Pre-Action procedures

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia expects parties to engage in pre-action procedures, designed to try and assist a resolution of proceedings, without the need to resort to litigation.

The pre-action procedures require parties to:

  1. Exchange financial disclosure.
  2. Agree upon a dispute resolution service and attend the service
  3. If no agreement can be achieved during the dispute resolution process, you must provide written notice to the other party that you intend to commence proceedings and set out:
  1. The issues in dispute.
  2. The orders you propose to seek.
  3. A genuine offer to resolve the issues.
  4. A nominated time (at least 14 days after the date of the letter) within which the other person must reply.

If a party commenced proceedings without complying with the pre-action procedures, then the Court may:

  1. where there is unreasonable non-compliance, order the non-complying party to pay all or part of the costs of the other party or parties in the case, and/or
  2. take compliance or non-compliance into account when making orders about how your case will progress through the Court.