Your first day in court
The first step in court proceedings is an Initiating Application that needs to be filed by you or your partner. The application will set out the orders you seek, and may
be of a financial nature, or relate to your children.
Your application will be filed in either the Family Court of Australia, or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. If your matter is filed in the Family Court of Australia,
the first date will be either a directions hearing or a case conference. If your matter is filed in the Federal Circuit Court, the first date will be known as a mention.
Depending upon which court your application has been filed in, your proceedings will be conducted by either a Judge or Registrar of the Family Court.
On the first day, the Judge or Registrar will:
On your first day in court, the Judge or Registrar may take many different directions for the ongoing conduct of your matter, but typically will make directions that may include the following:
Sometimes an order can be made directing the parties to attend mediation rather than attending a conciliation conference.
On the first day of court, we will either meet you at court, or travel with you from our office to the court. Your matter will either proceed in a court room (if set down for a directions hearing or mention), or in a conference room (if set down for a case conference). Otherwise, the process is very similar; you will come
into the court or the conference room, and sit with us.
The Judge or Registrar will then make further directions in relation to the ongoing management of your matter in court and try to facilitate negotiations, if possible. On the day, we are required to advise you in writing of your legal costs leading up to the court event and also your likely future costs should your matter progress through the court system.
The contents of this paper are not intended to be a complete statement of the law on any subject and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice in specific fact situations. HopgoodGanim Lawyers cannot accept any liability or responsibility for loss occurring as a result of anyone acting or refraining from acting in reliance on any material contained in this paper.