Extension of time to appeal in Family Court

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Extension of time to appeal is only allowed in the family court in limited cases.

Under the Family Law Rules 2004 (Cth) (“Rules”), a party has 28 days to file an appeal following orders being made.

An extension of time to appeal may be granted by the court where there are adequate reasons provided for failure to comply with the timeframe for filing a notice of appeal.   However, adequacy of reasons is only one factor that the appeal court considers when deciding whether or not an extension of time to appeal will be allowed.

The grant of an extension of time to appeal is not automatic.

The discretion which the court has to grant an extension “is given for the sole purpose of enabling the court …to do justice between the parties… In order to determine whether the rules will work an injustice, it is necessary to have regard to the history of the proceedings, the conduct of the parties, the nature of the litigation, and the consequences for the parties of the grant or refusal of the application for extension of time…” (see Gallo v Dawson (1990) in the High Court of Australia which is referred to recently by the Appellate Division of the Family Court of Australia in Gholke & Gholke [2019] FamCAFC 64.

Where there is an application for extension of time to appeal, the prospects of the applicant succeeding in the appeal must be considered. Before a person can succeed then in obtaining an extension of time to appeal, the appeal court must be satisfied that to refuse the application would result in an injustice. It is not necessary for the appeal court to decide that the appeal would certainly succeed. It is sufficient to allow an extension of time to appeal even where there is the remotest chance of success.

Contact our divorce lawyers Brisbane or divorce lawyers Brisbane Northside for advice regarding any family law issues. Our priority is to assist our clients to reach agreement with their former partner without the need to go to Court. If however court action becomes necessary, we have the experience to represent you at Court.

The information set out in this blog is not a substitute for legal advice. We recommend that you obtain advice
tailored to your particular circumstances from LGM family lawyers Brisbane.