A registrar conducts your conciliation conference.
A conciliation conference aims, if possible, to help you (the parties) reach an agreement on the financial issues arising from the breakdown of your relationship and, if there are also parenting issues, to help resolve them.
You are expected to make a genuine effort to reach an agreement at the conciliation conference. With that in mind, you should go to the conference in a spirit of compromise and adopt a practical approach. Resolving the matter will save the need for further court events, including a trial.
How to prepare for the conciliation conference
- Comply with any other orders made at the procedural hearing at which your case was listed for this conference, for example orders to produce specific documents to the other party and to the court.
- File and serve a Financial Questionnaire within 21 days after the case assessment conference
- Prepare with the other party and file a Balance Sheet as follows – in summary:
- the applicant must prepare and send to the respondent an initial Balance Sheet within 28 days (it may be sent electronically) of the case assessment conference
- the respondent must prepare and send an amended Balance Sheet within 21 days after receiving the initial draft
- the applicant must then complete the Balance Sheet and file it with the Court within a further 14 days.
Each party has a duty of disclosure and must provide the Court and each other party all information relevant to an issue in the case. See the brochure Duty of disclosure for more information about your obligations.
The types of documents you may need to gather and produce in preparation for the conference include:
- All documents specified at the procedural hearing.
- List of all bank accounts, account numbers, passbooks and bank statements for the past 12 months
- Details of all credit union, building society or other such deposits books or statements for the past 12 months
- Details or records of any investments including stocks and shares
- Income tax returns and assessments for the past 12 months
- Any social security pension or payment details
- Records or details of any overtime worked in the past 12 months
- Valuations or appraisals of real estate
- Valuations or appraisals of goods (such as cars, computer equipment, television)
- Records or details of any life or disability insurance including surrender values
- Records or details of any of the above that relate to your children
- Medical or psychiatric reports
- Medical certificates
- Details of your legal costs to date and an estimate of your future costs
- Information/valuation documentation relating to superannuation interests
What happens at the conciliation conference?
Every case is different. It is important to realise that the way your assets will be shared between you and your former partner will depend on the individual circumstances of your case. Your settlement will probably be different from others you have heard about.
If you reach an agreement, the registrar will make legally binding orders. You will not have to attend any further court events.
What is the step after the conciliation conference?
A procedural hearing is conducted at the end of the conciliation conference.
More information about conciliation conferences
The information below provides links to the relevant sections of the law which apply to conciliation conferences.
Section 79(9)(a) relates to conciliation conferences
Financial Questionnaire and Balance Sheet are required by Rule 12.06 of the Family Law Rules
Conciliation conferences are conducted under Rules 12.05 and 12.07 of the Family Law Rules
Decisions on property matters under section 79 and 75(2) and 90SM and 90SF(3) of the Family Law Act will be relevant to the conciliation conference.