Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Family Court and FMC issue new forms

The Family and Federal Magistrates Courts have issued changes as a result of de facto property cases now being heard in those courts.

1. Here is the release from the Federal Magistrates Court:

De facto jurisdiction - rule/form amendments

The combined Initiating Application approved pursuant to Rule 2.04(1A) for commencing most family law applications in the Federal Magistrates Court, has been reviewed in light of the conferral of de facto jurisdiction.

The amended form includes a new Part H: De facto relationship jurisdiction – financial causes, contains questions to establish the courts jurisdiction to determine the applicant’s case. There is consequential re-lettering of the Parts of the form thereafter. The Initiating Application has been approved for use in both the Federal Magistrates Court and the Family Court.

From 1 March 2009, litigants will be required to use the revised Initiating Application. However, the Federal Magistrates Court will allow a 3 month period of grace for the filing of the currently approved form of Initiating Application till 1 June 2009.See:http://www.familylawcourts.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/FLC/Home/Forms/Family+Law+Courts+forms/Initiating+Application+%28if+filing+after+1+March+2009%29


The Federal Magistrates Court will continue to use the currently approved response form which has not been revised. Litigants are being encouraged to file the response as approved for use in the Court.See:http://www.fmc.gov.au/forms/html/response.html

Rules - Federal Magistrates Court Rules 2001

There will be consequential amendments to the Federal Magistrate Court Rules 2001 as a result of the conferral of de facto jurisdiction. The amendments are not of any substance and it is expected that such proceedings will be conducted in the same manner as financial proceedings are currently conducted in the Court.

2. Family Relationships online fact sheet for de facto property settlement

Family relationships online has released a factsheet about who is covered, and for what. Here is the link to the factsheet.

3. Brochure - Marriage, Families and Separation

This brochure is being updated due to the changes. The current version on the court's website has not yet been updated.

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