Where Is The Court Going Over 12 Months Into The New FCFCOA

Family Court of Australia - Lionel Bowen Building

Change Of Federal Circuit And Family Court Structure

Podcasts are a wonderful resource for gaining knowledge from other like-minded people or experts, on very specific topics. Podcasts have become an ingrained part of our modern lives and we think it is because of their ‘easy to digest’ format which you can listen to while your walking the dog, having a coffee at your local, commuting to and from work, or before bed time!

We know how busy you are so we’ve taken the time for you to find the top rated podcasts dedicated to divorce and co-parenting. The podcasts are all very informative whilst also being entertaining and we think they are ideal fodder for anyone going through a divorce or undertaking the journey of co-parenting.

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There Are Still Some Further Changes Required

However, despite the significant inroads that the new Court has been able to make, there are still some further changes required. These are identified by the Court as follows:

Application For Consent Orders

If you and your ex-partner come to an agreement together on how you want to finalise your property and/or parenting issues, you can apply to the Court to make them binding through an Application for Consent Orders.

Following the new Court’s introduction, there was a slight increase in the amount of Application for Consent Orders that were ‘rejected’ by the Court because the documents filled needed additional changes. The increase occurred in the December 2021 to January 2022 period.

To resolve this issue, the Court provided a number of different resources to Registrars tasked with considering Application for Consent Orders.

Since the extra resources have been introduced, the Courts have been reporting an increase in the number of Applications that are being approved.

They are also reporting that Applications are being reviewed within a two to three week time period. When the new Court was introduced, the wait period was approximately five to six weeks.

Electronic Subpoena Material

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, material produced under subpoena largely had to be physically inspected (yes, in person and through a hard copy version!). Practitioners were unable to have electronic copies of the documents forwarded to them to review, as the documents were highly personal.

While the Courts were shut down during the COVID-19 lockdowns, to ensure the continued progression of matters in Court, new regulations were introduced to allow subpoena material to be produced electronically rather than in hard copy.

The regulations included that practitioners were required to give personal assurances that the documents produced under subpoena were not distributed, not even to their client. The regulations saw a reduction in costs of people attending Court, due to the review process taking less time.

The new Court system has seen a continuation and the Court has outlined they “will continue to allow a degree of flexibility where appropriate”.

Notice Of The Amount Of Money Spent

The new Court system has introduced the requirement for practitioners to provide their clients with a notice of the amount of money spent to date on fees and the amount of money they envision the client will spend ongoingly.

This is a welcome change to ensure transparency and can ensure people within the family Court system are aware of the money spent, with the aim of focusing them on a resolution.

Lighthouse Project

In line with the principals of the new Court system, the Court have also received funding to allow for the rollout of the Lighthouse Project nationally. The Lighthouse project assists families that experienced family violence or other safety concerns to navigate the family law system. The project also assists families by identifying risks and providing access to tailored support services.

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Our Focus Is On Ensuring The Best Outcome For You And Your Family

Overall, the goal of the new Court system in encouraging dispute resolution rather than litigation has the tick of approval from all of us at O’Loan Family Law.

Here at O’Loan Family Law our focus is on ensuring the best outcome for you and your family. We believe that goal is usually best achieved when you work with your ex-partner if it is safe to do so. It seems the Court shares our viewpoint.

We can advise and guide you to find the right resolution pathway for you and your family. O’Loan Family Law offers specialist family law advice, conveniently located on Sydney’s North Shore. We help separating families find amicable solutions that consider your unique situation so you can move on with your life. Our service offerings include collaborative practice, assisted DIY separation and what we like to call, the traditional family law pathway. We’ve got your back.

Emily Nugara - Flipbox Image

About The Author - Emily Nugara

Emily Nugara is a Solicitor of O’Loan Family Law and is available to answer any questions you might have about the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. Emily has worked in Family Law since 2019, having worked as a family law paralegal in a large firm prior to her admission as a solicitor in 2022.

*This post is an overview only and should not be considered as legal advice. If there are any matters that you would like us to advise you on, then please contact us.

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