Dis­cuss kids’ care for Christ­mas now

Albany Advertiser - - NEWS - Hay­ley El­li­son

The Fam­ily Court is busier than your lo­cal shop­ping cen­tre on Christ­mas eve.

Ev­ery­where we look, Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions are ap­pear­ing in shop­ping cen­tres, which serve as a timely re­minder the Christ­mas hol­i­days are al­most upon us.

In fact, Christ­mas is now lit­tle less than two months away.

In the event you have not dis­cussed the care ar­range­ments for your chil­dren in the up­com­ing Christ­mas hol­i­days with your ex part­ner, now is the time to have th­ese dis­cus­sions.

If you are un­able to reach an agree­ment re­gard­ing the up­com­ing Christ­mas hol­i­days, you may need to seek Fam­ily Court or­ders, but it is im­por­tant you de­ter­mine whether you need the in­ter­ven­tion of the Fam­ily Court as soon as pos­si­ble as there are pro­cesses which must be fol­lowed.

Be­fore start­ing Fam­ily Court pro­ceed­ings re­gard­ing chil­dren’s mat­ters, the Fam­ily Law Act 1975 re­quires that the par­ties at­tend Fam­ily Dis­pute Res­o­lu­tion (FDR) to at­tempt to re­solve th­ese is­sues.

There are ex­cep­tions to this re­quire­ment; how­ever, you can­not rely on the fact that your mat­ter will fall un­der one of th­ese ex­cep­tions.

Once you ei­ther at­tempt to start the FDR process and the other party de­clines to par­tic­i­pate or you at­tend FDR with­out reach­ing an agree­ment, you will be is­sued a sec­tion 60I cer­tifi­cate.

When you have been is­sued a sec­tion 60I cer­tifi­cate, you are then able to start Fam­ily Court pro­ceed­ings.

If you and your ex-part­ner are un­able to reach an agree­ment through FDR or oth­er­wise re­gard­ing the up­com­ing Christ­mas hol­i­days, you will need to start Fam­ily Court pro­ceed­ings be­fore the cut-off date, which this year is at 4pm on Fri­day, Novem­ber 10.

As the Fam­ily Court is busier than your lo­cal shop­ping cen­tre on Christ­mas Eve, it is vi­tal you file your ap­pli­ca­tion as soon as pos­si­ble to try to ob­tain a hear­ing be­fore the Christ­mas pe­riod starts.

This Christ­mas sea­son con­tact our of­fices to book an ap­point­ment to ob­tain le­gal ad­vice re­gard­ing fam­ily dis­pute res­o­lu­tion and the start of Fam­ily Court pro­ceed­ings.

Hay­ley El­li­son is an as­so­ciate at HHG Le­gal Group.

This is gen­eral in­for­ma­tion only, and does not con­sti­tute spe­cific le­gal ad­vice. For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on this or other le­gal mat­ters, con­tact HHG Le­gal Group’s Al­bany of­fice on 9841 2322.

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