Before you can go to Court about children’s matters, you almost always have to have a document called a Section 60(i) Certificate as set out in Section 60 of the Family Law Act, 1975.
There are a few kinds of section 60(i) certificate that can be given by a family dispute resolution practitioner ( FDRP) ( a kind of specialised mediator who can mediate children’s matters)
They are essentially, that a person DID NOT attend mediation, and the reasons if they didn’t attend, or that a person DID attend mediation but it didn’t resolve things and whether or not both parties tried to resolve things.
The Mediator (FDRP) may issue one of these kinds of section 60(i)certificates to you if you did not attend:
(a) that you didn’t attend mediation because the other party wouldn’t or didn’t attend;
(aa)that the Family Dispute Resolution Provider thinks that it would not be appropriate to conduct the proposed mediation;
The Mediator (FDRP)may issue one of these kinds of section 60 (i) certificates to a person who did attend:
(b)that all attendees made a genuine effort to resolve the issue or issues;
(c)one or all of the parties did not make a genuine effort to resolve the issue or issues;
(d)That the Family Dispute Resolution practitioner considers it would not be appropriate to continue the family dispute resolution.
The very important thing to know is that , the court may take the kind of certificate into account in considering whether to make an order referring to parties to family dispute resolution (see section 13C) and in determining whether to award costs against a party (see section 117).
There is an exception for Family Violence situations but the decision to mediate or not is at the discretion of the Mediator.
So, if you are invited to take part in Family Dispute resolution you should urgently seek legal advice before you attend any intake session.