LawAnswers.com.au - Australia's #1 Legal Community

LawAnswers.com.au is a community of 10,000+ Australians, just like you, helping each other.
Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
Join us, it only takes a minute:

NSW Family Court - Preparing for Child Dispute Conference?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Mylife, 8 February 2016.

Tags:
  1. Mylife

    Mylife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16 December 2015
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hello,

    My husband is in the process of a parenting application. The judge has ordered a child dispute conference. Can anyone explain what happens during this process? Is there anything he should do to prepare for it?

    The actual dispute is over time with the children. Mother agrees to holiday time only. Father wants some weekend time in between. However, the mother is claiming the children do not want to travel for the weekend time. Hence the conference.

    Also, this conference is listed on the comcourts portal as "child dispute conference-inadmissible". So, does this mean it can or can not be used in family court?

    Thank you in advance for any information.
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    A child dispute conference is, I believe, much the same as a family dispute resolution conference - both parties meet with a mediator to try and negotiate an agreement in a safe, confidential environment with a neutral third party to help keep the parties on point. Even if a section 60I certificate has been granted prior to the commencement of proceedings, it's fairly routine for a Judge to basically tell the parties to try harder to resolve the dispute themselves by sending them back to mediation.

    What he can do to prepare for the conference is write down a few different options of care arrangements that he thinks will reflect the children's best interests. For example, if you're looking at one weekend a month and half holidays, have that written up as one option, and then maybe every long weekend and half holidays as another option, and possibly three weekends each school term and half holidays as another.

    Remember, he does not have to sign any agreement they might make on the same day that they have the conference, he can and should go away and think about it before putting his signature on the paper. I would also suggest caution when signing a parenting plan or consent orders without a solicitor looking over it first, or at the very least, a third party who can provide you with objective, practical feedback.

    Discussions taking place during mediation are confidential and cannot be used as evidence in court, which is what 'inadmissible' means.
     
  3. Mylife

    Mylife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16 December 2015
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you.
    He has offered alternatives to the mother prior to court. The mother has either rejected or chosen to ignore any alternative put to her.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    Yes, but now the court will want to know how it goes. You can't provide evidence from the conference. The mediator, however, may be required to produce a report about the conference.
     
  5. Mylife

    Mylife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16 December 2015
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    1
    We are thinking it is more to do with getting to what the children's wishes actually are. As the mother is claiming the children don't want to travel, however this is just her word. I think considering the children are 12, they are taking their opinions into consideration. So, would this still entail the same only including the children, or something entirely different?
     
  6. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 July 2014
    Messages:
    2,319
    Likes Received:
    423
    It might be a child inclusive conference, in which case it's the same thing, except the children will speak with a professional prior to the conference and then their views will be shared with the parents so they can try and resolve the matter with their views in mind.
     
  7. Mylife

    Mylife Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16 December 2015
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you.

    We are of the opinion that the mother enrolled the children in weekend sport to use as a means to prevent weekend time with their father. Of course the children enjoy it and we appreciate that.

    However, we also believe it's a long time between holidays to have not spent any time with their father (and half siblings) therefore, missing one game per month shouldn't be too much of an issue.
    The mother has been "talking it up" to the children for months. Since weekend time was mentioned. So we hope it is the children's true views expressed at the conference. Not the views that have been focussed on from the mother.
     

Share This Page

Loading...