Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution in AU 

Family Law

Before applying for parental orders in court, separating families with a dispute over children requires a law to make an honest effort to resolve it through family dispute resolution (FDR). To apply to a family law court, one must meet this condition. Those requesting modifications to an existing parenting order are also included. Select situations, such as those involving domestic violence, child abuse, or urgency, are exempt from this rule. 

Parties wishing to have a parenting matter decided by a family law court must submit a certificate from an FDR practitioner unless an exemption applies. The certificate, also known as a Section 60I Certificate, is issued in accordance with Section 60I of the Family Law Act of 1975. An FDR practitioner can help families involved in divorces agree/arrange the division of their property without having to go to court. 

According to the Family Law Act, FDR is not admissible because it is confidential. This is only true when FDR is performed by an FDR practitioner who has received our accreditation or has a court’s approval. The Family Law Act does not protect any other type of mediation. 

A neutral third party, referred to as a mediator, works with the parties during a structured discussion process called mediation to help them evaluate their choices, come to an agreement, and terminate the conflict. Instead of a judge forcing a decision onto the parties, mediation might be used. Mediation, also known as “assisted” or “facilitated” negotiation, helps couples in conflict to negotiate a mutually agreeable settlement to the conflict. 

This gives you the freedom to make your own judgments and increases the likelihood that the agreement will stand the test of time and lessen friction between you and your children. It allows you to mend fences with the other party or parties and come to terms on co-parenting and legal matters that are significant to you through dispute resolution. Additionally, you might pick up more efficient communication techniques from the opposing side or parties, which could help you settle conflicts in the future.  

By adding a neutral third party and having Lawyers serve as the chair, mediation-style conferences give participants and their attorneys a safe and secure setting to advance the negotiations. The chair helps the parties discover and explore options for resolving their disagreement by facilitating dialogues to explore their issues and concerns. Important elements of mediation-style conferences include confidentiality and the chair’s objectivity, which are crucial to their chances of success. 

The court offers free FDR, according to the Family Law (Cost) Regulations 2012, there is a fee associated with a conciliation conference that only addresses financial issues. Small fees may be charged for dispute resolution with community-based organizations. You will be obliged to schedule your own visits and, usually, be responsible for any associated fees if the court requires you to participate in FDR and/or family counselling, including with a particular community-based organization. However, your cost will depend on your financial situation as the government subsidizes these services. Payable to private practitioners of mediation and conflict resolution are fees. Unless the order specifies otherwise, you will be responsible for paying costs if you have been ordered to participate in a post-separation parenting program 

A hearing will be held in your case if an agreement cannot be reached. Before the final hearing, parties can request a court-based dispute resolution conference, go to private mediation or community-based FDR, or come to an agreement and submit consent orders. 

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