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Court introduces new initiatives to help alleviate the significant delays in the Court

A divorce lawyer will advise you that the Court delays in hearing and finalising your property application under the Family Law Act have in some registries became even longer. It is for this reason that the divorce lawyer tries to encourage their client to consider mediation either privately or through the Court.

The Court itself is also considering options to help reduce the back log of cases.  A divorce lawyer will provide information about the PPP Program currently being tried out in some registries including at the Parramatta Federal Circuit Court.

The aim of the program is to:-

  • Identify cases that fall within the guidelines of the program
  • List those cases separately in lists where the progress can be clearly tracked
  • Lessen the amount of required documentation to be filed at Court
  • Provide those parties with the opportunity to participate in a Conciliation Conference before a Registrar (where each party and their divorce lawyer attend).
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Question of Paternity – How Child Support Lawyers Can Help

When making an application for child support with the Department of Human Services (DHS), your Child Support Lawyers need to satisfy the Registrar that the person being assessed to pay the costs of the child is a parent of the child. This is often called “proof of parentage”. While parents may be biological parents, the term parent also includes adoptive parents, where the child has been born as a result of artificial conception procedures, or if the child was born as a result of a surrogacy.

The Registrar can presume paternity in the following situations:

  • The child was born during the course of a marriage
  • The person is recorded on the child’s birth certificate
  • The person has signed a statutory declaration
  • The person has adopted the child
  • The person cohabitated with the child’s mother at any time during the period 44 weeks and 20 weeks before the child’s birth
  • Where a Court order has determined parentage
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DISPUTE RESOLUTION – Our Family Law Lawyer looks at the new digital service “amica”

Dispute resolution is often used by couples who are separating or divorcing.  A benefit of dispute resolution is that an agreement can be reached, without the added cost and complexity of litigation or other formal legal processes.  Dispute resolution processes also allow the parties to have greater control and management of the process and outcome.

A family law lawyer can provide advice in relation to the best resolution option for a dispute.  A family law lawyer can help to understand a person’s rights and responsibilities and the law that may apply to that case.  This includes helping a couple going through separation to reach an agreement without the need to go to Court.

One of the dispute resolution options that is available to the parties is online dispute resolution (ODR).  ODR utilises technology to assist with the resolution of disputes.

On Tuesday 30 June 2020, the Honourable Christian Porter MP, Attorney General of Australia, announced a new digital service “amica” that is designed to assist separating couples to resolve their family law disputes online.  The media release notes “amica uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to suggest the split of assets, taking into account:  the couple’s particular circumstances; the kinds of agreements reached by couples in similar situations; and how Courts generally handle disputes of the same nature.”
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What Does the Closing of the NSW-Victoria Border mean for my Family Law Matter?

The NSW Law Society published a COVID-19 update on 9 July 2020 providing some guidance to families and family law lawyers about the re-closing of the border between NSW and Victoria. The update is as follows:
With NSW-Victoria border closures in place, it’s expected that parties should cooperate and ensure the best interests of the child are addressed by complying with court orders. If strict adherence to parenting orders is not possible, it is imperative that any revised arrangements reflect the spirit of the orders. The Courts have previously issued information in relation to parenting issues that may be of assistance including:

  • National COVID-19 List – National court list dedicated to dealing exclusively with urgent family law disputes that have arisen as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Border restrictions and parenting orders – Guidance in relation to border restrictions and shared parenting.
  • Parenting orders – Statement from Chief Justice, the Hon Will Alstergren.
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Family Law Lawyers Discuss Your Options to Stop Your Former Partner From Taking Your Child Overseas

Are you concerned that your former partner is going to take your child overseas without your permission? Speak to one of our family law lawyers today about your options.

Australian Federal Police Watch List

If you do not want your child travelling overseas without your permission, you may consider placing the child on the Australian Federal Police Watch List. The system is designed to alert the police whenever your child is exiting Australia through an international airport or seaport. To place a child on the watch list, you will need to do the following:

  1. Complete a Family Law Watchlist Request Form, and
  2. Have a court order prohibiting the child’s removal from Australia, or, have filed an application for such an order.

If the order is granted, the child will be unable to leave Australia with any adult. It is essential that you act as soon as possible and seek assistance from experienced family law lawyers to guide you through this process.
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Family Law Lawyers Explain Equal Shared Parental Responsibility

If either you or your partner’s family law lawyers have made a parenting application to the Family Court, there is a presumption that it is in the best interests of the child for the parents to have equal shared parental responsibility. That is, both parents should have a role in making long-term decisions about a child such as where they go to school, decisions about the child’s health, the child’s religious and cultural upbringing or changing the child’s name.

If you believe that equal shared parental responsibility is not in the best interests of your child, your family law lawyers may be able to challenge the presumption. Depending on your individual circumstances, the Court may consider whether sole parental responsibility should be granted. This would result in one parent alone having the authority to make long-term decisions about the child. Below are some of the factors that the Court may consider when determining parental responsibility.
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Family Law Lawyers in Focus: Cassandra Bayliss

Cassandra BaylissCassandra is a solicitor in the Family Law area of Matthews Folbigg.

Cassandra joined the Matthews Folbigg Family Law practice group as a law clerk in early 2015 and was admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW in 2018, after graduating with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Business and Commerce majoring in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations. During her university studies, Cassandra was invited to join the Golden Key International Honour Society which recognises the top 15% of university students based on their academic achievements.

Cassandra has enjoyed working as part of the Family Law area of the firm and looks forward to expanding her expertise in this area.

Click here to see more of our Family Law Team.

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Family Lawyer in Focus: Kieran Ridley

Kieran RidleyKieran Ridley was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2013 and as a Solicitor of the High Court of Australia in the same year.  Kieran is a graduate of Western Sydney University with degrees in Law (Dean’s Merit List 2012) and Business (Management).  Kieran also holds a Graduate Diploma in Teaching from Excelsia College and a  Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Australian National University. Kieran is on the Family Law and Criminal Law Panels with the Legal Aid Commission of New South Wales, providing private legal representation.

Kieran is a dedicated and passionate litigation and family lawyer who has assisted clients to achieve successful outcomes since 2010.  Since his admission, Kieran has represented clients in all aspects of family law, including parenting matters, property matters (married and de facto), AVO’s, financial and parenting agreements, child support and dispute resolution. Kieran has experience in a wide variety of courts and tribunals, and appears in the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia on a regular basis.
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