Step 1 - Separation Date
The separation date is a crucial role in determining how your matter is progressed.
You can commence financial matters as soon as you are separated.
Step 2 - Pre-Action Procedures
All parties are required to comply with the pre-action procedures. The procedures usually assist the parties to reach an agreement without going to court.
Timeline - up to 6 months of negotiations, depending on each individual matter
Step 3 - File Initiating Application
This is a document that is completed to include an overview of your matter including the background of your marriage/relationship, parenting issues and concerns. You are also required to provide relevant disclosure documents to assist in finalising your application before the Court.
Step 4 - Procedural Hearing (known as First Return Date)
The first return date is a housekeeping exercising making sure service requirements are met and the Respondent has filed responding documents. The Judicial Officer will assess the documents filed by the parties and make procedural orders to help your matter proceed to the next step.
Timeline – up to 28 days from filing the application
Step 5 - Case Assessment Conference
Case Assessment Conference is a court assisted Conference is run by a Family Consultant.
The purpose of the Conference is to assess risks, opportunity to negotiate, consider management options in moving forward and clarify issues in dispute.
Timeline - up to 6 months from First Return Date
Step 6 - Procedural Hearing
This is a Procedural Hearing for the Judicial Officer to review the Family Consultant’s recommendations and any further documents filed by the parties, discuss with you the recommendations by the Family Court and make interim orders.
Timeline - up to 8 months from First Return Date
Step 7 - Readiness Hearing
This is a Procedural Hearing to ensure your matter is ready for Trial.
Timeline - up to 12 months from First Return Date
Step 8 - Call Over hearing
Callover Hearings are only for the purpose of allocating a date for your Trial.
Timeline - up to 18 months from First Return Date
Step 9 - Trial
This is your final stage of your matter. At the end of your Trial the Judicial Officer will make final orders (“Decision”). At times the Decision will be handed down some months after the Trial ends.
Timeline to Trial – up to 24-30 months from First Return Date
Timeline to receive your Decision - up to 6 months from the end of your Trial