Consolidated form can be used across both Family Court and Federal Circuit Court
The new harmonised form can be used across both courts to identify issues of risk and commenced operation on 31 October.
In a statement, the Family Court said that the new form replaces and consolidates the following court forms: the notice of risk; notice of child abuse; family violence or risk of family violence (current case); and the notice of child abuse, family violence, or risk of family violence (application for consent orders).
Will Alstergren, chief justice of the Family Court of Australia and chief judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, said the new consolidated form is a “significant achievement and forms part of broader harmonisation and family violence-related projects that will make filing family law proceedings in the courts a less complicated process, and lead to safer outcomes.”
“It is critically important that courts are aware, at the earliest point, of facts and information about safety and issues of risk,” said Alstergen. “The new form will assist in ensuring that families and their children receive appropriate and targeted intervention in the family law system.
According to the Family Court, the redesign of the notice will also allow data to be captured from key questions, to “give the courts a more concrete understanding of the risks present in parenting proceedings.
“This is an exciting initiative and one that will ensure that judges, registrars, and family consultants in both courts have comprehensive information in relation to child abuse, family violence, and other risks at an early stage in the proceedings,” said Alstergren. “This achievement is the culmination of many months of work by the Joint Rules Harmonisation Working Group and Joint Family Violence Committee, judges, registrars, and staff of the courts, in consultation with the profession and other stakeholders.”