Making a 'Genuine Effort' in Family Mediation: What Does it Mean?
The University of Sydney Law School
Australian Journal of Family Law, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 102-122, 2008
Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 08/132
The Family Law Act now strongly encourages and, in some cases, mandates people who have a dispute about parenting to go to family dispute resolution. Before they can litigate they must make a 'genuine effort' to resolve the issues in family dispute resolution. Genuine effort is not defined in the Act. There are so many difficulties in defining it and implementing it that there must be some doubt about whether the genuine effort provisions of the Act will be implemented or avoided by family dispute resolution practitioners. This article suggests a definition of 'genuine effort' based on behavior. It is also suggests that family dispute resolution practitioners should develop a practice framework for 'genuine effort' to assist in its open, consistent and effective implementation. Some of the issues that arise in developing such a framework are suggested and considered.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 18
Keywords: family law, mediation, mandatory mediation, genuine effort
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K41
Date posted: November 4, 2008