Section 60 Certificates
A Section 60 Certificate notifies the Family Court of the outcome of family dispute resolution (FDR). Different certificates can have different legal and financial implications for the parties of the process.
It is a Requirement to Mediate
It is a requirement of the Family Court that prior to an Applicant lodging an Application for Parenting Orders with the court, that both parties to a family dispute genuinely attempt to resolve them, unless exempt.
Implications of Non-Attendance in FDR
Should a party not attend family dispute resolution where requested a FDR Practitioner can issue a certificate to the other party notifying the court of such under s.60(8)(a) of the Family Law Act (‘Act’).
This certificate may be taken into account by a court to award the other parties costs against the other party under section 117 of the Act.
This certificate may also be taken into account by a court when determining whether to make an order under section 13C of the Act referring parties to back to family dispute resolution.
This means should you refuse to participate (inviter or invitee) you may be liable for the other parties legal costs and then be ordered back to mediation.
Only accredited Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners (FDRP) can issue a s.60i certificate. The court has access to details of each FDRP and will check any s60 certificates lodged with them.
You must make an appointment with an accredited FDRP for an FDR intake and assessment at Mediation for Families. The FDRP will assess your circumstances and will determine whether your case is eligible for FDR or not eligible. The Section 60 certificate can be issued at any point in the process of FDR.
Types of Section 60 Certificates
An FDRP, in their discretion can issue one of the following
- the person did not attend FDR due to the refusal or failure of the other person or people
- the person did not attend FDR because the practitioner did not consider it would be
appropriate to conduct FDR
- the people attended FDR, conducted by the practitioner, and all people made a genuine
effort to resolve the issue or issues in dispute
- the people attended FDR, conducted by the practitioner, but one or more of them did not
make a genuine effort to resolve the issue or issues in dispute
- the people began FDR, but part way through the practitioner decided it was not
appropriate to continue.
We charge a fixed fee for any document you require. Section 60’s cannot be issued unless there are grounds for issue and the FDRP has full discretion whether to issue or not.
A s60i certificate is valid for up to one year from the date you attended FDR with the FDRP. It is important to note that even if you are issued a s60 certificate the FDRP can issue another certificate where new information has become available.
The FDRP has discretion, whether or not to issue a certificate. See more information here.