If you are in dispute with your partner regarding the care arrangements for your child you are required, by law to engage in what is called Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Alternative Dispute Resolution, otherwise known as Family Dispute Resolution can take many forms. It can include informal discussions with your partner about what the care arrangements for your child will be, discussions between your respective solicitors, mediation conferences, collaborative law processes or attendance at a Family Relationships Centre. The law does not specify what type of Alternative Dispute Resolution you participate in, what is required is simply that you participate.
Alternative Dispute Resolution has proven to be of significant benefit to many people. Parties who participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution are required to do so before Court proceedings are commenced. If mediation is successful the parties are likely to have saved a significant amount of money and time. The parties will also have avoided the need to commence proceedings and deal with the stress, anxiety and often unsatisfactory results that can be received.
In all parenting matters before you can commence proceedings you must provide to the Court a certificate, called a s60I Certificate. This Certificate proves to the Court that the parties have attempted to resolve their parenting dispute through some form of Alternative Dispute Resolution and these attempts have been unsuccessful.
There are some exceptions to the requirement to participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution. These exceptions are limited however. If there has been violence in the relationship, the child has been abused, there are any risks of violence or if there is some other reason why the matter is urgent. We encourage you to seek legal advice from a Family Law Solicitor regarding whether you are obligated to attend Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Where appropriate we encourage clients to participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution practices. To assist client’s in this process we have a team of lawyers who all have a wealth of knowledge and experience in the area of Alternative Dispute Resolution.