Under The Family Law Rules Amendment (2018 Measures No.1) Rules 2018 the Judges of the Family Court of Australia have approved significant amendments to the Family Law Rules, which will come into effect on 1 March 2018.

The most notable changes which have arisen from the Act are as follows:

  1. Exhibits and annexures are no longer to be attached to affidavits (or otherwise filed) after 1 March 2018.  Instead any documents that are to be relied on must be referred to in the body of the affidavit and tendered at Court.  Hard copies of any document intended to be used in conjunction with an affidavit and tendered, must be served on the other party together with the Affidavit.
  2. Two new ‘Notice of Risk’ forms have been approved – one for use in matters which are litigated before the Court and a second to be filed in support of an Application for Consent Orders.
  3. It is no longer necessary to file a Superannuation Information Form with an Application for Consent Orders, provided an alternative document is filed which allows the Court to determine the value of the superannuation interest, such as an up to date member statement.
  4. A new Submitting Notice has been created, to be used in situations where a party is served with an Initiating Application, Response, Reply or Notice of Appeal and they do not wish to contest the making of the orders sought. The party filing the notice must provide an address for service and state in the notice that they will submit to any order the Court may make.  The notice must indicate if the party wants to be heard as to costs.
  5. A new Notice of Contention in appeals is to be used when the respondent to an appeal does not seek to cross-appeal, but seeks to have the Order affirmed on grounds other than those relied on by the first-instance Court.
  6. Increasing Deputy Registrars’ delegated powers to include inter alia the making of location orders; dismissing cases in certain circumstances; the appointment of a case guardian.
  7. Multiples copies of consent orders sought no longer need to be filed if the orders are filed electronically.
  8. Documents can now be produced in any electronic form capable of being printed without loss of content (as opposed to hard copies of documents) in answer to a Subpoena.

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