Families going through separation may be aware of recent news announcements about changes to the Family Court system and the likely impact this will have on parents and children.

The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia have issued a joint statement about the merger of the two courts, which will be known as the FCFCA. The merger, resulting from new Commonwealth legislation, has been addressed in numerous media reports, and on social media.

The Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia said the FCFCA would continue to seek resources from the Government to help reduce backlogs and delay.

In summary:

  • Australia's courts dealing with divorce, property division and parenting issues will be amalgamated.
  • The new super-court will be called the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCA).
  • There will be one single entry point to the FCFCA instead of two.
  • The FCFCA is currently working on a consistent set of forms, rules and case management approaches.
  • The FCFCA is expected to have registries in each capital city as well as regional centres including Newcastle and Wollongong.
  • The FCFCA will have a statutory obligation to recognise the need to protect the rights of children, promote their welfare and protect them from family violence.

Currently the Family Court has 33 specialist family law Judges. The Federal Circuit Court has 40 judges who deal exclusively with family law matters.

The Federal Circuit Court deals with approximately 90% of all Family Law cases filed, in addition to other types of matters including immigration and taxation.

For further information please contact:

Trina Francis, Partner
Phone: 02 9233 5544
Email: tgf@swaab.com.au

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.