Funding for new, faster hearings announced in 2017-18 Budget

11-May-2017 Family Law By Mel Collins

Attorney General George Brandis has announced an investment of $12.7 million to establish Parenting Management Hearings (PMH) in the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court in the 2017-18 Federal Budget.

The hearings are designed to be “fast, informal and less adversarial for resolving non-complex family law disputes between self-represented parties”. In NSW, these hearings will initially take place at the Parramatta Registry.

Moving many non-complex matters to these PMH should not only relieve the wait-times of families seeking to have their dispute heard, but also reduce the work pressure on Family Court and Federal Circuit Court judges, who have a huge backlog of cases to deal with.

It is hoped that this trial will help make the legal process a simpler place for those unable to access solicitors through lack of funds.

A further $10.7 million is being provided to the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court to fund the engagement of more family consultants to assist the Court to make decisions in the best interests of children in parenting matters. This will hopefully reduce the wait time for families seeking a Family Report and lead to a faster resolution of disputes.

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