My property matter has gone to Court – What happens now?

Whilst it’s always ideal for parties to try to resolve matters by permission after separation, often it just cannot be achieved. Court is the last resort to finalise outstanding financial issues.
What happens when your matter ends up going to Court? What is the process and what can you expect?

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First return date
It is allocated a return date when an Application is filed with the Court. This is the date when you and your ex-partner attend Court for the first time. Your matter will be heard by a Judge who will make orders about the conduct of your matter.
This event presents an opportunity for parties enter into a negotiations that are informal and to discuss the issues between them. If you can reach agreement as to how to resolve your matter, either on a final basis, or simply to advance your matter in the interim, you can provide a copy of a signed agreement to the Judge asking them to make the proposed orders by consent.
In the event parties are unable to reach agreement between themselves, the Court will make orders that will direct the parties regarding the future conduct of the matter. Typically orders will require the parties to exchange their disclosure, engage expert valuers to conduct valuations of resources, if required, and attend a mediation.
After the parties have tried mediation, the issue will also be allocated a further Court date some time.
Where parties have the ability to signal Consent Orders that can be filed with the 23, matters will settle at mediation.
Directions Hearing
If your matter doesn’t settle in a mediation, you’ll go back before the Judge who will allocate a date for a final hearing (trial) and provide the parties instructions as to when to file and serve all necessary trial material.
The Judge can make any order they consider appropriate or necessary to the successful management of the topic.
In many real estate matters, the Court will order the parties to attend a mediation to try and resolve the matter. This is often known as a financial seminar or Conciliation Conference. This is a excellent chance for the parties to try and solve the issue. Mediator or A Registrar will assist the parties to identify the issues in dispute and see if they can help them reach an agreement. If they are represented, the parties will also attend with their lawyers.
A large portion of cases will resolve at this point and final consent orders can be made ending the case and avoiding the need for a trial.
Final Hearing (Trial)
You will have gathered together all evidence which supports your case and filed it with the Court as soon as your matter gets to Trial. At trial will and all the parties has an opportunity to outline their case each party and their relevant witnesses will be cross-examined by another individual’s legal representative. They will cross-examine another party themselves if a person doesn’t have legal representation.
Once the matter has been heard by the Judge, they will make orders and supply reasons for their decision. The Judge will generally reserve their decision to another day. The Court will offer a date for the parties to attend and receive the Judge’s orders and the reasons for their 27, if this happens. Occasionally parties must wait until the Judge is ready to deliver their decision. This can take six to twelve months (or more).
The Court process can be a long, drawn out one, which is emotionally, mentally and physically draining. It can be very costly.
Our experienced family lawyers understand the intricacies of the Court process and can assist you to navigate through every stage your matter may experience.

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