Family Court Crisis

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Family Court Crisis and looking for ways to avoid it

The crisis in the family court is all too apparent to people who involved in family law litigation.

It can take some 6 weeks or longer after a person filed their application in the family court before obtaining their first court date. Long delays occur for parties to obtain trial dates (sometimes up to two years). The family court crisis continues to reveal itself as some parties, after being given a trial date/s, find that their matter is adjourned from those dates to later dates.  After the trial takes place, it can then be months- in some cases, years- before the judge delivers his or her final decision.

Contact our experienced Brisbane family lawyers or our North Brisbane family lawyers for assistance resolving your family law matter. We look for ways to do that without the need to go to court. If court action does become necessary, we have the experience to represent you. We will however still seek for you to resolve your family law matter to bring the court action to an end as soon as possible. You are also welcome to read on for further information right now………

The family court crisis has come to the fore recently with reports in newspapers of these significant delays. Some of those articles have named judges who have not delivered their judgements after a significant lapse of time from the trial dates.

It would be wrong however to assume that the judges are causing these significant delays and this crisis in the family court.  Justice Alstergren, the Chief Justice of the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia has recently been reported as saying that judges will often work through their holidays, sitting in court during judgement writing days and days that they should have off so that they can get matters done for parties coming before them. They are desperate to try and assist people (Proctor, November 2019).

The fact is that there is an insufficient number of judges to handle the workload which is only increasing, in both family law and other areas that are heard by the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. That however does not fully explain the family court crisis and the resultant delays being experienced in the family courts. Part of it is caused by the parties themselves in engaging in protracted litigation and some of it is caused by non-compliance with court orders.   There are also systemic failures which Justice Alstergren is striving to address.

In the meantime, what steps can you take to resolve your family law matter and avoid this family court crisis? What can you do if your former partner will not agree a just division of property or arrangements for your children which you consider to be in their best interests.   Whether you are involved in a court proceeding or not, some measures you can consider are mediation or arbitration.

If you and your former partner choose arbitration, the decision of the arbitrator will be final and binding upon you. If you choose mediation, then the outcome will remain more squarely within the control of both you and your former partner. Although parties are not bound by a decision reached at mediation, many parties will settle at or soon after a mediation. They then have orders issued by the family court which are then binding upon both of them.

Contact our family lawyers Brisbane and our family lawyers Brisbane Northside for advice and assistance towards resolving and finalising your family law matter whether for family law property settlement, parenting arrangements or other issues.  We want to see you free to get on with living!

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.