An Initiating Application in family law is needed for a wide variety of different areas in Family Law.
The purpose of the application is to start a family law application seeking interim or final orders related to matters involving parenting, property, divorce, and related issues.
The following article will discuss the most commonly asked questions about an Initiating Application in family law and what you need to know.
In What Court I File My Initiating Application For Family Law?
There are two Court’s where an Initiating Application for family law matters may be filed. These are the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia.
The Federal Circuit Court of Australia hears all family law matters, which include divorce applications. The purpose of this Court is to hear less complex issues. Contrastingly, The Family Court of Australia does not determine divorce proceedings. The purpose of this Court is to hear more complex family law matters.
If you have a family law matter that can be filed in either Court, it is always recommended to try to file in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia first. Accordingly, if your matter requires, it can then be transferred to the Family Court of Australia.
What Types Of Matters Are Heard In Family Court?
To help you better understand the types of matters heard by the Family Court of Australia, it can be helpful to have some examples of topics that would typically be heard in the Court.
Here are some examples below of more complex matters heard by the Family Court of Australia:
- International child relocation and abduction cases;
- Child sexual abuse allegations;
- Special medical procedure matters include gender reassignment;
- Consent orders;
- Validity of marriage;
- Disputes concerning whether a matter should be heard overseas or in Australia;
- Breaches of parenting orders; and
- Matters that would take longer than four days because of the complexity of issues involved.
Time Limits You Need To Be Aware Of
When considering an initiating application for Family Law matters, depending on the nature of your application, there are some critical time limits you need to be aware of.
- Divorce Applications: Within twelve months from the date of separation;
- Divorce Order: A divorce order is finalised after one month and one day following the Court granting divorce at the hearing;
- Response to Divorce In Australia: An application must be filed within 28 days from the date of service;
- Response to Divorce Overseas: An application must be filed within 42 days from the date of service;
- Special Service: Must be filed within 12 months from the date of filing;
- Parenting Matters: Proceedings may be commenced at any time. If final orders have been made, proceedings may only recommence if there is a significant change in circumstances that need to be considered;
- Spousal Maintenance For De Facto Relationships: Must be filed within two years from the date of separation;
- Spousal Maintenance For Marriages: Must be filed within a year of the divorce becoming finalised;
- Application For Leave: A failure to commence proceedings within the time limit will require you to apply to the Court for permission to recommence proceedings.
- Property Settlement For De Facto Relationships: Within two years from the date of separation; and
- Property Settlement For Marriages: Within 12 months of your divorce becoming finalised.
What Details Does An Initiating Application In Family Law Contain?
Below are the most common Initiating Applications in family law and what information they require.
Divorce Matters: An application for divorce may be filed either on your own or jointly. The same application is used for both and should include details of you, your former spouse, and care arrangements for any children. Additionally, it needs to provide when the marriage broke-down to meet the 12-month separation requirement.
Parenting & Children Matters: An Initiating Application for parenting and children matters outlines the details of the relationship and the final orders you seek regarding any children’s welfare and care arrangements.
Property Settlement & Spousal Maintenance: This application outlines the relationship’s details and the final orders sought regarding the division of assets and spousal maintenance payments.
Importance of Seeking Legal Advice
When discussing an Initiating Application in family law, it is essential to note that every matter is different and has a different set of requirements and time limits.
If you have any further questions about an Initiating Application in family law, please do not hesitate to contact our team today. We are happy to help.
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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