Family Dispute Resolution

Before commencing proceedings involving children in the Court you must first engage in family dispute resolution, or mediation. This is a non-court based process aimed at assisting parents to come to agreement about how they will co-parent their children in the future.

If the parents are able to come to an agreement, they have the option of either keeping the new arrangement as an informal agreement (which is not enforceable by the Court), or of formalising their agreement through consent orders.

Consent orders are orders of the Court, and so if either parent does not comply with their agreement they will be breaching a Court order. If the parents cannot come to an agreement, the mediator will issue a certificate, called a ‘Section 60I certificate’, which will enable the parents to go to Court seeking formal orders.