On 22 August 2018, an amended version of the Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and other Measures) Bill passed both houses of Parliament.
While this Bill was applauded for the proposed amendments regarding the dismissal of matters where there does not appear to be any prospect of success, the Bill also includes amendments that give more power to State and Territory Courts to hear family law property disputes.
Currently, the monetary limit for the property jurisdiction in family law matters is $20,000 or more. The proposed amendment has increased the monetary limit for the property jurisdiction of state and territory courts once a regulation has been set. At this stage the $20,000 limit will remain the same until state and territory regulations have been made.
The Bill appears to sacrifice expertise and knowledge of a specialist Court for little benefit to a party.
The Bills comes after the government announced that the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court would be combined into one court in order to ‘streamline’ the family law process and avoid delays. The structural overhaul to the Court comes after it faced significant scrutiny over the backlog caused by years of chronic underfunding of the family law system by all governments.
There are ways to avoid the Court process – if you or someone you know requires specialist family law advice call Tiyce & Lawyers and speak with one of our family law experts.
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