Cargill Family Law seek to resolve family law matters peacefully and strategically wherever possible, therefore commencing family law property proceedings in court is the option of last resort.
Rachel Jones discusses in this blog the reasons you shouldn't jump into the court system too soon and what you need to know before your matter appears before the courts.
There are several reasons why you should not jump into the court system. Let's unpack them:
Not withstanding the many reasons why you should try to avoid court proceedings, there are circumstances where legal proceedings are warranted. Such circumstances include:
The court process
The court process is commenced by one party filing an initiating application that is accompanied by a financial statement and an affidavit in support of their application. The initiating application sets out the final (long term) orders and interim (short term) orders that the applicant is asking the Court to make.
The respondent is required to file their Response setting out the final and interim orders that they seek, their financial statement and affidavit in support of their Response within 28 days of receiving the applicant’s initiating application.
The interim orders should contain all of the necessary steps that will enable the parties to negotiate final orders. Typically, interim orders for family law property matters will require the parties to do the following:
Interims orders may also set out practical arrangements such as naming the party that will have the right to occupy any real property and the payment of ongoing expenses and liabilities of the relationship on a short-term basis. Interim orders may also require one party to pay interim spousal maintenance to the other party to enable a party in financial need to meet their reasonable living expenses.
Final orders set out the orders that each of the parties are asking the Court to make to finalise their matter once and for all. In other words, orders that will set out the assets, liabilities and financial resources that each of the parties will keep.
Final orders may be made by consent of the parties. Failing agreement being reached by consent, the Court will determine final orders at the final hearing of the matter.
Important court dates
As a general rule, family law property matters will be allocated to a Judge’s list and will receive the following:
Depending on the issues of the case, there may also need to be further interim or interlocutory hearings before the Judge to deal with any threshold or interim disputes that need to be determined before final orders can be made.
It is heartening to note that statistically the vast majority of family law property matters do resolve by consent before final hearing.
Any questions? Reach out to Rachel today for a complimentary 30-minute chat.
Author: Rachel Jones
Rachel is a skilled negotiator and litigator with 14 years experience as a multi-disciplined lawyer with a passion for family law. Rachel has two children, Harry and Jack and two fur-children (Olive & Simba) with husband Luke. With a keen interest in health and fitness, Rachel is a regular on the Lake Wendouree track which assists her to keep an even keel. She otherwise loves spending time with family, friends and finding pleasure and humour in life's simple things.