The Family Law Courts website contains information that can help you understand the processes you will go through as your family law matter progresses:
- If your case is being heard in the Family Court, you will attend ‘events’ that aim to help you and your former partner resolve your dispute.
The court events you will most likely attend will vary depending on whether your case is about parenting, financial or both parenting and financial issues.
When your dispute is about parenting arrangements
The events you are most likely to attend for parenting cases will be managed by a registrar, a family consultant and/or a judge.
Registrar managed court events
A registrar is a court lawyer. Registrar managed events are aimed at preparing your case for trial if a judicial decision is necessary and giving you and your former partner the opportunity to reach agreement without the need for a judicial decision.
Family consultant managed court events
In most parenting cases, you will go through the child responsive program with a family consultant (a court psychologist or social worker).
You will most likely go through the following events:
- Initial procedural hearing in a parenting case (run by a registrar)
- Child responsive program (run by a family consultant)
- Procedural hearing after the child responsive program (run by a registrar)
If after these events, you and your former partner have not reached an agreement, your case will progress to judge managed events.
Judge managed court events
Judge managed events are called trials. Parenting cases will generally go to a less adversarial trial with a judge. Financial issues may be considered by a judge as part of a less adversarial trial if both parties agree and the judge permits this.
Duty of disclosure
You have a duty to disclose to the Court and each other party all information relevant to an issue in the case. This includes information and documents that the other parties may not know about. This duty starts with the pre-action procedure before the case starts and continues until the case is finalised.