Family dispute resolution is a process by which separated parents are assisted in resolving their family law dispute without involving the Courts.

Family Courts will not allow you to apply for parenting orders if you haven’t attempted to resolve the dispute outside of Court through family dispute resolution. If you are still unable to agree on care arrangements for the children, the family dispute resolution practitioner will provide you with a certificate to advise the Court that a genuine attempt was made to resolve the dispute. There are some exceptions to this requirement, including:

  1. if the matter is urgent
  2. if there are reasonable grounds to believe that:
    • there has been child abuse and/or family violence
    • there is a risk of family violence
    • there is a risk of child abuse if there were to be a delay
  3. where a party is unable to participate effectively in family dispute resolution for reasons such as their remote location or they have physical ailment preventing them from participating
  4. if the application alleges that a person has contravened an existing order that was made within the last 12 months, and the person who has allegedly contravened the order has shown a serious disregard for his or her obligations under that order.

Family dispute resolution is the opportunity for people to attempt to resolve the dispute and come up with a solution suitable for their individual situation. It can also save the cost of continuing to a contested hearing through the Court system.

Please note the answers provided are for your general information only and we ask you to call our office on 02 6331 2911 to obtain detailed legal advice for your individual situation.

Lauren Ryan | Family Law Solicitor