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

Whilst it is always ideal for parties to attempt to resolve matters by permission after separation, often it just cannot be achieved. In these circumstances Court is the last resort to finalise matters that are outstanding.
What happens when your matter ends up heading to Court? What is the procedure 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 can make orders concerning the future conduct of your matter.
Often this occasion presents an opportunity for parties enter into some negotiations that are informal and to discuss the issues between them. If you can reach agreement as to how to resolve your issue, either on a final basis, or simply to advance your matter in the interim, you can offer a copy of a signed agreement to the Judge asking them to make the proposed orders by permission.
In case parties are unable to reach agreement between themselves, the Court will make orders which will direct the parties as to the future conduct of the matter. Typically such orders will require the parties engage expert valuers to conduct valuations of resources, if required to exchange their disclosure, and attend a mediation.
The matter will be allocated a further Court date some time after mediation has been tried by the parties.
Where parties are able to sign matters will settle at mediation.
Directions Hearing
If your matter doesn’t settle at a mediation, you will return 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 essential trial material.
The Judge can also make any order they consider appropriate or necessary .
Mediation
In many real estate matters, the Court will order the parties to attend a mediation. This is often known as a financial seminar or Conciliation Conference. This is a excellent opportunity for the parties to try to solve the matter. A Registrar or mediator will assist the parties see if they can help them reach an agreement and to identify the issues in dispute. If they’re represented, the parties will attend with their lawyers.
A large portion of cases will resolve at this point and final approval orders can be made ending the situation and avoiding the need for a trial.
Final Hearing (Trial)
You may have gathered all evidence which supports your case and filed it together as soon as your thing gets to Trial. At trial will and the parties each have an opportunity their witnesses and each party will be cross-examined by the person’s legal representative. They will cross-examine the other party themselves, if a person does not have legal representation.
Once the matter has been heard by the Judge, they’ll make orders and supply reasons for their decision. The Judge will generally reserve their decision to another day. The Court will provide a further date for the parties to attend and get the Judge’s orders and the reasons for their choice if this happens. 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 which is mentally emotionally and physically draining. It may be costly.
Our experienced family lawyers can help you to navigate through every stage your matter may encounter and know the complexities of the Court process.

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