How long will it take? Time frames in family law

Quite often people believe a lawyer will finalise all the paper work and have everything executed within 1 day to settle their property matters and parenting issues. This is not the case.

People are often surprised when we tell them it will take a few months, even when both parties agree to the property division or child arrangements. This is because paperwork needs to be drafted, there needs to be discussions with the other party, the paperwork needs to be sent to the court, the court needs to approve it and so on. To top it off the lawyer then often needs to assist with ensuring the Orders are complied with for example the former matrimonial home is transferred into one of the spouses names, if that is what is agreed.

Below we have briefly listed the time frames of how long a matter will take when filed in Court:

Consent Orders – Application for Consent Orders filed in the Family Court of Australia are currently being determined by a Court Registrar between seven (7) to twenty one (21) days from the date of filing. That said most matters that are agreed to between the parties are able to have Consent Orders made and the matter finally resolved six (6) to eight (8) weeks from the date of receiving initial instructions.

First Mention and Interim Hearings – An Initiating Application or Application in a Case filed for the determination of an interim issue is usually listed for determination within six (6) to ten (10) weeks of the date of filing. It is not uncommon for matters to require a further hearing in order to be finally determined or to set out procedural issues.

Urgent Interim Hearings – Applications seeking that the matter be listed urgently are currently being listed for determination between seven (7) to fourteen (14) days from the date of filing. For example – where one party needs to be stopped from dissipating the property pool.

Extremely Urgent Interim Applications – Extremely Urgent Applications in a Case are normally listed the same day that the Application is filed or in some instances the following day and are usually determined on the date on which the matter is listed. For example – a recovery order for children or to stop a child from leaving the country.

Final Orders – Current matters filed for determination in the Family Court of Australia that proceed to a Final Hearing are being determined approximately 18-24 months from the date of filing.

Appeals – To the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia are currently being determined approximately nine (9) to twelve (12) months from the date of filing of the appeal.

As you can see above, entering the court process is an often lengthy process however Court Orders provide you with peace of mind knowing your matter has finally resolved.

If your questions are not answered or you need further advice on any family law related matters, please contact our office Hartleys Lawyers. Our lawyers will make you feel comfortable so you can talk about your situation.

Back to articles