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Family Mediation and Section 60I Certificates

What is a Section 60I Certificate?

When parents cannot agree on parenting issues, the Family Law Act requires that they attend family mediation before applying for a Parenting Order. A section 60I Certificate is a certificate issued by an authorised Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner that shows that the parents have made a genuine effort to resolve the dispute before making an application for Part VII orders.

A Section 60I Certificate is issued to:

  • Each party at the conclusion of the family mediation.
  • The applying party once a non-suitability determination has been made.
  • The applying party if the other party fails or refuses to attend.

Why Do I Need a Section 60I Certificate?

The objective of requiring a section 60I Certificate is to ensure that all participants have made a genuine effort to find a resolution through Family Dispute Resolution before applying for a Part VII Order.

If your dispute cannot be resolved by family mediation, and an application to the court is necessary, you must provide a section 601 Certificate with your application to show you have attempted to resolve your dispute before making a court application.

Are There Exemptions?

In very limited circumstances, you can make an application to the court without a section 60I Certificate. These circumstances are:

  • when there has been abuse of the child.
  • if there is a risk of abuse to the child caused by a delay.
  • there has been family violence or there is a risk of family violence.

In these circumstances it is possible to make an application to the court without a section 60I Certificate. Alternatively, the Family Dispute Practitioner can issue a certificate that the matter is not suitable for mediation. 

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