Family Law Act Part IIIB Division 1, 2 and 3 discusses the court’s powers in court and non-court-based family services. As the name suggests, court family services are typically held in court for disputed families. For instance, the court can hire a family dispute resolution practitioner (FDRP) in legal proceedings.
Meanwhile, an example of non-court-based family services is family counselling. Courts urge disputed parties to resolve matters on their own and only treat court proceedings as a last resort. Often, courts will hire an FDRP after an interim hearing or after the preparation of a child impact report or family report. Generally, courts will require these reports for serious court proceedings.
Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner
For example, if the court finds it hard to resolve disputes within families, they may hire an FDRP to conduct interviews with the involved parties. The FDRP will do separate interviews with each family member and children involved in the case and gather enough evidence for the judge. Read on to know more about family services in Family Law Act Part IIIB Division 1-3.
Section 13A Family Law Act: Family Counselling
Section 13A Family Law Act states that disputed parties must have access to family counselling. Family counsellors can help married couples identify what caused the breakdown of their marriage. Oftentimes, families choose to resolve family violence or marriage breakdowns themselves which commonly leads to nasty situations. That’s why marriage counselling exists to help married couples:
- Take a break from their busy lives and address problems face to face
- Facilitate healthy and effective communication between them
- Improve relationships if they are not sure what to do
- Eliminate toxic and bad habits that may cause or are causing the marriage breakdown
- Address preventive measures in case disputes or quarrels escalate
- Understand each other in a deeper sense and find common ground in arguments
- Understand accountability for their mistakes and learn from them accordingly
- Prioritise the best interests of children
- Formulate effective parenting strategies for children and their wellbeing
- Staying committed in reaching an agreement regardless of the counselling’s outcome
Section 13B Family Law Act: Reconciliation
According to Section 13B of the Act, courts will consider the possibility of reconciliation between parties from time to time. This may happen if courts see that there is evidence of reconciliation in divorce proceedings if possible. If both parties do reconcile anytime during divorce proceedings, courts will advise them to attend family counselling.
Section 13C Family Law Act: Mediation and Other Family Services
According to Section 13C of the Act, an example of a family dispute resolution (FDR) method that parties can use is mediation. Mediation helps parties negotiate with a mediator to assist them to come to an agreement. Anyone can use mediation regardless of the complexity of the matter or the number of parties involved in a case. Parties seeking mediation must also:
- Participate willingly in mediation with the other party;
- Believe that a judge’s ruling won’t resolve the dispute;
- Consider finding a way to save or maintain the parties’ relationship; and
- Willingly find a resolution that will suit the needs and interests of both parties.
Advantages of Mediation
People who chose mediation family services to resolve their disputes save lots of money. This is because mediation is less expensive and less time-consuming than court proceedings. Mediation also allows parties to express themselves without the fear of the court tracking their every word and action.
Moreover, mediation also helps disputed families in prioritising the care and welfare of children. This helps adults and elders understand their duties and responsibilities even if they have separated or divorced. Some of these duties and responsibilities include:
- Being present for the child in times of need
- Providing children proper access to education
- Going above and beyond for their development and safety
- Getting financial or non-financial support services if necessary
- Providing other avenues for young people or older people experiencing family violence
Programs, Correctional Facilities, and Community Services
Other services may also include courses and programs that can help improve a party’s attitude or condition. For instance, courts find that a father is an alcoholic, thus posing a lot of problems for the mother and their children. Another instance is parents and children who experienced family violence from the other parent.
The father can then go to correctional facilities where they can help eliminate his alcoholism in order to be a better father. Courts may also decide if non-complying parties can go to community service organisations in order to compensate for their offences.
Section 13D Family Law Act: Failure To Comply With Court Orders
For instance, what if a person refuses or fails to comply with a court order that requires family services like family counselling or FDR? According to Section 13D of the Act, FDRPs or family counsellors must then report to the court and wait for orders that the court will issue for them.
Depending on the circumstance, courts may order parties to attend another session with a different family consultant. It’s important to know how courts work around family law services in divorce proceedings. Hence, parties should seek the advice of a lawyer that can help them know what next step to take.
Family Law Act Part IIIB: Importance Of Seeking Legal Advice
JB Solicitors has family lawyers who aid in family law disputes and help clients find a resolution to their cases. Our mediation services are readily available for clients who wish to find an amicable resolution. We have fixed fees for parties needing assistance regarding divorce proceedings and other family law disputes.
Contact us today if you have any more queries regarding Family Law Act Part IIIB and other family services.