On 28 January 2020, The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia released a Joint Practice Direction – a statement that aims to standardise and characterise the practice of Family Law within Australia. They introduced ten core principles in the case management of Family Law matters. Our experienced family lawyer in Parramatta will help you understand each core principle in depth.
The number one core principle in the case management of Family Law matters is Risk, which aims to prioritise the safety of children, litigants, and vulnerable parties. Additionally, it also seeks to determine issues of such risks at early stages and handle them appropriately.
2. Parties’, Lawyers’ and the Court’s Obligations and Overarching Purpose
The second core principle emphasises the purpose of the Court system’s, i.e. to resolve any Family Law related dispute more quickly and cost-efficiently. The decision should be taken based on the likely impact of court proceedings on families and children.
3. Efficient and Effective Use of Resources
The third core principle states that all the Court’s resources should be used and allocated efficiently by ensuring the appropriate handling of risks, especially if such risks are identified as issues in court proceedings.
4. Approach to Case Management
The fourth core principle ensures the following:
- Consistent case management
- Early triaging of Family Law matters
- The use of internal and external Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
5. Importance of Dispute Resolution
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is crucial and should be encouraged by the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. Also, the parties involved in such family law disputes should make genuine efforts to resolve their matter. The Court will not hear the case unless both the parties have made certain efforts.
All parties involved in the Family Law matter should comply with the court orders. Non-compliance with the family court orders can result in paying hefty penalties. The cost consequences of failure to comply with the order can also include costs awarded against lawyers.
7. Lawyers’ Obligations About Costs
All parties involved in a Family Law matter and their lawyers should make a sensible and informed approach to any litigation. Additionally, they also have to incur fair, reasonable, and proportionate costs to their issues that are genuine in disputes. All lawyers and solicitors should act consistently with the estimations provided by their clients. They also have to inform their clients regularly and the Court about the cost incurred or expected to incur.
8. Identifying and Narrowing Issues in Dispute
Both parties involved in a Family Law matter are required to disclose all the relevant information of their case to the Court to help them identify the issues in a dispute. Parties are expected to negotiate and narrow issues in disputes as and when required.
9. Preparation for Hearings
All parties and their lawyers should be familiar with the issues in the case and be fully prepared for court events and the final hearings in the courtroom. In addition, parties should also provide:
- A considered estimate of the expected hearing time.
- The number of witnesses.
- Details of specific issues.
10. Efficient and Timely Disposition of Cases
The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia will act effectively and efficiently to achieve all cases’ quick and fair disposition. The judgments should be delivered right after the receipt of final submissions. Where permitted by legislation, short-form reasons can be used in some cases to facilitate the quick delivery of judgments.
At Eden King Lawyers, our experienced family lawyers in Parramatta ensure the efficient resolution of your Family Law matter. We work with you to understand your case, keep clear communication, and offer expert legal advice so that you can have peace of mind from legal matters. Call us on (02) 9135 6000 to get a free consultation from our legal experts today.