How to Obtain Family Court Orders in Qld?

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Let’s face it: family law matters are rarely easy. If you’re facing a difficult situation with your ex-partner or family member, you might be feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn. But don’t worry – you’re not alone. Many people find themselves needing a Family Court Order at some point in their lives.

In this blog post, we’ll break down the steps involved in obtaining a Family Court Order in Queensland so you can feel more informed and empowered to make the best decisions for your family.

Let’s explore and get you on the path to a resolution.

How do I apply for family court orders?

Applying for family court orders involves several critical steps to ensure your case is heard and decided upon fairly. Here’s a breakdown:

  1. Determine the type of orders: Clearly identify the specific family court orders you need. This might involve parenting arrangements, property division, spousal maintenance, or other family-related issues.
  2. Complete the application forms: The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia website provides the necessary application forms. The specific forms required will depend on the nature of your case and the orders you’re seeking.
  3. File your application: Submit your completed application, along with the required filing fee, to the Family Court. You can do this electronically through the Commonwealth Courts Portal or in person at your nearest registry.
  4. Serve the other party: It’s essential to legally serve the other party involved with a copy of your application. This lets them know you’ve filed for orders and gives them a chance to respond.
  5. Attend a hearing: The court will schedule a hearing where both parties can present their case. You may need to provide evidence, such as financial documents or witness statements.
  6. Court decision: After hearing both sides, the judge will make a decision about the family court orders. This decision will be legally binding.

Also read: 6 Essential Facts: How to Get a Divorce in QLD

What types of family court orders can I get?

The Family Court can issue a variety of orders to address different aspects of family law disputes. Here are the main types of orders you can obtain:

  1. Parenting Orders: These orders deal with the custody and care of children. They can specify who the child lives with, the time the child spends with each parent, and other important aspects like schooling and healthcare decisions.
  2. Financial Orders: These orders relate to the division of property and financial support between parties. This can include division of assets like homes and superannuation, and may also cover spousal maintenance.
  3. Child Support Orders: While child support is typically handled by the Department of Human Services (Child Support), the Family Court can also make orders pertaining to the financial support of children, especially in complex cases or where an international element is involved.
  4. Protection Orders: In cases of family violence, the court can issue protection orders to ensure the safety of individuals at risk. These orders can prohibit a person from behaving in certain ways towards family members and can impose conditions to protect those at risk.
  5. Consent Orders: If both parties agree on arrangements regarding children or financial matters, they can submit their agreement to the court. If the court finds the arrangements are in the best interests of the children and fair to both parties, it may issue consent orders to formalise the agreement.

Each type of order is tailored to address specific legal needs, and obtaining the right one depends on your particular circumstances. It’s essential to seek tailored legal advice from an expert family lawyer to understand the best course of action for your situation.

How long does it take to get family court orders?

Here’s a rough estimation of the timeline for obtaining family court orders in Queensland, based on different scenarios:

  1. Consent Orders: If both parties agree on all issues and the paperwork is completed correctly, it can take about 2-4 months for the orders to be finalised after filing.
  2. Interim Orders: These are typically processed more quickly to address urgent matters. The court might take 1-3 months to issue these orders from the time of application, depending on the urgency and court schedules.
  3. Final Orders (Contested): For cases that require a full hearing due to disagreements between parties, the process is generally longer. From the initial filing to the final hearing and decision, it can take from 12 months to several years. The average time is often around 18 months but can extend depending on the complexity and specific circumstances of the case.

These timelines are approximate and can be influenced by various factors including the efficiency of the legal representation, the availability of court dates, the need for mediation or expert reports, and the specific details of the case.

How much does it cost to get family court orders?

The costs associated with obtaining family court orders in Queensland can vary widely based on several factors, such as the complexity of the case, the need for legal representation, and whether the matter is contested or resolved by consent.

Here’s an overview of potential costs:

  1. Filing Fees: The Family Court and Federal Circuit Court in Australia charge filing fees for applications. The fee for a consent order application is currently around AUD $195. For initiating a case that involves parenting or financial orders, the fee can be around AUD $410. These fees are subject to change and concessions may apply in certain circumstances.
  2. Legal Fees: Legal fees can constitute the bulk of the costs in family court matters. If you engage a solicitor, hourly rates can vary significantly depending on the lawyer’s experience and location, typically ranging from AUD $250 to over AUD $600 per hour. For a full court process, legal costs can range from several thousand dollars for less complex matters to tens of thousands or even more for highly contested cases.
  3. Mediation and Other Professional Fees: Before going to court, you might be required or choose to engage in mediation. Mediation costs can vary, with professional mediators charging anywhere from AUD $200 to AUD $500 per hour. Additionally, if expert reports from psychologists, valuers, or accountants are needed, these can also add to the total cost.
  4. Miscellaneous Costs: There are other potential costs, such as court attendance costs, costs related to gathering evidence, and travel expenses.
  5. Consent Orders: If both parties can reach an agreement by consent, the costs can be significantly lower than litigation. Costs include the court filing fee and professional legal fees for drafting the application and terms of agreement. This might range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, assuming minimal legal assistance is required.

Assisting a client with parenting orders at Walker Pender

A client approached us at Walker Pender seeking to file an application for parenting orders. With our comprehensive support, we meticulously prepared her application, ensuring all legal requirements were met.

Our team provided detailed advice on her rights and responsibilities under family law, helping her understand the likely outcomes. We also facilitated mediation to attempt an amicable agreement with the other party.

We kept the client informed and prepared throughout the process, ultimately submitting a strong application to the Family Court on her behalf.

Need help with family court orders in Queensland?

Understanding the Family Court process can be challenging, but you don’t have to handle it alone. At Walker Pender, our team of experienced family lawyers is ready to guide you through every step of obtaining Family Court orders in Queensland.

Whether you are applying for parenting arrangements, financial settlements, or protection orders, we’re here to provide expert legal support and representation. Don’t delay securing the best possible outcome for your family.

Contact Walker Pender today to discuss your case and how we can assist you.

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