The Government in its recent 2017-2018 Federal Budget announced that it will use $12.7m over the next four years to create an alternative dispute resolution mechanism for parents involved in disputes relating to the parenting of their children. The Government has called this mechanism the Parenting Management Hearing (PMH) and it hopes that the PMH will be, compared to the Family and Federal Circuit Courts, less formal, less adversarial and faster. A pilot program will soon commence in the Parramatta registry of the Family and Federal Circuit Courts.
The PMH has been designed to take non-complex parenting matters out of the court system. This should speed up processes across the board. Parents involved in simple matters could have their matters heard and determined sooner. The pressure on the Family and Federal Circuit Courts would then be reduced, allowing them to allocate resources to the more complex matters.
The Government has not given much away yet. It has told us that, “Unlike the traditional system where two opposing sides present their cases, those managing the hearings will run inquiries and gather evidence to inform their decisions,” and that the PMH will have “powers to make binding determinations on simple family law matters, which would otherwise require consideration by the family law courts”.
Stay tuned for a full report once the Government releases the finer details.
The above is not intended as legal advice. You should obtain legal advice in relation to your own specific circumstances.