In response to concerns about delays in the Family Court system, particularly for matters with a small asset pool, the Federal Circuit Court has developed the Family Law Priority Property Pool 500 List (PPP500).
It is a specialist list designed for matters where the net assets of the parties including superannuation is or is likely to be less than $500,000. Additionally, there must not be any Trusts or Corporate Structures which would require expert investigation and the matter cannot involve any other aspect of Family Law, such as parenting or child support issues.
The PPP500 has specialized case management processes comprising:
- Registrar led resolution where couples are assisted in reaching agreement in the shortest possible time; and
- Short form Judge managed lists which apply a procedurally simpler process to the determination phase of a matter.
Close monitoring and scrutiny will be had of compliance with orders for disclosure and valuation with a focus on reducing delays and provide the parties with expanded opportunities to take ownership of their dispute resolution.
The two phases of the PPP500 proceed, in a general sense as follows:
In the PPP500, the usual requirement for filing of an Affidavit and Financial Statement is dispensed with, resulting in the costs to commence proceedings being greatly reduced. There is a specific PPP500 Financial Summary document which is to be filed at the time of filing the Application or Response.
Stages 1 – 4 set out above are expected to be completed within 90 days of filing where possible and the trial process is expected to be conducted promptly and if possible without the need for traditional trial (which results in delays).
The process is expected to and has to date, produced expeditious and effective results in matters which are simple and have asset pools which are not conducive to lengthy delays in the Court system which would result in the asset pool being eroded by significant legal fees.
Of course the process requires practitioners and parties who are focused on resolution and focusing on the big picture rather than the small minute details.
How can OMB Family Law help?
At OMB Family Law our focus is on prompt and efficient resolution of matters which result in parties exiting the Family Law system without lengthy delays. With strategic and pragmatic advice we will guide you through your property settlement matter and recommend the use of the PPP500 where appropriate and necessary.