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Family court

Beat the Christmas rush in the courts

By November 21, 2017November 22nd, 2017No Comments

By Gianna Huesch

It’s that time of year again when we remind our clients of the typical surge in applications filed in the Family Court and Federal Circuit Courts and therefore the need to act without delay if you are to beat the Christmas rush.

Many families wish to seek a hearing at this time of year in relation to disputes over custody during the Christmas holiday period or overseas travel issues, leading to a greater than usual number of applications being filed in the courts, in the system which is already typically clogged.

Regarding overseas travel, under section 65Y of the Family Law Act if you are a parent involved in current court proceedings you will need to obtain the other parent’s written consent before you can remove your child from the court’s jurisdiction, regardless of how short your planned trip may be. We encourage clients to try to obtain the written consent of the other parent before making any travel arrangements, and if that consent is not given, to file an application as a matter of urgency to have the travel plans permitted by a court by way of orders.  On the other hand if you are wishing to prevent your child travelling overseas, it may be necessary to have an application listed as urgent, sometimes on an ex parte (without the other party present) basis.  You may also be seeking to apply for urgent orders in relation to preservation of assets or other injunctive relief in relation to a property matter.

Christmas court registry hours

The courts have just released their information flyer regarding registry opening hours for the festive season.  Please note the following opening hours for the court registries relevant to you:

If you are in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne or Adelaide, your registry will remain open with minimal staff over the Christmas/New Year period, except for Monday, 25 December 2017, Tuesday, 26 December 2017 and Monday, 1 January 2018.

The National Enquiry Centre will operate with the same hours.

For those using the following registries, note that they will close from Monday, 25 December 2017 and reopen Friday, 5 January 2018: Cairns, Canberra, Dandenong, Darwin, Hobart, Launceston, Newcastle, Parramatta, Townsville and Wollongong.

For those using the following registries, note that they will close from Monday, 25 December 2017 and reopen Monday, 8 January 2018: Albury, Dubbo, Lismore and Rockhampton.

Although the above-mentioned physical registries will be closed as outlined above, urgent matters can be dealt with by judges in interstate registries remotely.  Such urgent applications include: risk of children being abducted, cases involving family violence, cases involving risk of assets being removed from Australia or otherwise wasted or spent before the court can look into the matter in the usual way.

To discuss any of the above, please contact Canberra family lawyer Cristina Huesch or one of our other experienced solicitors here at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400. Please keep our details handy for urgent matters over the Christmas period.  In addition to our office landline, our office mobile number 0420 312 114 will be monitored throughout the Christmas period.

Please note our blogs are not legal advice.  For information on how to obtain the correct legal advice, please contact Alliance.


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