The new family law court, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA), commences 1 September 2021.
The FCFCOA will have 2 divisions. Essentially Division 1 replaces the existing Family Court and Division 2 replaces the existing family law functions of the Federal Circuit Court. There will be a single point of entry to the new family law court through Division 2.
Summary of the changes
- There will be harmonised rules, new practice directions, updated forms and one website.
- The new court’s website will be launched on 1 September 2021 with simplified access and navigation.
- All forms will be updated. An Application in a Case will become an Application in a Proceeding.
- Transitional arrangements will allow for the use of new forms, with a 90 day grace period for old forms.
- Existing matters will generally remain in the existing courts, unless the parties are advised otherwise.
- Division 2 will have a general federal law jurisdiction similar to that of the Federal Circuit Court currently.
- Division 1 will have jurisdiction to hear family law appeals and there will be a single national appeals filing registry.
- A National Contravention List will be introduced and a practice direction will accompany the commencement of the list.
- The new court will have Senior Judicial Registrars, Judicial Registrars, and Deputy Registrars. While the titles change, their powers and roles will be the same as existing Registrars.
- Child Disputes Services will be known as the Court Children’s Service. Family Consultants will be known as Court Child Experts.
- Parties in children’s matters will receive assistance earlier, with a greater emphasis on expert guidance.
Updates for the FCFCOA commencement on 1 September 2021
All By Lawyers Family law guides – Children, Divorce, Financial Agreements, and Property Settlement – will be updated to reflect the commencement of the new court. This will include a full review of the:
- commentaries for the new procedures and rules;
- matter plans with a single Going to court section reflecting the new process;
- forms – with all new forms on the matter plans; and
- precedents, to incorporate the changes where necessary.
By Lawyers always keep our content – and our subscribers – up to date!