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Understanding the Significance of Section 60I Certificates In Parenting Matters

Updated: 6 days ago


 What is a Section 60I Certificate?


A Section 60I certificate is issued by an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (or FDRP) under Section 60I of the Family Law Act 1975 in Australia. This certificate confirms that parties (or at least one of the parties) have made a genuine effort to resolve their dispute through family dispute resolution (or FDR), which may include mediation, counselling, or other forms of alternative dispute resolution.


Section 60I Certificate | Parenting Order | Family law
Section 60I Certificate | Parenting Order | Family law

A Section 60I Certificate is exclusively for Family Dispute Resolution in Parenting matters and cannot be issued for dispute resolution efforts relating to property or other purposes. In most cases, an S60I certificate is required before applying to the court for Parenting Orders.

 

Refusal to Participate in Mediation


If a party refuses to participate in mediation for parenting matters without a valid reason, the FDR Practitioner must issue a Section 60I Certificate indicating the refusal. Or, if a party attends mediation but doesn't genuinely try to resolve the issues, the FDR Practitioner must issue a Section 60I Certificate indicating the lack of effort on part of that one party.

 

Options for Dealing with Refusal to Mediate


After two invitations to engage in mediation, if the other party refuses or doesn't respond, the FDR Practitioner will usually issue a Section 60I Certificate to the party requesting it. This certificate allows an application for Parenting Orders to be made to the court.

 

Types of Section 60I Certificates

 

There are several types of Section 60I certificates, such as:

 

1. Section 60I(8)(a) Certificate: This certificate is issued if the parties have made a genuine effort to resolve their dispute through FDR but could not do so because the other party refused to participate or the FDR practitioner determined that FDR was not appropriate (for reasons relating to one party's safety or concerns relating to family violence, etc.).

 

2. Section 60I(8)(aa) Certificate: This certificate is issued if one party did not attend FDR and the FDR practitioner deemed it appropriate to issue the certificate despite that party's absence.

 

3. Section 60I(8)(d) Certificate: This certificate is issued if the FDR practitioner determines that the case is exempt from the requirement to participate in FDR due to issues such as family violence, child abuse, or urgency.


Significance of S60I Certificate Type


The type of Section 60I Certificate issued matters because the court considers it when deciding on orders under Section 13C of the Family Law Act 1975. This can include awarding costs against a party or referring both parties back to mediation under Section 117 of the Act.

 

Implications of Not Providing Section 60I Certificate


Without a Section 60I certificate, the court may refuse to hear an application for specific parenting orders, unless there are exceptional circumstances.

 

Summary

 

In summary, a Section 60I certificate is a crucial document demonstrating the parties' compliance (or non-complicane) with the requirement to attempt family dispute resolution before initiating court proceedings related to parenting matters.


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Warning! No information provided on this website in relation to Australian laws, policies, procedures, directions (or any other matter) is intended to be legal advice for anyone. You must seek legal advice on issues specific to your situation and circumstances. Please read our Terms and Conditions.

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