Interim parenting applications in the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court have taken on a significant importance with the ever increasing delays in Family Law Courts in processing and finalising matters before them.
Depending on which registry a matter is filed, some parenting matters before the Family Law Courts may take up to 3 years before a matter reaches a final hearing.
This means that interim parenting orders govern the parenting arrangements between the parents and the children until a judgement is delivered or agreement reached between the parties.
For parents competing for time with their children, this delay can be devastating and damaging to the relationship between parents and the children.
An interim parenting order is a temporary measure which is made by the Court, either by consent or after hearing of submissions by the parties, as to what parenting arrangements should be in place from the time of the interim hearing until judgement is delivered after a final hearing.
An interim hearing in done “on the papers”; meaning that the Court will consider the competing applications of the parties, their affidavits, any reports and submissions made by them or on their behalf to determine parental responsibility of the children and assess the various factors which set out what is in the best interests of the children.
The Courts will take a conservative approach in assessing what is in the best interest of the children. The evidence in an interim hearing is limited in that the Court will not making findings on disputed facts and issues in dispute. However, the Court may make findings on ‘uncontroversial matters’.
The approach by the Courts in determining interim parenting orders and the delays for parents in waiting for a final hearing of their parenting application significantly increases the importance of being adequately prepared for an interim parenting hearing by properly drafting affidavits and having all relevant documents before the Court to achieve the best possible outcome at an interim hearing.
By Pierre Hawach,
McAuley Hawach Lawyers.
McAuley Hawach Lawyers
Level 7, 9 George Street
Parramatta NSW 2124
Tel: (02) 9633 1826
Fax: (02) 9687 8114
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