Generally, with any dispute relating to children, the parties are required to attempt mediation before any Court proceedings are able to be commenced by either party.
There are certain exceptions to this general rule, which primarily relate to circumstances where there is a protracted history of family violence and the parties are not able to negotiate. In some circumstances, matters with elements of urgency may also proceed directly to Court.
The purpose of mediation is to assist the parties to resolve the dispute without the need for costly and time consuming litigation.
In the event that the parties are unable to reach an agreement at mediation, the mediator issues a Section 60I certificate which confirms that the parties have attempted to mediate. Once this certificate is issued the matter may proceed to Court if necessary.
In all children’s matters, the Court makes decisions about children based upon the paramount consideration of what is in the children’s best interests.
In doing so the Court is required to consider the need to protect children from harm as well as the desire to foster a strong relationship between the child or children and both parents.
Please make an appointment with one of our Family Lawyers to obtain further information about your rights and obligations in children’s matters.