*Here is how to identify and narrow issues in dispute…
- All parties are required to make frank disclosure to assist the Court in the determination of the dispute or the parties in the resolution of the dispute.
- Applications should only be brought before the Court if they are reasonably justified on the material available.
- It is expected that parties will negotiate both prior to, and at court, in order to narrow the issues in dispute before having the matter heard.
- When appropriate, a single expert or an assessor should be engaged to assist the parties and the Court to resolve disputes.
- Costs consequences may flow if parties seek to reopen issues already resolved or unreasonably agitate issues.
*The importance of Family Law Alternate Dispute Resolution…
The Courts encourage the use of appropriate dispute resolution procedures. Before commencing an action, parties are expected to make a genuine attempt to resolve their dispute, complying with the requirements and obligations of section 60I of the Family Law Act (Cth), the pre-action procedures in Schedule 1 to the Family Law Rules 2004 and rule 1.03 of the Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001 as applicable. Subject to an exception applying, the Court must not hear an application for parenting orders unless a section 60I certificate has been filed. After commencing an action, parties are expected to:
- be proactive in identifying the appropriate time, and the appropriate way, in which they can participate in Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), either by agreement or by court order; and
- Be prepared to consider reasonable offers of settlement at any stage of the proceedings. Failure to do so may have cost consequences.
*THE HONOURABLE JUSTICE WILLIAM ALSTERGREN CHIEF JUSTICE FAMILY COURT OF AUSTRALIA & CHIEF JUDGE FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT OF AUSTRALIA