Before making an application to the Family Court to start a case for property settlement, certain pre-action procedures must be complied with, unless an exemption to this requirement applies. These pre-action procedures do not apply to matters held in the Federal Circuit Court.
To fulfil the pre-action procedures, parties need to be asking themselves whether they have made a genuine effort to resolve their dispute before making the application, and in particular whether they have complied with the duty of disclosure, attempted to resolve the dispute by other means such as counselling or negotiation, and whether they have informed each other of their intention to make an application and explored options for settlement.
The pre-action procedures and exemptions are set out in the Family Law Rules 2004 (Cth) sch 1. There are exemptions for reasons such as urgency, family violence, fraud and genuinely intractable disputes.
For more information, see the Family Courts' brochure Before you file - pre-action procedures for financial cases.