Where your application includes both a financial case and a parenting case, the registrar usually conducts the procedural hearing at the end of the conciliation conference. The child responsive program has generally concluded before this conference.

What happens at the procedural hearing in a joint issues case?

The registrar:

  • reviews the children and parents issues assessment
  • makes procedural orders to progress the case to a first day of trial before the judge, and
  • allocates a date for the first day of trial before the judge.

The orders made by the registrar may include the following matters:

  • referring the parties to family counselling, family dispute resolution and other family services
  • appointing an independent children’s lawyer
  • directing each party to complete a Parenting Questionnaire at least 28 days before the first day before the judge.

In relation to the financial issues, see the brochure Conciliation Conference which provides more details about the orders made by the registrar.

The setting-down and hearing fees must be paid within the time directed (or an application made for fee exemption). You can obtain details of the fees in the Fees section of this website, including information on fee exemptions. The person who started the case (the applicant) is usually (but not always) the one who pays the fees. If the fees are not paid within the time allowed the trial may be cancelled.

The registrar may also order the parties to attend a compliance check (generally by telephone) about 21 days before the first day before the judge to ensure all orders have been complied with.

What is the next step?

The next step is that the parties attend the first day of trial before the judge (the start of the less adversarial trial). If the parties agree (consent) the financial issues may also be decided in a less adversarial trial.

At least 28 days before the first day before the judge each party must complete, serve and file a Parenting Questionnaire. See Rule 15.77.

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