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Pilot Program to Speed up Family Law Property Cases

Financial cases can be slow, stressful and expensive

It will come as no big secret to learn that legal cases are sometimes slow and expensive. In Family Law the expense and time taken to resolve a property matter can sometimes be disproportionate to the amounts involved.

As well as the considerable costs involved in running a court case for months or even years the emotional and psychological effects of the litigation should not be underestimated.

With the Family Courts system clogged with too many cases and too few resources, the expression “justice delayed is justice denied” has never seemed more appropriate to people caught up in the system.

Members of the legal profession have been agitating for change and a more efficient way of dealing with more straightforward lower value cases for a long time.

New scheme launched

The Attorney-General’s office has recently launched an initiative called the ‘Pilot program to save time and money for separating couples’ which will be looking to streamline financial cases where the net property pool is less than $500,000. The scheme is to run for 2 years and will commence in the following court registries: Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Parramatta.

You can read the media release issued by the Attorney-General’s office by clicking here.

Settling without going to court

Of course even quicker than an accelerated court process is to avoid court altogether. Many cases can be and are resolved without a person having to even step foot inside a courtroom. Negotiated agreements and mediated outcomes are commonplace in Family Law.

By looking to enter into an early agreement with an ex-partner a person can save many thousands of dollars and many months or even years of stressful litigation.

Formalising agreed property settlements

Agreements can be made formal by either applying to the Family Court for ‘Consent Orders’ or by a Financial Agreement. Both of these types of arrangements may have advantages and disadvantages as the right way to tie things up. In Family Law there are strict rules about formalising settlement which need to be followed to reduce the risk of later claims being made by an ex-partner.

No two cases are ever the same and the agreements reached may be as varied as the people they relate to. It is important that a person obtains legal advice tailored to their unique set of circumstances.


Legal help ready when you are

If you need legal help or guidance with a financial settlement following separation please get in touch with our dedicated Family Law team on 07 5597 3366 or complete the Contact Us form below.


For more information on this topic please contact Margaret Miller, Partner and Family Lawyer. This article has been prepared by Bell Legal Group for general information purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.