Today marked the commencement of the new Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (the FCFCOA), aimed at providing a more efficient, transparent and modern approach to assisting parties through the court process, using innovation and technology.
The new FCFCOA has an overarching focus on facilitating the just resolution of disputes according to law as quickly, inexpensively and efficiently as possible, including by way of early intervention, such as via mediation where it is safe to do so.
Whilst there will be a single point of entry into the new FCFCOA, there will still be two separate divisions, which will deal with the following:
- Division 1 of the FCFCOA will deal only with family and relationship law matters (including appeals); and
- Division 2 of the FCFCOA will deal with family and relationship law and general federal law matters.
There will also be lists dedicated specifically to property only matters and matters concerning contravention of orders, which are intended to be dealt with as swiftly as possible.
The commencement carries with it a new set of rules and a strong focus on parties’ compliance with pre-action procedures, before a court application is filed, to demonstrate that a genuine attempt has been made to reach a settlement before proceeding to court.
In the event that a court application is ultimately required, the new FCFCOA has provided the following helpful diagram, demonstrating the new pathway towards resolution, ideally within a 12 month period:
Over the coming weeks, Coulter Roache will share a series of articles regarding the new FCFCOA and the changes we can expect to see for both lawyers and clients.
In the meantime, clients are encouraged to view the following videos produced by the new FCFCOA, featuring lawyers from Coulter Roache, which provide further information regarding:
How you can separate smarter
What to expect when attending a court hearing
A new court structure