The Court process for families seeking to resolve their property and parenting matters can be a very lengthy and expensive exercise. It has not been uncommon for parties to wait 3 to 5 years for a Hearing by a Judge. Once the Hearing has concluded sometime parties can wait up to 12 months to receive the Judge’s decision.
The Federal Circuit Court is now trialling a new system to hopefully speed up the process.
Currently, when an Application is filed, the matter is assigned to a Judge and the matter stays before that Judge until it is finalised. When Judges can have up to 30 matters per day, the list of matters can become very long which then causes the delay parties have been experiencing.
The new system, commencing 4 June 2018, will consist of Judges who will manage Applications seeking interim decisions, such as urgent parenting arrangements or urgent hearings to preserve assets and procedural issues, such as the exchange of documents, organising family reports and mediation. The remaining Judges will then focus on hearing and deciding matters that are listed for Final Hearings.
It is hoped the new system will reduce the waiting time parties currently experience in the Federal Circuit Court.
The new system could be good news for those who have already been waiting some time for their matter to be determined at a Final Hearing. Whether the Court waiting time is significantly reduced will remain to be seen, however it will always be our priority to assist parties to resolve their matters without having to engage in the Court process.
If you need assistance with Family Law matters, contact our Family Law team in either Brisbane or Toowoomba.