Family Law Certificates.
Parents (or other persons) cannot go to Court for Parenting Orders unless a certificate has been issued by an Accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and is filed with the application for Parenting Orders.
Kinds of Certificates.
A Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner may issue four (4) kinds of certificates:
- That the person did not attend Family Dispute Resolution because the other party failed or refused to attend.
- That the person did not attend Family Dispute Resolution because the practitioner considers it inappropriate to conduct Family Dispute Resolution in the circumstances.
- That the person did attend Family Dispute Resolution and all parties made a genuine effort to resolve the issue or issues.
- That the person did attend Family Dispute Resolution but that person, or the other party or parties, did not make a genuine effort to resolve the issue or issues.
Exceptions to Compulsory Attendance.
In some circumstances Family Dispute Resolution is not appropriate and the law provides some exceptions to the compulsory attendance requirement, as follows:
- Parents (or other persons) have reached agreement and want it to be formalised as a consent Order from the Court.
- A separate application has been made for interim or procedural Orders after proceedings have commenced.
- Family violence or child abuse is involved.
[Note: The Court must be satisfied on reasonable grounds there is, or would be, risk of abuse or violence should there be delay in applying for an Order.]
- In matters of urgency where it is necessary to give immediate protection to a child or for the urgent location and recovery of a child that has been abducted.
- A party has not complied with a Court Order (within 12 months).
[Note: The Court must be satisfied that the party has shown serious disregard for their obligations under that Order.]
- A party is not able to effectively participate in dispute resolution because of incapacity or physical remoteness.
The Court holds the discretion to Order parties to attend Dispute Resolution (or other service or program) that it thinks may help.
A parent (or other person) that fails or refuses to attend Family Dispute Resolution or does not make a genuine effort may have legal costs awarded against them. In this regard, the Court may take the kind of certificate into account when deciding whether to award legal costs against a party.