PARENTING & CHILDREN'S ARRANGEMENTS
There is a general requirement in the Family Law Act that parents try to resolve their issues by family dispute resolution before making an application to the court for parenting orders. Family dispute resolution is a form of specialised mediation that is conducted by a family dispute resolution practitioner, commonly known as a family law mediator. Only accredited and registered family dispute resolution practitioners can issue Section 60I certificates.
WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?
SECTION 60I CERTIFICATE
A document called a Section 60I certificate is required to let the court know that mediation has been attempted. There are exceptions in circumstances of urgency, family violence or where there are safety risks. A certificate may be issued where mediation is unsuitable, there is no agreement, or one person declines the invitation to participate in the process.
Mediation Matters Melbourne can assist you in drafting a parenting plan, and this can be a cost-effective option with less formality than a parenting order. A parenting plan is a written agreement that sets out parenting arrangements – such as who the child will live with and spend time. It has legal consequences, but it is not legally enforceable.
Generally, it is in the best interests of a child that their parents have equal shared parental responsibility. What this means is that each parent has the responsibility to care for their child and make decisions about them. It is not about how much time a child spends with each parent.
CUSTODY - LIVE WITH
‘Custody’ is a term previously used to refer to a court order for a child to live with one parent. While the word ‘residence’ replaced the word ‘custody’, neither are current terminology. Now the Family Law Act refers to arrangements for a child to ‘live with’ a parent.
ACCESS - SPEND TIME
‘Access’ is a term previously used to refer to a court order for a child to spend time with one parent. While the word ‘contact’ replaced the word ‘access’, neither are current terminology. Now the Family Law Act refers to arrangements for a child to ‘spend time with and communicate with’ a parent.
BEST INTERESTS OF CHILDREN
When parents make decisions about their children the children’s needs must come first. The most important thing for parents to consider is what is best for their children. Children have a right to know both their parents and the right to be protected from harm.
TIPS FOR PARENTING AFTER SEPARATION
Generally speaking, children are resilient and can adapt relatively quickly to post-separation arrangements if you meet their needs, and they are appropriately supported. Research shows that it is high conflict that impacts children rather than the separation itself.
What this means is it that you can make a difference in how your children manage after separation. Keeping in mind that you will be parents forever, you can make a difference by:
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Mediation Matters Melbourne
128A Wattletree Road
Malvern VIC 3144
Why family mediation? Family Law mediation helps. We are here to assist – family mediation Melbourne. Parenting, child custody and property matters resolved now with mediation Melbourne. If you have a contact and access disputes you need our assistance?