The Office of the Family Advocate
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE ON SOLVING A DISPUTE
- Upon application by either of the parties or by direction of the court, the Family Advocate will interview the parties in the presence of each other or separately where necessary, to ascertain their personal circumstances and background details in the matter.
- The Office of the Family Advocate also interviews the child with the assistance of the Family Counsellor in order to obtain and convey the child’s views on the matter to court. The aim is to protect the child from testifying in a potentially harsh court environment.
- The Family Advocate helps the parties reach an agreeable or viable solution through mediation by applying their legal expertise and dispute resolution skills in the matter.
- If the parties reach an agreement the Family Advocate will then help them draft a parenting plan or responsibilities and rights agreement which can be registered with the Office of the Family Advocate or made an order of court.
- If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the Family Advocate will then compile a report for court and make a recommendation based on the enquiry that was conducted.