Pre-action procedures

Pre-action procedures

Rule 1.05 of the Family Law Rules provides that, before “starting a case, each prospective party to the case must comply with the pre-action procedures”. Specific exemptions are made including in relation to parenting cases involving risk of harm, other cases involving violence or fraud, urgency, undue prejudice, a related application within the past twelve months, divorce, a child support appeal and some bankruptcy matters.

The pre-action procedures require a party considering filing an application to provide to the other party(ies):

  1. a copy of the pre-action procedures brochure (schedule one to the Family Law Rules);
  2. an invitation to participate in a dispute resolution process (other than the court);
  3. written notice of an intention to commence proceedings with details of the issue(s) in dispute, the order sought if proceedings commence, a genuine offer to resolve issues and a nominated time (at least two weeks) for the other party to reply.

See Family Law Rules Schedule 1.