Monday, 2 July 2007

Family Dispute Resolution: Certificates now required

Family Dispute Resolution

New regulations have been made which will govern the introduction of compulsory dispute resolution in parenting cases and the accreditation of family dispute resolution practitioners.

The Family Law Amendment Regulations 2007 (No 1) amend the Family Law Regulations 1984 to reflect changes introduced by the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act 2006. In particular the Regulations:

· Establish the Family Dispute Resolution Register;

· Introduce interim Accreditation Rules for family dispute resolution practitioners;

· Prescribe information to be given to people prior to family dispute resolution;

· Prescribe information to be provided by legal practitioners and courts under the Act; and

· Prescribe matters for the purpose of section 60I of the Family Law Act, which requires that a certificate from a family dispute resolution practitioner be filed with an application for an order under Part VII of the Act.

Members are reminded that from 1 July, courts will not be able to hear an application for a parenting order in a new case unless the person seeking the order first obtains a certificate from a registered family dispute resolution practitioner. There are some exceptions, such as in cases of family violence or child abuse.

All family dispute resolution practitioners must be included on a new family dispute resolution register in order to issue valid certificates.

Source: Family Law Section, Law Council of Australia

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