It will be easier to lodge an application with the Family Law Courts following the launch of a new single application form.

Aimed at reducing confusion for family law clients, the single application form is a major step forward for the Courts, which comprise the Family Court and the Federal Magistrates Court. Both deal with family law matters surrounding separation.

‘This is a major component of the courts’ Combined Registry Program to simplify the process for people seeking court assistance to resolve their family law disputes,’ said Chief Justice Bryant.

‘Separation is a very stressful time and the courts are aware that clients need a clear pathway.’

The Chief Federal Magistrate believes that the application would allow the courts to process matters more efficiently and quickly.

‘It will be particularly useful for the growing number of self-represented litigants, who do not have a lawyer to assist them,’ John Pascoe said.

The combined registry program started in 2004. To date, it has established a single point of filing at each Family Law registry, a national enquiry centre, joint website and joint publications, all of which provide centralised information on family law and matters in both courts.

The joint application form is being piloted from January to 30 June. The Court encourages feedback from clients to ensure that the form meets their needs.

‘This marks the culmination of the first phase of the Combined Registry Program, and is a prime example of how the courts are co-operating to benefit clients,’ said both Chief Justice Bryant and Chief Federal Magistrate Pascoe.