Section 60I Certificates explained

What is a section 60I Certificate?

If you need to go to Court for children’s matters you must first obtain a section 60I certificate.

The Court cannot accept an application for children’s orders without the certificate or you have a valid reason for the certificate to be waived.

How can I get a section 60I Certificate?

You can only get a section 60I certificate through an accredited Family Dispute Resolution practitioner.

A section 60I certificate can be provided to you after you have attended mediation, if your former partner refuses to attend mediation or a Family Dispute Resolution practitioner does not believe mediation is appropriate for your matter.

In Dubbo you can obtain a section 60I certificate through Centacare, Interrelate and a number of private providers.

How long does it take to get a section 60I Certificate? 

The timeframe for obtaining a certificate will vary depending on the provider you use, how quickly you and your former partner engage with the service and the current demand for mediations. The wait time is currently around 3-4 months.

We suggest clients start the mediation process as soon as possible to eliminate delays in their matter.

When will the Court waive the requirement for a section 60I Certificate?

There are very limited circumstances where the Court can waive the requirement for a section 60I certificate. The main reasons are:

  • there has been family violence or there is a risk of family violence; or
  • the application relates to a particular issue on which an order was made in the last 12 months and you are alleging the other party is breaching the Order; or
  • the application is urgent; or
  • you or the other party cannot participate in family dispute resolution; or
  • there is a current application already before the Court where a section 60I certificate was already filed.

The Court has discretion as to whether it waives the requirement for a section 60I certificate. The Court are not required to grant you an exemption if you state one of the above applies in your matter.

If you need to apply for children’s orders and you think you may be eligible for an exemption, you should seek legal advice before filing the application.

Does the section 60I Certificate expire?

A section 60I certificate can only be used for 12 months from the date it was issued.

Once the certificate has expired you will need to obtain a new section 60I certificate. The new certificate can only be issued once you have completed the mediation process, the other party refuses to attend or the Family Dispute Resolution practitioner deems it inappropriate to have a further mediation in your matter.


If you have a question about section 60I Certificates, make an appointment with our family lawyer.



Photograph credit: Nick Youngson – link to –