Last year, in September 2021, the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and Family Court of Australia officially merged to become one court – the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA). The official merger has allowed both the courts jurisdiction over the common (and uncommon) family law issues in all Australian states and territories – except Western Australia. FCFCOA was introduced to allow families to reach agreements, especially if both parties are not able to resolve the dispute mutually. FCFCOA has completely changed the structure of the Australian family law court proceedings and processes with no unnecessary cost and reduced delay in the family court process.
If you are confused about the working of FCFCOA, don’t worry. Our expert family lawyers in Parramatta are here to guide you through FCFCOA proceedings and processes.
- Individuals facing family issues usually approach a family law court with a sole intention – to achieve the best outcome in a short duration. FCFCOA encourages both parties to consider pre-action procedures and resolve the dispute or family law issue mutually before the official court hearing.
- Participating in pre-action procedures allows both parties to put their individual opinions forward and reach mutual agreements. The process also helps narrow down the key issues adjudicated by the family court.
- Pre-action procedures should be followed to resolve the family matter before the court hearing. If either party did not make any effort during this stage, the family court can award legal costs against them, which may impact the final orders.
- Resolving your family issues during this stage can also minimise the need of attending the family court hearing, thus reducing legal costs and overall stress. However, in the case of domestic or family violence, parties can ignore considering pre-action procedures.
One of the parties will file an initiating application during the start of the family court matter. The initiating application can seek any one order – short term (interim orders) and long term (final orders). Upon completing the initiating application, it needs to be delivered to the other party directly or their Parramatta based family lawyer. After submitting the necessary documents, both parties can negotiate between an interim hearing or a final hearing.
- Interim hearing allows the family court to deal with urgent family issues through interim orders. Interim orders are short-term in nature and provide the court enough time to examine the evidence, listen to cross-examination of both parties, conduct a final hearing and make a decision.
- The court provides each party two chances to file for interim orders to obtain an appropriate decision from a judge or registrar. However, before the hearing, both parties will have to provide the family court with a Case Outline Document and a draft of the orders.
- Most family court matters do not reach the final hearing stage as they are likely to be resolved by the court during the pre-action procedure or interim hearing. The fewer family court matters progressing to a final hearing could be from the initial application stage to the final hearing stage.
- A judge or justice usually conducts the proceeding to the final hearing. Here, both parties along with the witnesses will have to present themselves in front of the courtroom and provide evidence. The legal submissions are handled by an opposing barrister and instructed by a solicitor. The judge or justice may take a few months to provide a final decision.
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Our professional family lawyers in Parramatta have 20+ years of experience and extensive knowledge of Australian family law. If you require any reliable and cost-efficient legal assistance with understanding your rights and entitlements surrounding Australian family law, we are here to provide you with the best family lawyers in Sydney, call one of our expert family lawyers at (02) 9135 6000 today.