Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner
A Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) is an independent person who helps people affected by separation or divorce to resolve their parenting disputes.
Tina has recently completed her FDRP course graduating from the College of Law. Although only recently completing FDRP, Tina is no stranger to mediations.
With over 15 years of experience, Tina has a passion for negotiating and takes a collaborative approach to resolving disputes.
Tina is accredited in FDRP, allowing her to issue Section 60I certificates for parties requiring litigation to resolve their disputes.
Under the Family Law Act 1975 it is a requirement before filing proceedings pertaining to children to first indicate that a genuine effort to resolve the dispute has been attempted through a Family Dispute Resolution. A qualified FDRP can issue Section 60I certificates.
Once a parent has a Section 60I certificate, he/she can initiate proceedings in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.
A section 60I certificate will record the issues in dispute and some general outcomes from the FDR process.
The Section 60I certificate will say one of the following:
a) the other party did not attend;
b) the FDR practitioner decided your case was not appropriate for FDR;
c) you and the other party attended and made a genuine effort to resolve the dispute;
d) you and the other party attended but one or both of you did not make a genuine effort to resolve the dispute; or
e) the FDR Practitioner decided it was not appropriate to continue part way through the FDR process.
These situations may relate to family violence and/or risk to children.
The Court may award costs against a party based on failure to attend or for not making a genuine effort to resolve the matter.
There are circumstances whereby there is no requirement for a Section 60I certificate outlined in S60I(9) Family Law Act 1975.
A section 60I certificate can be issued within 12 months of the last FDR.
Children matters are stressful and costly, so it is important to ensure that you engage a FDRP when mediating to ensure that a certificate is able to be issued in the event you need to file an Application in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.
Tina prides herself in reaching a positive outcome for all parties involved in the dispute and especially the children.
You will find Tina’s compassionate, empathetic and child focused approach refreshing to your dispute. She will assist you to ensure that your children’s best interests are at the forefront of all negotiations and will enable parties to ensure that all outcomes are workable and ensure that the needs of the children are met.
Limited Child Support Agreement
A Limited Child Support Agreement, does not require parties to seek independent legal advice before entering into an Agreement. It allows the parties the flexibility to establish their own Child Support Arrangements for the children.
A Limited Child Support Agreement must:
(a) be in writing, and signed by both parents or the parent/s and eligible non-parent carer;
(b) have an administrative assessment in place as at the time an application for acceptance of the Limited Child Support Agreement is received by the Registrar; and
(c) meet the conditions set out in sections 80E(2), 80E(3) or 80E(4) of the CSA Act.
If child support is payable under the agreement on the day on which the application for acceptance of the agreement is made to the Registrar, the annual rate of child support payable by the parent under the agreement on the day of the application must be at least the annual rate that would have been otherwise payable by that parent under the administrative assessment on that day (CSA Act section 80E(2)).
If the child support agreement commences on a day after the application for acceptance of the agreement is made to the Registrar, the annual rate of child support payable by the parent under the agreement on the day the agreement commences must be at least the annual rate that would
have been otherwise payable by that parent under the administrative assessment on that day (CSA Act section 80E(3)), if the Agreement commences on a day in the future for which the annual rate is not yet known, the agreement cannot be accepted until the annual rate on that day is known.
If child support is payable under the agreement for a period of time before the day on which the application for acceptance of the agreement is made to the Registrar, the amount payable under the agreement for the whole period must be at least the amount of child support that would be otherwise payable by that parent under the administrative assessment for that whole period (CSA Act section 80E(4)).
Binding Child Support Agreement
Binding Child Support Agreements allow parties to make Binding Financial Agreements about child support payments between each other.
Each party to a Binding Child Support Agreement must have received independent legal advice before entering the agreement, and must also receive independent legal advice before terminating the agreement.
A Binding Child Support Agreement must:
• be in writing, and signed by both parents or the parent/s and eligible non-parent carer;
• include a statement that each party has received independent legal advice as to the effects and advantages and/or disadvantages of the agreement, before it was signed, and
• include an annexure, for each of the parties to the agreement, signed by the person who provided the legal advice, which certifies that the advice was provided (CSA Act section 80C).
A Binding Child Support Agreement cannot be varied (CSA Act section 80CA). To change a Binding Child Support Agreement, the agreement must be terminated and replaced with a new Binding Child Support Agreement.
The Child Support legislation allows parents to reach an agreement on the amount of Child Support to be paid.
A Child Support Agreement has to meet the requirements of the legislation and has to include matters that can be dealt with in a Child Support Agreement.
From 1 July 2008, there are 2 types of Child Support Agreements:
(a) a Binding Child Support Agreement; and
(b) a Limited Child Support Agreement.
Once parents have made a Child Support Agreement, either parent can apply to the Registrar to have it accepted.
Joint Parental Responsibility
In Australia, as a result of amendments to the Family Law Act (Cth) in 2006, it is presumed that each parent has ‘equal shared parental responsibility’.
The presumption encourages co-operative parenting by giving parents an equal say in the long term decisions involving the child.
The Family Law Act 1975 defines “parental responsibility” as:
‘In relation to a child, all the duties, power, responsibilities and authority which, by law, parents have in relation to children.’
A Parenting Plan is a non-binding document used by parents to document their parenting arrangements.
They can set out how they plan to co-parent their child and or children and set out a time schedule for when the children spend time with each parent. This document can encompass parental responsibility, living arrangements and schedules for the children, education, expenses and other matters such as extra-curricular activities, school holidays and generally how your children will be raised by both parents in separate households.
Although this document is not legally binding it assists parents in addressing important parenting issues and reaching an agreement between each other. A Parenting Plan can be modified, changed and amended by way of agreement between both parents without requiring the intervention of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.
Just and Equitable Division of Assets
There is no fixed “one size fits all” approach to the formula to achieve or a set division of assets. Each case is determined on a case-to-case basis.
When making a determination of the outcome of your financial matters the court follows a 5 step process in making a decision. The process is adopted by lawyers to ensure that a just and equitable outcome is reached.
The court applies the following when reaching a final determination of your matter:
1. Is it necessary that there be a division of the assets;
2. What is the value of the property pool;
3. What did each party contribute to the relationship;
4. What are the future needs of each party and any children; and
5. Is the proposed division just and equitable.
Separation doesn’t have to end in conflict, and it certainly doesn’t have to end in litigation. It is possible in the case of children, necessary, to continue to maintain a relationship with your former spouse.
A Consent Order is an agreement that has been reached between you and your former partner. An agreement can be reached between you both through discussion, through lawyers and/or via mediation. It is important to understand that Consent Orders can only be made in financial or parenting matters, by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia if there is agreement between the parties.
If both parties have reached an agreement about parenting and/or financial/property arrangements and you want to formalise the agreement to make it legally binding, you can apply to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia for Consent Orders.
For a financial settlement and the Court to consider the Orders it is important to ensure that they reflect a just and equitable division of assets. It is important to obtain trusted legal advice to ensure that the process is as stress free as possible.
Once a financial agreement is reached between you and your former spouse, to finalise the agreement you are required to either, enter into a Consent Order and file it in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia or finalise your agreement by way of a financial agreement.
In circumstances whereby an Application for a Consent Order is filed it is important to understand that the Court will apply the 5-step process to your agreement to ensure that the agreement reached between you both is ‘just and equitable’.
Ultimately this is the Court reaching a determination that your agreement is fair. This can be achieved by obtaining expert family law advice to ensure your Consent Orders are drafted correctly.
We can assist in drafting your Consent Orders and ensure they are drafted correctly on the first occasion.