Family Court filing deadline – Christmas around the corner

All applications for parenting orders concerning the Christmas break must be filed at the Family Court of Western Australia by 4:00pm on the second Friday of November each year. The cut-off date for such applications this year is 4:00pm on Friday, 8 November 2019.

It is advisable for parties to try reach arrangements well ahead of Christmas and the school holidays. However, agreement is not always possible and the intervention of the Family Court is at times required to make a decision.

If you do not have an active matter in the Family Court, prior to commencing proceedings, you are required to undertake Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) unless you are eligible for an exemption. This requires some time and it is highly recommended that this is done in a timely manner to avoid delay.

 If your matter is not deemed to fall within the category of cases eligible for an exemption, you may experience significant delays associated with FDR. It is therefore recommended that the process be commenced as soon as possible to ensure that if agreement is not able to be reached, an application can be made in the Family Court prior to the cut-off date.

Any applications for parenting orders made after the cut-off date are not guaranteed to be heard and determined before the end of the year.

The holiday season is meant to be a time of joy, but for separated families it may also be a time of stress and anxiety, as holiday arrangements for children remain uncertain.  Our Family Law team can advise and assist you in relation to negotiations and applications in this regard.