Thursday, 14 May 2009

Family Court has released standard directions

The Family Court of Australia has released standard directions:

Child Responsive Program

Pursuant to s 11F of the Family Law Act 1975 all parties must attend:
an Intake Event for the Child Responsive Program at the following times:
The Applicant at 9.00am/2.00pm on >date>;
The Respondent at 11.00am/3.00pm on >date>; and
all future appointments fixed by the Family Consultant and are requested to ensure that the child(ren) attend all meetings as instructed by the Family Consultant.

Following the conclusion of the meeting/s with the Family Consultant the Family Consultant provide a Children and Parents Issues Assessment to the parties, the Independent Children’s Lawyer and the Court, and the case be listed before a Registrar to consider any recommendations of the Family Consultant and to make procedural orders for the future conduct of the case.

For the purpose of preparing the abovementioned issues assessment, the Family Consultant has permission to inspect the Court file and all documents produced on subpoena once permission to inspect has been granted to a party or the Independent Children’s Lawyer (if any).

Conciliation Conference

The parties and the lawyers on the record attend a Conciliation Conference with a Registrar at >time> am/pm/noon on >date>.

Other listing

The Application and the Response be listed before Registrar >Registrar Name> at >time> am/pm/noon on >date> in Court/in chambers/by telephone link.

Property Case – Exchange of Documents before Conciliation Conference

Within 28 days (of the case assessment conference) each party exchange with each other party:
If not already exchanged a copy of all the documents mentioned in Rule 12.02;
the following documents:

Financial Questionnaire

Within 21 days (of the case assessment conference) each party file and serve a completed financial questionnaire in the form available from the Family Court of Australia website or from each Registry.

Balance Sheet

Within 28 days (of the case assessment conference) the applicant:
prepare a balance sheet in the form available from the Family Court of Australia website or from each Registry by completing all items and values asserted by the applicant; and
send the balance sheet to the respondent(s).

Within 21 days after receiving the balance sheet the respondent(s):
add the respondent’s estimated values for all items on the balance sheet prepared by the applicant;
add any items to the balance sheet the respondent(s) asserts have been omitted from the balance sheet and assert values for those items;
complete the notes relating to all disputed items and all disputed values for items; and
return the amended balance sheet to the applicant.

Within 14 days after receiving the amended balance sheet, the applicant:
add the applicant’s estimated values for all items added to the balance sheet by the respondent;
complete the notes relating to all disputed items and all disputed values for items; and
file the balance sheet with the Court and serve it on the respondent(s).

Final Procedural Hearing

Listing


Subject to compliance with these orders, the Initiating Application (Family Law) and the Response to Initiating Application (Family Law) be listed to a first day before Justice >Judge Name> at >time> am/pm/noon on >date>.

The Application and the Response be listed before Registrar >Registrar Name> at >time> am/pm/noon on >date> in Court/in chambers/by telephone link.

The application is listed before a Registrar at >time> am/pm/noon on >date> in Court/chambers by telephone for the purposes of a compliance check.

Hearing Fee

The applicant/respondent/other party pay the hearing fee on or before >date> unless a waiver of the fee is obtained beforehand.

In the event that the hearing fee is not waived or paid by the said date the case be listed before Registrar >Registrar Name>.

Parenting Questionnaire

On or before >date> each party file and serve a completed parenting questionnaire in the form available from the Family Court of Australia website or from each registry.

Disclosure

Each party file and serve an undertaking as to disclosure by >date>.

Superannuation – Procedural Fairness

Not less than twenty-eight (28) days before the first day before the Judge each party must notify the Trustee of any relevant superannuation fund of the terms of any order sought that would bind that Trustee.

Amended Application/Response/Reply

The applicant file and serve any Amended Initiating Application (Family Law) on or before >date>,
The respondent file and serve a Response to Initiating Application (Family Law) on or before >date>,
The applicant file and serve any Amended Reply on or before >date>.
Independent Children’s Lawyer

The child(ren) >Name(s) and Date(s) of Births> shall be independently represented, and the >Legal Aid Body> is requested to arrange such representation.

On or before >date> each party shall provide the >Legal Aid Body> copies of any relevant orders and reports.

On or before >date> each party shall provide the >Legal Aid Body> with copies of any applications and affidavits on which the party relies.

The Registry Manager, by his or her nominee, is requested to forward a copy of these orders promptly to the attention of >Legal Aid Body>.

Exchange and filing of case information

Each party exchange at least days before the compliance check/first day before the Judge and lodge with the Registrar/Judge’s Associate at least 2 clear business days before the compliance check/first day before the Judge the following:
a minute of the orders sought by that party;
a list of the proposed witnesses and a short outline of the nature of evidence to be given by the witness;
a brief chronology of relevant events.

Notations

No affidavit is to be filed by the parties without the leave of the Court.
No subpoena is to be issued without the leave of the Court.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Family Court should not be used as a vehicle to extract money from struggling families. We need to Americanise our procedures and make it more user friendly for families to attend court without the use of lawyers and represent themselves. There is no sample Affidavits out there so applicants and respondents are given a fair go! Children are left at the mercy of how much money their parents can pay to best represent their needs. Disgraceful backward system ridiculous and lawyers overcharge for knowledge that should come free!