New 'super court' FCFCA

10 AUG 2018

 

On 30 May 2018 the Turnbull Government announced that, as of 1 January 2019, a new “super court” known as the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCA) will be established through the amalgamation of the current Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

So what does this mean?

Well, basically, the current Family Court, which deals with complicated Family Law matters including complex financial arrangements and allegations of family violence and abuse, and the current Federal Circuit Court, which deals with simpler Family Law cases, will be merged and the new FCFCA will provide a single point of entry for all Family Law matters.

The FCFCA will be comprised of two divisions:

  • Division 1 will consist of existing Family Court judges and deal solely with Family Law matters.
  • Division 2 will consist of existing Federal Circuit Court judges and hear a mix of Family Law matters and general Federal Law matters.

So is this change positive for Australian families?

In theory, absolutely.

As stated by Attorney General Christian Porter:

"This single new court, the FCFCA, will help Australian families resolve their disputes faster by improving the efficiency of the existing split family law system, reducing the backlog of matters before the family law courts, and driving faster, cheaper and more consistent dispute resolution."

The key issues with the current Family Law Court system is the backlog of unresolved cases and growing delays. Such issues are mainly caused by the overlapping jurisdiction and disparities in the rules, procedures and practices of the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court.

The new FCFCA is designed to streamline the court process for Australian families by creating one set of new rules, procedures and practices.

It is estimated that the reforms will improve the efficiency of the Family Law court system by up to a third. Looks like we’ll have to wait until January 2019 to see…

www.attorneygeneral.gov.au/Media/Pages/Court-Reforms-to-help-families-save-time-and-costs-in-family-law-disputes.aspx

www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-30/sweeping-changes-to-family-court-as-broader-review-continues/9813434

www.lawyersweekly.com.au/politics/23339-family-court-federal-circuit-court-to-merge

If you seek more information about relocation after separation, please contact Nevine Youssef from our Family Law Department on (02) 4626 5077 or by email at nyoussef@marsdens.net.au.

The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.

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