What do the 2018 Amendments to the Family Law Rules mean for you?

Following an initial announcement in September 2017, the Australian Law Reform Commission (“ALRC”) appointed two commissioners to assist in a thorough review of the Family Law system in Australia, including the Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2017 and Family Law Amendment (Parenting Management Hearings) Bill 2017.

Understandably, this has been, and continues to be a long and arduous task, however, the first signs of action have recently taken place with the announcement of The Family Law Amendment (2018 Measures No. 1) Rules 2018 which come into effect tomorrow. The intention of these rules is to simplify some of the more laborious administrative processes in family law, with an ultimate aim of making the process more smooth and efficient.

Some of these changes include:
• Documents to be relied on in an affidavit are to be tendered in hard copy form rather than being filed in the affidavit;
• The implementation of new ‘Notice of Risk’ forms;
• Alternative documents may be filed for the Court to determine the value of superannuation interest, for example a statement;
• The implementation of a Submitting Notice where parties may submit to any Order the Court may make;
• A Notice of Contention to be used in appeals when the respondent does not wish to cross-appeal, seeking to have the Order affirmed on the initial grounds relied on by the first-instance Court.

What does this means for you?

Essentially, the rules above are designed so there is reduction in paperwork required by the Court and a reduction in administrative work for your matter. It is our hope and intention that this will ultimately result in a reduction of your legal fees. A more efficient family law process is something we are greatly in favour of and we look forward to implementing these changes with you in the future.

Photo: Angela Wylie

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