Certificate. [1] A consultant will issue such a certificate if parties engaged in mediation counselling and were unsuccessful or if one party refused to engage in the process

A copy of the section 60I Certificate must be attached to the documents filed with the Court to initiate proceedings.

Family Law Disputes Involving Children Part II

Family Law Disputes Involving Children Pt III

For more information, contact Carlos Turini

p: (02) 6206 1300 | e: cturini@elringtons.com.au