Information for lawyers

Important Federal Circuit Court of Australia ‘fast tracking’ matters announcement

Federal Circuit Court of Australia 'fast tracking' of final hearings listed between 1 February 2018 and 31 March 2018

The Melbourne Registry of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (FCC) are addressing waiting times.

The FCC has advised that approximately 300 matters will be the focus of a case management call over in the week beginning 20 November. These matters have been sitting in the list for some time, and are listed for final hearing at the Melbourne registry of the FCC between the dates of 1 February 2018 and 31 March 2018.

Close your files within 30 days’ reminder

Closing files in ATLAS and managing risk

Our records show that currently thousands of panel practitioner files remain open, even when the matter may be legally finalised.

Not closing files efficiently creates poor practice management and could create:

  • further administrative cost to your firm
  • unnecessary terminations of legal assistance.

It is a panel condition to close your files within 30 days of the matter being legally finalised.

Prolonging cost order notifications brings no benefit

Keeping your invoice active for further claims

You can reduce your administrative work by letting us know if a cost order is awarded. By doing this you will save time on seeking further extensions of aid.

In practice, you need to tick the ‘cost indemnified’ box on your invoice to keep the invoice active for further claims.

What documents do you need to give us?

We require a copy of the costs order which must state:

Family Dispute Resolutions Service – your first port of call

Our new family law guidelines, re-drafted with the help of a consultation group of practitioners, came into effect from 3 July 2017.

The redrafted guidelines expand the matters in which clients are eligible for a Family Dispute Resolution Service (FDRS) grant to include matters where there is, or has been, a risk of family violence (i.e. both victims and perpetrators are eligible) and matters where the proposal or conduct of a party substantially prejudices the ability of a child to maintain a meaningful relationship with one or both parents.

Working better together to strengthen briefing practices and advocacy in family law

In 2017 judges, barristers, panel practitioners and our staff lawyers contributed their time and expertise to looking at ways to strengthen briefing practices and advocacy in family law.

Practice partners were asked about what they thought worked well and what could be done differently in relation to finding, briefing and retaining barristers in legally aided family law matters. Consultation data was gathered via online surveys and face to face consultations across Victoria.

Short and not-so-sweet: securing spousal maintenance after a brief but harmful marriage

Spousal maintenance is a form of financial justice. It is commonly ordered for a wife in compensation for her care of children born of the marriage; or when her capacity to return to the workforce is adversely affected by a long marriage of home caring duties.

An award of spousal maintenance is regulated by sections 72 and 75(2) of the Family Law Act, which set out the circumstances for the making of a court order.

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