Recent developments in the Court system seem to indicate that the Family Law Courts are finally embracing technology and the use of the internet.

In 2016 the Courts changed the way to apply for a Divorce. An Application for Divorce must now be completed and filed online. This requires a party applying for a Divorce, or their lawyer, to register for the Commonwealth Courts Portal and fill out all the necessary documents on-line.

The Commonwealth Court Portal provides parties or their lawyers with “real-time” information about their cases. You are able start a new case on the Portal and also upload and view documents. It also allows you to view upcoming Court dates, file documents without the need to post them to the Court and view any Orders that have been made. The Portal even has a live chat service to assist with any problems.

As of 1 March this year, the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court no longer accept cheques. Filing fees or court fees are required to be paid online by credit card or in person at the Court via EFTPOS or credit card.

In July this year, the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court will no longer be posting hard copies of Court Orders to lawyers. A parties’ lawyer will need to log on to the Portal and download a copy of Court Orders. Then from 1 January 2018, this will extend to all parties in family law proceedings. This will mean that all people participating in a family law matter will need to use the Court Portal or attend the registry in person.

There are exciting times ahead now that much of the Family Law process becoming digital. These changes are not only helping to reduce the large amount of paper involved in Court proceedings but also to reduce the turn-around time for the filing of documents and generally making life easier for lawyers.

If you have any questions about the changes to the Family Law system or require any assistance with a Family Law Matter, you should discuss the situation with a lawyer specialising in Family Law without delay.