Main purpose of the new Family Law Rules 2004
The main purpose of the Family Law Rules 2004, which came into effect on 29
March 2004, is to ensure that each case is resolved in a just and timely manner
at a cost to the parties and the court that is reasonable in the circumstances
of the case.
Some of the features of the 2004 Rules are as follows:
- To introduce 25 prescribed forms;
- Simplification of procedures;
- A dictionary;
- Simplified terminology;
- Encouragement in settlement procedures with:
- New Pre-action procedures;
- Compulsory offers of settlement;
- Prior to filing, various settlement attempts carried out.
- New procedures for the production of documents and disclosure;
- Appointment of a single expert witness (for example a valuer to value
property or a business) and;
- New procedures for subpoenas that reduce the costs of appearing in court.
This is not a comprehensive list but highlights the most important features
of the amendments. The most significant change to most cases will be the
compulsory inclusion of procedures towards settlement. This highlights an even
stronger emphasis on settlement than ever before in the Family Court system. In
regards to the procedures for negotiating a settlement you should seek the
advice of a solicitor.
Before starting a case, each party to the case must comply with the
pre-action procedures (see article) including attempting to resolve the dispute
using primary dispute resolution methods.
The exceptions to this rule are:
- for a parenting case where the case involves allegations of child abuse or
- for a property case where the case involves allegations of family violence
- where the application is urgent;
- where the applicant would be unduly prejudiced;
- there has been a previous Court application between the same parties in
the 12 months immediately before the start of the case;
- the case is an Application for Divorce; or
- the case is a Child Support Application or Appeal.
The court may take into account a party's failure to comply with a pre-action
procedure when considering whether to order payment of the other party’s legal
This Information Outline is provided courtesy of Grech Partners
Solicitors & Barristers who are experienced in this area of law. They are located at
Inglewood Business Centre, Norwest Business Park, Suites 41 & 42, 5 Inglewood
Place, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153 or call them on (02) 9851 2500 if you would like
more information on this legal topic, or you wish to obtain formal advice
regarding your situation.
Over the last 31 years of practice Grech Partners Solicitors, along with
their dedicated and committed support staff, have developed a holistic approach
to all their clients seeking legal representation. The firm was initially
established in 1971 consisting of one solicitor and a secretary. The firm has
evolved to include a number of solicitors each with their own area of expertise.
During their years of practice Grech Partners has represented a broad sector of
the community ranging from individuals, families, multicultural groups,
corporate clients to publicly listed companies as well as banking institutions
with bases locally and overseas.