Time Limit

Family Law

Time constraints apply to family law cases just like all legal actions. Your ability to file a lawsuit in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia is impacted by these time restrictions (FCFCA). The 1975 Family Law Act mentions these timeframes (Cth). Different time frames apply depending on whether the parties were married or a de facto pair. A party will not be permitted to file a claim after the deadline has passed. 

Property settlements for married and de facto couples are subject to different time frames. Within these time constraints on property settlements, parties should make an effort to come to an agreement and file consent Orders. Following separation, married and de facto spouses may need to seek a property division. 

If the parties cannot reach an agreement, they should consider whether it would be in their best interests to file a lawsuit in both the Family Court and Federal Circuit within the same window. These time frames are as follows: for married couples, 12 months following the divorce date; and for de facto couples, 24 months following the separation date. 

There are additional deadlines to be aware of when litigation has begun. These have to do with submitting paperwork and applications. Examples include the need to file a response to an initiating application within 28 days of receiving it and the need to file an application to review a registrar’s decision or a court order within 28 days of receiving it. 

Additionally, a person should be aware of any deadlines outlined in orders issued by a judge or registrar. Failure to adhere to deadlines, particularly those outlined in orders rather than legislation, may prevent one from proceeding with a hearing or result in orders being made without the applicant having the opportunity to provide a defence. 

It is advisable to obtain advice regarding the entitlements and any time restrictions that may apply to each individual if a marriage has already separated or is thinking about doing so. 

If someone wants to file a claim outside of the statute of limitations, they must convince the court that doing so would cause hardship for you or your relationship’s children. 

Furthermore, the legislation pertaining to showing hardship is intricate and will be based on your particular situation. Additionally, they will consider the likelihood of any requested claim and potential harm to the opposing party. Including a justification for the delay in filing proceedings when claiming hardship will be crucial. 

A Family Court order may be appealed within 28 days of the order’s issuance. A copy of the order, a Notice to Appeal, and the filing fee are required to be submitted by a party who wants to appeal a decision. 

The opposing party must submit a response to an application for appeal within 14 days of receiving the application for an appeal. An affidavit and application for an extension of time may be included in an appeal. 

When deciding whether to grant a request for an extension of time, the court will consider the following factors: the duration of the delay, the delay itself, the causes of the delay, and any harm the delay may have done to the opposing party.  

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