The Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act 2006 (Cth) also implemented a system of Family Dispute Resolution, a key feature of which is compulsory family dispute resolution before filing of a court application. The object of this is to compel people to visit a family dispute resolution practitioner (previously called a counsellor or mediator) and make a genuine effort to resolve their dispute.
Family Dispute Resolution centres have been established to provide the above compulsory service; however, family dispute resolution may be provided outside these centres. A certificate is provided upon completion of this process.
There is little that is new in the concept of compulsory dispute resolution, particularly in relation to children’s matters; however, the difference under the amendments is that these processes are made compulsory before filing, rather than afterwards.
Exception for violence or abuse: The requirement to attend family dispute resolution prior to filing a court application does not apply where there are allegations of child abuse or family violence. For further information on this topic, see Chapter 5.4: Family Violence.
The following agencies may be able to provide Family Dispute Resolution:
Family dispute resolution :: Last updated: Fri Feb 28th 2014