This week the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court have appointed seven new registrars, in line with a new initiative to simplify the family law property dispute process.
In honour of these appointments, here are 7 things to know about the Family Court of Australia and how it works:
- The Family Court is a superior court of record established under Chapter 3 of the Commonwealth Constitution. It has limited jurisdiction, meaning that it only has jurisdiction over family law matters, for example, those involving matrimonial property, parenting disputes and other family law-related issues.
- The Family Court was only established by Parliament in 1975! This was the same year that no-fault divorce was introduced in Australia, which means that the court does not consider which partner was at fault for the marriage breakdown, and moral considerations such as adultery do not factor into a decision about property and children.
- The Family Court maintains registries in all the Australian states and territories except Western Australia, which has its own ‘Family Court of Western Australia’.
- In NSW, the Family Court publishes daily court lists in Albury, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo, Lismore, Newcastle, Parramatta, Sydney and Wollongong.
- Registrars provide support to the judges as need and undertake important Alternative Dispute Resolution work.
- Where it is appropriate and possible, the Family Court highly encourages parties to reach agreements without a court hearing to adjudicate. In fact, in most cases, the legal representatives are able to negotiate a resolution of the matter by agreement, which can then be formalised by way of Consent Orders.
- These 7 new registrars will be integral in delivering important initiatives, such as the Lighthouse Project (an initiative in the way in which the courts screen for risk, and focus on public health and improved outcomes for families involved in the family law system), and a new initiative to streamline the property dispute process for cases where the value of the property pool is under $500,000.
If you have any questions about proceedings occurring in the Family Court of Australia, please do not hesitate to get in contact on 02 8917 8700 or by our online enquiry form.