Case assessment conference
A case assessment conference will be held as near as practicable to 28 days after the application was filed. The conference is convened by a Registrar, a mediator, or both. The purpose of the conference is to enable the conference convenor to assess the case and make any recommendations about the future conduct of the case, and to attempt to resolve the case or any part of the case by agreement. A case assessment conference will not normally be adjourned.
If the case is not settled at the conference, the parties immediately attend a procedural hearing. At the procedural hearing, the court again investigates the possibility of settlement of any issue. If agreement is reached, the court can make consent orders at the procedural hearing. The court can make procedural orders if necessary and, if the matter is not fully resolved, refer the matter to a conciliation conference.
A conciliation conference is held before a judicial officer, who may be assisted by a mediator. Rule 12.05 of the Family Law Rules 2004 (Cth) sets out the documents that must be exchanged before the conciliation conference. At this conference, parties are encouraged to negotiate to resolve the matter. If this conference is unsuccessful, the matter proceeds to a pre-trial conference. The main purpose of the pre-trial conference is to ensure that the matter is ready for trial. A date for trial will not be set until a pre-trial conference has been held.
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