Is the court process working well?

When people go to court to resolve disputes about property at the end of a relationship, the court process can take a long time.

Of the property cases in the Family Court resolved in 2015, half had taken over two years to resolve.

There are many reasons the cases took this long. Sometimes the legal and factual issues in the case might be complex. For example, the partners might disagree over the value of a business and they might need to consider expert evidence.

Sometimes one partner might intentionally try to delay the case. For example, they might not provide full information straight away.

Some people say that the Family Court process is inadequate. For example, people say that the legal documents a partner must file to bring a case to the Family Court, or to defend a case, do not require the partners to describe the legal issues properly. Or the Court might not set a date for a hearing soon enough so the partners have no deadlines to work towards.

We look at some potential reforms to the Family Court’s procedure in greater detail in our Issues Paper (Part H).

What do you think?

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