People who are having difficulty in a relationship often worry about getting involved with courts, so it’s important to know that before anyone can start court proceedings in a Family matter they must first comply with what are known as “pre-action procedures”.
This requires the people involved to negotiate, mediate and conciliate…to make a genuine effort to resolve their dispute.
People must turn their minds to resolving their problems efficiently by using experienced legal practitioners to assist in negotiations or conferences, and also if appropriate to use community resources such as Mediation Services, Conciliators and Arbitrators.
Following the pre-action procedures has the effect of narrowing down legal issues which ultimately results in reducing costs to those involved, and promoting a timely outcome without the need to go to court.
There are exceptions to having to comply with these rules and these include:
- if the matter involves allegations of sexual abuse
- urgency – such as child abduction
- there has been a previous application made to the court within 12 months
- allegations of family violence
- there is a genuinely intractable dispute
- a time limit is close to expiring
- it is a case about child support
- the case involves a Bankruptcy.
Of course if genuine compliance with the pre-action procedures does not result in the matter settling then either party may commence proceedings in the Court.
You should always get expert advice from an experienced family lawyer to know where you stand and to assist you to try and negotiate a settlement of your claim.
Phone Ruth Single on (02) 4324 7699.