It’s now been one month since the merger of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia into the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCoA). Since we last wrote in March regarding the merger, the new rules governing the operation of the Court have been published, the Court has begun operation, and our lawyers have become familiar with the new processes. But has much actually changed?
In general, people see the court process as confusing, lengthy, expensive and burdensome and often these perceptions are all true. Alternate dispute resolution (‘ADR’) consists of a variety of alternative measures that can be used to try and solve your legal problems before having to begin a formal court case. ADR has the potential to make your legal conflict cheaper, more flexible and often a resolution can be reached quicker.
Except for the most extreme circumstances, going to court should be considered a ‘last resort’ and only to be used when all other options have been exhausted.
When you donate funds you expect the money to go where promised. When you leave behind a legacy you expect is to be used as directed. Really, you want any money to be used for the benefit of those who you intended it to be used for.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a marked increase in urgent Family Law cases as a direct result of the current climate, with the Courts reporting a 39% increase of cases in the Family Court of Australia and a 23% increase of cases in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia over a four week period in March and April 2020.