Even though many families are able to make arrangements after separation that don’t require involvement with the family court system, there are those who do rely on the family law courts to help them resolve disputes. So what happens when the courts close over the Christmas break? Below are the official dates when the FCFCOA closes over the upcoming holiday break, and information on how you can handle urgent matters that may arise.
Christmas holidays FCFCOA registry hours 2022-2023
Please take note of the following opening hours for the court registries relevant to you:
The Newcastle, Parramatta, Canberra, Dandenong and Hobart registries will be closed from Monday 26 December 2022 and will re-open on Friday 6 January 2023.
The Albury, Dubbo, Lismore, Launceston, Darwin, Townsville, Rockhampton, Cairns, Sydney (William Street) and Wollongong registries will be closed from Monday 26 December 2022 and will re-open on Monday 9 January 2023.
During this time, phone calls to these registries will be re-directed to the National Enquiry Centre:
Live chat at www.fcfcoa.gov.au/live-chat
Phone: 1300 352 000
TTY/voice calls: 133 677 (National Relay Service)
Speak & Listen Calls: 1300 555 727
The Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney – Lionel Bowen Building, Melbourne, Perth registries and the National Enquiry Centre will be open throughout this period (with minimal staff) with the exception of the following days: Monday 26 December 2022, Tuesday 27 December 2022 and Monday 2 January 2023.
On these days the urgent after-hours service will be available by calling 1300 352 000.
But what if I have an urgent matter over Christmas?
Don’t fret over the possibility of a family law situation arising over the festive period with which you might need help from the family courts. You will still have remedies. Although physical registries will be closed for the above-mentioned periods, urgent matters can be dealt with by judges in interstate registries remotely.
Applications brought urgently will be assessed by a registrar on a case by case basis and listed accordingly.
If you are wishing to prevent your child travelling overseas or there is a chance of a child being abducted or in cases involving family violence, it may be possible to have an application listed as urgent, sometimes on an ex parte (without the other party being 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, such orders can be issued when courts will not have the time to look into the matter in the usual way and there is a risk of assets being removed from Australia or otherwise wasted, spent or redistributed.
We can assist you with urgent family law and Christmas co-parenting matters that may arise over the holiday period, such as preventing the removal of your child from the jurisdiction of the court, recovery orders, or injunctive relief in property matters.
Please do keep our details handy for urgent matters over the Christmas period. In addition to our office landline, our office mobile number 0420 312 114 is always monitored throughout the Christmas period. If the phones are not answered, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.
If you need assistance with any of the Christmas co-parenting matters discussed above, or any other family law matter, please contact Canberra family lawyer Cristina Huesch or one of our other experienced solicitors here at Alliance Family Law 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.