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Family Dispute Resolution
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We take time to understand and analyse the issues, to provide informed legal advice and achieve the best outcome possible.
Changes to the law in 2007 mean the family law system better meets the needs of today’s families and improves outcomes for children. The reforms are based on the Australian Government’s commitment to change the way people think about family breakdowns and to improve outcomes for children. Specific changes focus on the way family separations are managed, to move away from long and costly court battles and towards more co-operative parenting solutions.
What is the key change regarding parenting disputes?
The Government is trying to encourage a spirit of agreement, which should result in better outcomes for children. Parents are expected to engage in family dispute resolution prior to applying to the court for parenting orders. Family relationship centres have been set up by the Government to offer free assistance to parents in reaching agreements about children’s living arrangements.
Who is required to attend dispute resolution?
The family dispute resolution requirement will only be compulsory for parents who want to go to court over a parenting issue.
Exceptions to compulsory attendance at dispute resolution
A number of exceptions apply to ensure that people will not be required to attend dispute resolution in circumstances where it would be inappropriate. These include the following situations:
Where parents have agreed on parenting arrangements and wish to file a consent order application in the court.
- If there are already court proceedings on foot and a further application needs to be made for procedural or interim orders.
- Where family violence or child abuse is involved.
- Where a parenting order has already been made and within 12 months one parent contravenes (or does not abide by) the order, showing serious disregard of their obligations within 12 months of the order being made.
- Where the matter is urgent. For example, where a child needs immediate protection, or for the urgent location and recovery of a child, including cases of child abduction.
- Where a party is unable to participate effectively in dispute resolution due to incapacity or physical remoteness.
For a family law firm, you can trust, get in touch with DA Family Lawyers in Brisbane today.