Financial Matters

  • Initially, you must provide the other party with the pre-action procedures brochure published by the Court.
  • You must invite the other party to participate in dispute resolution. Agree on a service, and make a genuine effort to resolve your dispute.
    • If agreement is reached, it can be formalised as a financial agreement or consent orders.
  • If no agreement is possible due to no dispute resolution service being available, the other party refusing to participate in dispute resolution, or dispute resolution not being successful, a Notice of Intention to start proceedings can be issued to the other party including a genuine offer to resolve the dispute, with a deadline for acceptance.
  • If you receive a Notice of Intention, you accept or reject the offer within the time frame nominated within the document.
    • If agreement is reached, it can be formalised as a financial agreement or consent orders.
  • If no agreement is reached, the party rejecting the offer must send a letter including the issues in dispute, orders sought, and a genuine counter-offer to resolve the dispute, with a deadline for acceptance. If this letter is not sent, the other party is entitled to take further action.
  • Following these exchanges, either party may take further action to resolve the dispute, including commencing Court proceedings, at which time they must file a Genuine Steps Certificate outlining their attempts at compliance with the pre-action procedures.
  • Prior to commencing proceedings, after commencing proceedings, and at all stages to the resolution of the dispute, parties also have an obligation to comply with their duty of disclosure.

Parenting Matters

  • Initially, you must provide the other party with the pre-action procedures brochure published by the Court.
  • You must invite the other party to participate in dispute resolution, unless you are exempt. You should agree on a service, and make a genuine effort to resolve your dispute. You may receive a section 60I certificate.
    • If agreement is reached, it can be formalised as a parenting plan or consent orders.
  • If no agreement is possible due to no dispute resolution service being available, the other party refusing to participate in dispute resolution, or dispute resolution not being successful, a Notice of Intention to start proceedings can be issued to the other party including a genuine offer to resolve the dispute, with a deadline for acceptance.
  • If you receive a Notice of Intention, you accept or reject the offer within the time frame nominated within the document.
    • If agreement is reached, it can be formalised as a parenting plan or consent orders.
  • If no agreement is reached, the party rejecting the offer must send a letter including the issues in dispute, orders sought, and a genuine counter-offer to resolve the dispute, with a deadline for acceptance. If this letter is not sent, the other party is entitled to take further action.
  • Following these exchanges and reasonable attempts to resolve the matter by correspondence, either party may take further action to resolve the dispute, including commencing Court proceedings.
  • Prior to commencing proceedings, after commencing proceedings, and at all stages to the resolution of the dispute, parties also have an obligation to comply with their duty of disclosure.
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Exemptions

Compliance with pre-action procedures is mandatory in all cases, unless an exemption applies. The applicable exemption must be indicated and addressed within the Genuine Steps Certificate or Affidavit of Non-Filing of a Family Dispute Resolution Certificate and Affidavit in support filed alongside any Initiating Application or Response to Initiating Application.

Exemptions include;

  • If it would prejudice the Applicant to comply with thepre-action procedures;
  • If the Application is urgent;
  • If either party has filed a family law Application within the 12 months prior;
  • If the Application relates to divorce only, or is in relation to child support or appeal;
  • If the Application involves the Courts jurisdiction under section 35 or 35B of the Bankruptcy Act 1966; and
  • If there are allegations or risks of family violence, or in relation to parenting proceedings there are allegations or risks of child abuse.
Apprehended Violence Order

Compliance with the pre-action procedures is considered as proceedings progress, and there may be consequences for non-compliance. Where non-compliance is unreasonable, there may be consequences in the form of costs penalties or orders to set aside, dismiss, or determine part or whole of the proceeding to ensure that the non-compliance does not disadvantage the other party.

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