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In this video, OMB Solicitors Partner Abbi Golightly shares some of the key changes from the Federal Circuit Court merger with the Family Court of Australia, particularly in implementing mandatory pre-action procedures.


In September 2021, the Federal Circuit Court and the Family Court of Australia merged to become the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. 

One of the key changes is the implementation of mandatory pre-action procedures for both parenting and property disputes.

The intention of the pre-action procedures is to ensure that parties take genuine steps to resolve their disputes before applying to the court for judicial intervention.

In a parenting case, it requires parties to participate in mediation and exchange genuine correspondence with the intention of resolving their dispute, either by way of a consent order or parenting plan. 

In property settlement matters, the steps are more complex as they require parties to exchange significant disclosure of their financial circumstances and that involves bank statements, tax returns, payslips and all documents necessary to establish your financial position.

It also requires, unless there is an exception, participation in private mediation in a genuine attempt to resolve your dispute. It is only after you have taken those steps are you able to institute proceedings after providing the other party with your notice of intention to commence the proceeding. 

The requirement for parties to participate in these pre-action procedures is the court’s clear statement that they desire parties to avoid litigation and take all steps necessary to avoid it at all costs. 

If you are considering commencing an application for property settlement or parenting orders, then we strongly urge you to contact us here at OMB Solicitors Gold Coast to obtain advice on what steps are required before you can do so from our Family Lawyers Gold Coast team.

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