LAST month marked the 40th anniversary of the commencement of the Family Law Act in Australia. Like many 40-year-olds, family law has matured but is in need of a little care and a freshen-up.
Meanwhile, family law courts in Queensland are in crisis. They are under-resourced and this restricts timely access to those courts by those in need.
The Federal Circuit Court deals with most family law matters. The most complex and difficult financial and parenting matters are heard by the trial division of the Family Court. Last financial year the 61 judges of the Federal Circuit Court dealt with 95,341 litigated cases and divorce applications and gave 3444 written judgments. The 30 trial judges of the Family Court finalised 20,108 complex applications and gave 647 reserved written judgments.
Statewide, Queensland has 13 Federal Circuit Court judges and only three Family Court trial judges for a population of about 4.8 million people.
Our Queensland lawyers report very long delays for trial dates (often up to two years) in both courts and a shrinking pool of legal aid for family law matters. Even after getting a trial date, there are often delays in judgments bringing closure – 18 months is not uncommon.
By Bill Potts
Read More: Courier MailBack to News
The closest train stations are Town Hall, taking the Park Street exit, or St James Station, taking the Elizabeth Street exit. John R Quinn & Co. is on the corner of Park and Elizabeth.
Best parking is in the Domain parking station. Take the moving footway and cross Hyde Park to reach our offices.