Time Limits in Family Law Matters

Explore the time limits in family law cases, including property settlements, spousal maintenance, and appeals. Gain insights into the specific timeframes for taking legal action, navigating divorce proceedings, living separately under the same roof, and filing appeals. Contact us for a complimentary consultation and expert guidance in your family law matters.

Just like any legal action, family law matters also have time limits. These limits determine the timeframe within which you can take legal action in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCA). This post provides an overview of time limits in family law matters.

Property Settlements

For married parties, they have one year after their Divorce Order takes effect to make an application for a property settlement. In the case of de-facto relationships, parties have two years since separation to initiate a property settlement application

Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance refers to financial support provided to a spouse or former spouse to assist with their reasonable expenses. For married parties, the application must be made within 12 months after the Divorce Order takes effect. For de-facto couples, the application should be submitted within two years of the relationship breakdown.

Divorce Proceedings & Living Separately and Apart Under the Same Roof
In marriage cases, parties must wait for 12 months from the date of separation before applying for a divorce. To obtain a divorce, the Court must be satisfied that there is no likelihood of the parties reconciling and that they have lived separately and apart for at least 12 months.

If parties have separated but continue living in the same house, they can still be considered legally separated. In such cases, the court considers various factors, including the financial situation, nature of the household, social aspects of the relationship, presence of a sexual relationship, and the commitment between the parties

An appeal against a Federal Circuit and Family Court decision must be filed within 28 days of the order being made. To initiate an appeal, you must file a Notice of Appeal, along with a copy of the order and the filing fee. Once the other party is served, they have 14 days to file a Notice of Address for Service or, if the appeal is not contested, a Submitting Notice. In response, a Submitting Notice must be filed within 14 days after the procedural hearing.

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