Family Dispute Resolution

The Mediation Centre is a designated provider of Family Dispute Resolution Services by the Attorney Generals’ Department, with principle Amanda Little an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner.

Our understanding of family law, combined with our experience in mediation, has positioned The Mediation Centre as a leading provider of Family Dispute Resolution services to families across greater Western Sydney.

What is Family Dispute Resolution?

Family Dispute Resolution is the term used to describe mediation services that are specifically designed to assist couples and families affected by separation and divorce. The sessions are tailored to facilitate calm discussions around, and solutions to, family disputes. Most people know Family dispute resolution as ‘family mediation’.

Why Family Dispute Resolution?

Separated families who have a dispute about parenting arrangements, such as children’s matters or property matters, are required by law to make a genuine effort to resolve the dispute through Family Dispute Resolution. It is a highly successful process that produces results and allows people to reach an agreement without the need for Court or expensive legal fees.

Who can deliver Family Dispute Resolution services?

Family Mediation can be provided by most mediators, however only accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners can issue s.60I certificates under the Family Law Act 1975. These mediators are specifically accredited by the Attorney General’s Department and meet the standards of the Family Law (Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners) Regulations 2008. This certificate allows parties who have been unable to reach an agreement to commence proceedings in Court.

The Mediation Centre is an accredited Family Dispute Resolution Provider and can issue s.60I certificates.

Is Family Dispute Resolution compulsory?

In the majority of circumstances, yes.

Parenting Orders can only be obtained by application to the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Magistrates Court. In order to apply, you must have a Section 60I Certificate.

The Mediation Centre is authorised to issue Section 601 Certificates when we believe that both parties have made a genuine effort to resolve their dispute through Family Dispute Resolution.

There are, however, a number of exceptions to the Section 601 requirement, including:

  • Situations where there is a belief that the application is genuinely urgent
  • Where there has been, or there is a risk of, family violence or child abuse
  • Where one party is unable to participate effectively
  • Where the Mediator believes that undertaking Family Dispute Resolution is not appropriate for the situation, or
  • If the matter deals with a contravention of current Orders.

If your situation falls into any of the categories listed above, we suggest that you seek legal advice.

Click here for further information regarding Family Dispute Resolution and s.60I certificate

How does Family Dispute Resolution work?

Family Dispute Resolution is a completely confidential process. There are limited exceptions to this – we are obliged to report child abuse, a threat to a person’s life, or if criminal activity may be involved.

When we practice Family Dispute Resolution, we utilise the facilitative process of mediation. We facilitate discussion and assist each party in moving towards an amicable resolution. Our role is to help you explore family issues in an objective and positive light, with a view to reaching a shared agreement.

Your mediator is neutral, impartial and is not there to take sides, or make decision. Your mediator is there to facilitate discussions, generate options and help move you move forward.

What if I reach an agreement at Family Dispute Resolution?

It’s great news! And it is highly likely – more than 90% of cases are resolved prior to a Court date. Our goal is to guide you to reaching an agreement. This agreement can be then formalised into a Parenting Plan or Consent Orders.

What is a Parenting Plan? A Parenting Plan is a document that outlines your written agreement, signed and dated by both parties.

Click here to access a Fact Sheet on Parenting Plans

What are Consent Orders? Consent Orders are orders made by the Court with the consent of both parties. This occurs after both parties make an application to the Court for the mediation agreement to be legally binding . We recommend obtaining legal advice in order to organise consent orders.

Click here to access a fact sheet on Consent Orders

What if Family Dispute Resolution doesn’t work?

There are a number of reasons why Family Dispute Resolution may not deliver a suitable outcome for both parties. These include:

  • Only one party attending Family Dispute Resolution
  • A genuine effort not being made to resolve the dispute, whether it be by one or both parties
  • The case not being appropriate for Family Dispute Resolution, and
  • The Mediation Centre practitioner making an informed judgment that, for whatever reason, it was not appropriate to continue through the resolution process.

If you attend Family Dispute Resolution and are unable to reach an agreement, your Practitioner will issue you with a Section 601 certificate, enabling you make an application to the Court for Children’s Orders.

What are the costs of Family Dispute Resolution?

Family Dispute Resolution is considerably less expensive than other options available to families, such as legal proceedings.

Our fees are extremely reasonable and we can accommodate your needs including after hours and weekend appointments where necessary.

Please contact us on 0247 616 930 to discuss the costs of mediation.