Going to Family Court after mediation

If you and your ex-partner can't reach an agreement about the care of your children and mediation hasn't been successful, you can ask the Family Court for help.

If you want to apply to the Family Court, you usually need to have attended a Parenting Through Separation course within the last two years and Family Dispute Resolution mediation within the last 12 months.

How the Family Court can help

The Family Court can make decisions about the care of your children if you've been unable to make them yourselves. You can:

  • apply for a Parenting Order if there’s a dispute about who looks after the children and when (this is called day-to-day care) or when parents and others see the children (this is called contact). If there’s a risk of violence, contact can be supervised
  • apply for an Order to Settle a Dispute between Guardians if you want the Family Court to make decisions about guardianship issues, like where the children live, where they go to school, medical treatment (other than routine medical matters), what their culture, language and religion will be and any changes to their name.

The Family Court can make orders about supervised contact. This is when interactions between a parent and their child/ren take place under the supervision of an approved third party organisation, or in some cases, a relative. 

You can also ask the court to change or cancel a Court Order if it's no longer working or you don't need it anymore.

If your ex-partner doesn’t follow the Court Order, you can apply to the Family Court to have it enforced:

Enforce a Court Order

Find out more about: