“You have recently separated from your partner. Not only are you having to deal with the effects of separation yourself, you also have children who you have to guide through this process.”
Unfortunately, when separation occurs, parents often let the whirlwind of emotions they are experiencing take over and forget about the most important factor, their children’s emotional wellbeing. Although you and your partner are no longer together, your parenting obligations still remain and you will be required to continue co-parenting.
Co-parenting involves both parents being able to communicate effectively and if you are unable to do this from the outset of separation, you may find that it will not only have a detrimental effect on your children, it could also cost you a lot of money in legal fees. Having an “I’m taking you to Court” attitude serves neither party any benefit, least of all your children.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, you may have already been advised by your legal representative that in order to make an application to the Court for parenting orders, you do need a Section 60I Certificate to accompany your application. This means that you would need to make a genuine effort to resolve any dispute about parenting arrangements through Family Dispute Resolution before an application is made to Court.
You can obtain a Section 60I Certificate by inviting the other parent to attend mediation with you. This can be done through your lawyers or privately by contacting a mediator to assist you.
Pursuant to the Family Law Act, a mediator may issue a Section 60I Certificate to a party to the proceedings in the following circumstances:
In my experience, Family Dispute Resolution proves very successful when parents attend ready to resolve their differences and make choices that are in their children’s best interests.