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Hi All,

I have a question.

I am due soon for my intake session at FDR - I know, not very exciting. My ex doesn't look like he's gonna show for the big mediation session to work out what is happening with our child. What happens if he does not show? Obviously I get a certificate but will the courts accept it if only one party turns up to mediation? My plan has always been to get whatever is agreed upon in Consent Order form and have it formalized by the courts. This was recommended because of his alcohol abuse plus the family violence involved during the relationship.

I have no idea where he is living and aside from his work I wouldn't know how to get in contact with him AT ALL. I don't even know if he's still working in his job as I haven't put in for any Child Support because financially - I don't need the money or the drama. He's an alcoholic and in the past (i.e. while we were together) he was a functioning alcoholic (i.e. he turned up for work most days) but who knows now. I haven't seen or heard from him since we split. It's a pretty sad for him but at the same time, I need to put measures in place so that my child can be given some sort of stability. As a side issue, Im travelling overseas with my child soon so I need to be able to sign off on Passports/Visas etc.  From what I understand, he needs to be informed in person if I put in a set of a orders for consideration with the court. What does the court do if he is not able to be located or is located but doesn't front up?
Hi, I don't know the answers to all your questions but I will answer what I do know.
reallyconfused said
I am due soon for my intake session at FDR - I know, not very exciting. My ex doesn't look like he's gonna show for the big mediation session to work out what is happening with our child. What happens if he does not show? Obviously I get a certificate but will the courts accept it if only one party turns up to mediation?
  I was reading my "Certificate by family dispute resolution practitioner", they can tick one of 5 reasons as to why they have issued the certificate. Reason "(a) (party or parties) did not attend family dispute resolution with me and the other party or parties to the proceedings but that person's failure to do so was due to the refusal, or the failure, of the other party or parties to the proceedings to attend."

The court does not care so much about which of the 5 reasons was the reason for the FDR certificate to be issued ,but more that no initiating application can be filed without one.

The bottom of the certificate says " To find out about services and advise for families visit the family dispute resolution page on family relationships online at www.familyrelationships.gov.au or call the FR Advice line on 180050321."

Maybe they can help with your other questions about FDR certificates?
Hmm its a tricky situation. You would think that this scenario is not entirely uncommon.. parents not fronting up to court that is. From what Ive read - If I cant find him, I guess the court needs to be satisfied that a fairly exhaustive search has been done before it considers proposed orders.

As you said beautifulDAY, the FDR certificate is a requirement. At the information session, the presenter said that he wouldnt want to be the parent who turns up to court to front the Judge having not satisfied this requirement. I just hope that if my ex does turn up to court, that I dont have to go through the whole FDR thing again. I suspect I will but still.
Hi reallyconfused,

The Family Law Rules 2004 have some sections on what you are asking.

I had a brief look and found under CHAPTER 7 SERVICE it said: " When a court determines a case the judicial officer must be satisfied that all documents filed that are to be relied on in the case have been served or otherwise brought to the attention of the other parties to the case."

Rule 7.18 Service with conditions on dispensing with service -

(1) A party who is unable to serve a document may apply for an order:

(a) to serve the document another way

(b) to dispense with service of the document with or without conditions

(2) The factors the court may have regard to  when considering an application under sub rule (1) include:

(b) whether all reasonable steps have been taken to serve the document or bring it to the notice of the person being served

(c ) whether the person to be served could reasonably become aware of the existence and nature of the document by advertisement or another form of communication that is reasonably available."

"Rule 5.17 Procedure in hearing in absence of parties.

Rule 5.11 Parties failure to attend

(1) If a party does not attend when a hearing starts, the other party may seek the orders sought in that party's application including if necessary adducing evidence to establish an entitlement to the orders sought against the party not attending"

……Look up the rules there is a lot of information in them.

I know with children's passport applications (because I just did them for my children) that it says on the application that each parent must sign who has parental responsibility for that child, so if you had sole parental responsibility you would not need his signature.Or I have read of cases where you can apply for a travel order and failing the other party to sign as ordered a further order can be made that an officer of the court can sign instead.

I have a hearing for final orders on an undefended basis due to the father discontinuing his application and it is on the duty list for it to go through without me proving anything. When I was looking up judgements on austLII, I found there seems to be a difference to how cases are handled depending on if the other party doesn't show up (maybe they have a good reason and more time is given) or if a discontinuance is filed (which is clear the other party does not want to continue to be involved in the proceedings)

I rang the family court hotline number as I had never heard of final orders going through without the case proceeding to trial with evidence, even expert witnesses and family reports etc, the Family Court man who answered said if the court does not feel the case has to be proved any further this may happen (fingers crossed this IS what will happen, seems too easy though!!)

I suggest you do a search of "undefended hearing" and "undefended trial" on the austLII website.


If your ex doesn't turn up or want a part in proceedings do you want final orders put in place ? or just the FM to make no orders in relation to the father spending time with the child?( which means the father can't run off with the child and if he wants contact he will have to initiate further court proceedings)

Are you self represented?

You would think this is a not an "entirely uncommon" situation and someone else can add to the subject?
Yes, I did read that on the Family Court of WA website. Im thinking of getting a sky writer as well, just for good measure! Is there any difference to the way WA handle Family Law cases as aposed to the rest of the country?
Hopefully, he is able to be served with the documents. If he turns up, he turns up. I just want some closure on this.  

The thing is is that I cant honestly see that there will be a moment for my ex that will make him step up. Im going for Sole Parental Responsibility purely on the basis of the current circumstances. His issues are unlikely to resolve anytime in the near future so ideally, I would opt for Final Orders. I dont want to have to keep on going to court if my child needs anything done. I want to be able to provide for my child and do simple things like enrol in school etc. As Ive said, I dont plan on asking him for financial input at all. I dont know how that works with CSA, I know theres some mechanism where you can omit receiving any child support from the non-residential parent if you feel that it would create indirect angst which Im sure it will. He has implied before that he doesnt see it as something he should have to endure. Thats putting it nicely.
I am legally represented.  He is not legally represented
It sounds like a typical fathers situation, it's a lost battle before it even begins.

As for CSA, if you choose to have them involved all that is required (if you are the applicant) is to tell them you have a private agreement, and they will not collect funds. For both of your sakes I wouldn't involve CSA at all, they have a independant agenda which can destroy either one of you once or if you can get the correct details across to them. You only have to make several phone calls in one day or week to see how messed up they can really get your information.
I dont know if its a case of a lost battle or perhaps "doing a runner". Either way, I'm going to have to sort it out.
Yeah, I can gather from these forums that the CSA is a pain in the neck. I dont plan to involve them at all because theres no need to at the moment. What I need to research is in what way does this effect FBT in regards to my tax.  
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