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What is a child inclusive conference at the Court and do I have to attend?

When the court orders a meeting between a family consultant, the parents and the children of a family law dispute this is called a child inclusive conference. At this meeting your lawyer will not be included. As this is a court ordered meeting there is an obligation to attend.

The goal of the conference is to help the court understand your family situation and in particular the experience and feelings of your children. By gaining a better understanding of your family situation the court will be able to come to decisions about your parenting arrangements in the interim and may also be able to help you and your former partner reach an agreement.

Family consultants are court experts who specialise in children’s matters, they are usually psychologists or social workers.

After the child inclusive conference is finished the family consultant will compile their observations and advice into a document called a Memorandum to Court. This Memorandum is then treated as a piece of evidence to the proceedings. Anything said in these conferences are not confidential.