On 1 September 2021, the Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia will merge. The new Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia will have two divisions; one dealing exclusively with family law. Division 2 will deal with both family law and general federal law matters.
The new Court will have a new set of Rules, the Courts’ Central Practice Direction, and the new case management pathway in family law proceedings. The family law jurisdiction The Courts have been working diligently to build a system that is innovative, focuses on the safety of children and vulnerable litigants, and that changes the culture and conversation around family law.
From 1 September we will see a new structure that is modern, fair and focuses on risk, responsiveness and earlier resolution, by:
Achieving a unified set of Rules and forms across the two Courts has been a key objective. The family law system has long been criticised as being confusing, inefficient and causing unacceptable delays. The creation of a single set of Rules, together with a single point of entry, additional resources, and case management reform, will go towards addressing those criticisms. The new system aims to provide a safer, quicker and less costly way of resolving family disputes.
The Central Practice Direction confirms the Core Principles applicable to family law proceedings and establishes a consistent national case management system. It is expected to facilitate the safe, just and timely resolution of family law matters. It outlines an expected approach to family law litigation, designed to:
Once proceedings are commenced, they will generally follow a nationally consistent case management pathway, which will generally go as follows:
If you have a property of children family law matter you need assistance with, call our family lawyers in Mona Vale on 02 9151 7339 or Gosford on 02 4308 8892.