Family Court of Western Australia


Before you apply for parenting orders, you usually have to try family dispute resolution first. After you complete the process, you'll be given a certificate to show you have gone through family dispute resolution.

This requirement is designed to encourage parents to develop cooperative parenting solutions, but the Court recognises there are situations where family dispute resolution is not appropriate. In these situations, you can seek an exemption from family dispute resolution.

You can seek an exemption if:

  • there has been child abuse or family violence, or there is a risk of child abuse or family violence,
  • a party is unable to participate effectively in family dispute resolution due to, for example: 
    • an incapacity to participate, or
    • physical remoteness from a family dispute resolution provider
  • your matter is urgent, or
  • your application relates to a contravention of an order made within the last 12 months, and you are alleging behaviour that shows a serious disregard of obligations under the order.

To request an exemption, you need to complete a Family Dispute Resolution Exemption (Form NP1). It is recommended you seek legal advice before requesting an exemption. The Family Dispute Resolution exemption kit has information explaining the process, and includes a copy of the exemption form.

Notice of Child Abuse or Family Violence

If you are requesting an exemption because there has been:

  • child abuse by one of the parties, or a risk of child abuse
  • family violence by one of the parties, or a risk of family violence 

You will also need to complete a Notice of Child Abuse or Family Violence (Form 4), which includes evidence supporting the allegations. If there has been family violence or child abuse, you will be given information about the services and options available to you. 

The Notice of Child Abuse or Family Violence has information on the process, and includes the legal definitions of abuse and family violence.

If the form includes allegations of child abuse, the Court will notify a child welfare authority as soon as possible.

Next steps

After completing the forms, they will be filed at the same time as your application for parenting orders. As with the other parts of your application, the forms will need to be served on the other party.

Last updated: 1-May-2019

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