The beginning of Autumn has ushered in some changes in the family law environment, with the Family Law Rules Amendment (2018 Measures No. 1) Rules 2018 having now being approved, effective 1 March.
The changes to the Family Law Rules, which operate under the Family Law Act 1975, are technical in nature and in some cases reflect the ongoing modernisation of the court system; for example, the amendment which enables you to now produce a copy of a document in answer to a subpoena in any electronic form, provided it is possible to print it without loss of content, or the change which indicates that multiple copies of consent orders no longer have to be filed if the orders are being electronically filed. In some cases, the amendments reflect the continued greater focus on family violence measures; for instance, the amendment which indicates that “safety concerns” will now be a factor for consideration in venue transfer applications.
Generally, the impetus for these amendments to the Rules was to bring about consistency with the changes to the child support legislation that have been introduced.
A detailed summary of the changes can be found in this article, which states that the ‘latest notable changes’ are:
- You will no longer be permitted to attach, or otherwise file exhibits and annexures to affidavits. Documents that are to be relied on must be referred to in the body of the affidavit and tendered, and these must be served on the other party in hard copy alongside the affidavit.
- There will be two new ‘Notice of Risk’ forms, one for use in current cases, and another to be used with Applications for Consent Orders. The previous form ‘Annexure to Proposed Consent Parenting Order’ will no longer be used.
- You will no longer need to file a Superannuation Information Form with an Application for Consent Orders, so long as you provide an alternative document which shows the value of the superannuation interest to the Court, e.g. up-to-date member statement.
- A new Submitting Notice will be used in circumstances where a party is served with an Initiating Application, Response, Reply or Notice of Appeal and they do not wish to challenge the orders sought. The party filing the notice must provide an address for service and state that they will submit to any order the Court may make. They must also indicate if they want to be heard in respect of costs.
- There will be a new Notice of Contention in appeals where the respondent to an appeal does not wish to cross-appeal, but instead seeks to have the Order affirmed on different grounds than those relied on by the Court at first instance.
Please read the full story for all the other changes summarised.
As the changes are highly technical and can be confusing, particularly if you are self-represented or if you are engaging shadow family lawyers or utilising unbundled legal services, please do not hesitate to give us a call if you need any clarification or explanation regarding any of the issues raised, as we are always happy to help.
If interested, you can view the amendments to the Family Law Rules here.
Would you like a free first conference with an experienced family lawyer to discuss how we would handle your case? Please contact Canberra family lawyer Cristina Huesch or one of our other experienced solicitors here at Alliance on (02) 6223 2400.
Please note our blogs are not legal advice. For information on how to obtain the correct legal advice, please contact Alliance.