What You Need to Know About Children and Separation – Who Decides?


The court has an overriding duty to consider what is in the best interests of any children and recognises the emotional impact of separation and disputes on them.

The Family Court requires parents to first attempt to resolve any parenting disputes with the assistance of an accredited Dispute Resolution Practitioner before they apply to the Family Court to decide the matter.

Exceptions to the requirement to attend mediation include the risk of family violence or abuse, or the existence of a current VRO between the parties.

If you have attempted mediation and an agreement was unable to be reached, or the other party refused to participate in mediation following a formal invitation from the mediator, the mediator will issue you with a Dispute Resolution Certificate, often referred to as a Section 60I Certificate. This certificate will allow you to commence an application for Children’s Orders in the Family Court.

In the event that you are exempt from attending mediation, we can assist you in commencing an application in the Family Court and filing your exemption form.

Where parenting arrangements have been agreed between the parties, a lawyer can assist you in preparing the necessary application for Consent Orders.

Please go to the Kott Gunning Lawyers Family Law Q&A page for more useful family law related questions and answers including –

Do I have to go to court, What does the court take into account when determining my property entitlements, What happens if I need support from my partner, Now that the property has been sorted out, how do I get a divorce?

If you have a particular question you would like answered on our Q&A page, please email your question to marketing @kottgunn.com.au

The information published in this paper is of a general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. Whilst we aim to provide timely, relevant and accurate information, the law may change and circumstances may differ. You should not therefore act in reliance on it without first obtaining specific legal advice.