The question of ‘How long does a Family Court Hearing take?’ is, unfortunately one that does not have a definitive answer.
This is because every single case is different, and as such, the length of time Family Court proceedings will depend on the circumstances of your case and the willingness of each party to reach a compromise.
The following article will discuss this question and the importance of alternative modes of dispute resolution you may wish to undertake if you are concerned about the length of Family Court proceedings.
The Importance Of Alternate Dispute Resolution Methods
No matter what your family law related dispute is, there are multiple alternative dispute resolution methods available at your disposal which do not involve having to proceed to Court. If you are concerned with how long a family court hearing will take, you should strongly consider resolving your matter through a more informal method.
The sad reality of Family Court proceedings is they can drag on for potentially years because of the parties’ unwillingness to compromise. This can result in substantial costs, both financially and emotionally.
Clearly, in some instances, it would not be advised to have an informal resolution.
These include cases where one party is violent, abusive, threatening, abuses substances, or engages in family violence. In such instances, it is almost always the best solution to proceed to Court or have consent orders in place which are legally binding.
Suppose these issues aren’t in play; although obvious, your first call of action should be to try and resolve the matter informally with the other party. You may have tried this previously unsuccessfully. However, it is good to give the other party some time to think about their position and try again to avoid emotional decision-making. You can also try and have a mutual friend or relative of theirs reach out on your behalf to further separate emotion.
Mediation Instead Of Family Court Hearings?
If you are finding yourself asking ‘how long does a Family Court hearing take?’ because you are concerned about the length of time of legal proceedings or the cost, you should consider a mediation session.
If you cannot reach an agreement informally, the following best alternative resolution method would be a mediation session. Mediation is essentially a more formal negotiation session that involves a neutral third-party mediator.
A mediator is an accredited individual and will often understand family law or be a family lawyer themselves in addition to being a mediator. The significant advantage of this is they can advise both parties on how their matter would likely be decided in Court if they were to pursue that avenue and accordingly the cost and time savings involved if the parties agreed to a solution in that session.
How Long Does a Family Court Hearing Take?
As mentioned previously, there is no strict time frame that family law proceedings have to stick to. As such, it is impossible to give an exact answer for how long a hearing will take.
Issues heard in the Family Court are known to take between two and three years on average to finalise matters and sometimes involve delays that can further extend this timeframe. However, the significant majority of cases can settle and finalise within twelve months of commencing proceedings.
Obtaining a divorce order in Australia typically takes about four months from applying for a divorce.
If you seek a final hearing for property or parenting orders, it is common for the parties involved to wait for two years or more after filing their paperwork for the issue to be resolved.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
When discussing matters such as ‘how long does a Family Court hearing take?’, it is essential to note that there is no set period for Family Court hearings to be concluded. This is because the types of Family Court disputes can range, and the parties’ willingness to compromise and not pursue further action will also vary.
Accordingly, some Family Court hearings take a few months, and some will take multiple years. If you require any advice about your family law matter, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Here at JB Solicitors, we’ll make the process as pain-free as possible. We have fixed-fee pricing for family law, giving you a clear sense of the costs from the start, and we will be sure to help you out every step of the way.
With years of experience under our belt, we pride ourselves on making each client’s family law experience as positive as possible.
Contact JB Solicitors today to speak with one of our friendly and experienced family lawyers.
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