Finances and property: My application is urgent

icon for finances and property

You can ask the Court to list your application urgently by seeking an interlocutory order that the matter be given an urgent listing. 

If you are seeking an urgent listing when you are first applying for financial orders, you should include the urgent application in the interlocutory orders sought in your Initiating application. If proceedings for financial orders have already been started, you need to make your urgent application by filing an Application in a proceeding.

An urgent application must be accompanied by:

  • an Affidavit – Family law and child support stating the facts you rely on in support of the urgent application (if you are filing an Affidavit with your Initiating application in any event, you can address the urgency of your application in that affidavit; you do not need to file a separate affidavit about urgency), and
  • a cover letter as to urgency, outlining the nature of the application, and the basis upon which an urgent listing is required. The letter should refer to specific paragraphs of the affidavit on which you rely in support of the urgent application.

The Court may require to you to file the other documents set out at paragraph 2.6 of the Family Law Practice Direction: Financial Proceedings at a future date.

You can ask the Court to consider an urgent application by seeking appropriately worded orders, and providing evidence in a supporting affidavit about why the Court should list the matter for an early hearing date, or make an urgent order. The Court will consider the application based on the evidence provided, and notify you of any further requirements or a listing date.

Currently an urgent Initiating Application cannot be eFiled through the Commonwealth Courts Portal without all of the documents set out in paragraph 2.6 of the Family Law Practice Direction: Financial Proceedings being filed.

Work is underway to update the system. In the meantime, if you seek to file an urgent Initiating Application with the reduced documents outlined above, you can file by email at the Court registry where the matter is being heard. See email addresses for filing documents. Please ensure the subject line includes that it is an urgent application.

I want my application to be heard without notice to the other party

In extremely urgent situations, you can seek an urgent order to be made ex parte. This means the Court would deal with the matter immediately, and without notice to the other party.  

Ex parte orders are usually only granted in matters where you can substantiate urgency by seeking appropriately worded urgent orders in the application. You will need to explain the grounds on which you are seeking urgent orders in your supporting affidavit.

When applying for ex parte orders, you must comply with rule 5.11 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021.

Legal advice

You are not required to be represented by a lawyer, or to seek legal advice, before entering into consent orders or applying to the Court, or if you have been served with an application. However, family law is complex, and getting legal advice will help you to better understand your rights and responsibilities.

Practice directions

Practice directions are procedural guidelines issued by the Court. They complement legislation, rules and regulations. They provide specific direction about the practice and procedure that must be followed in certain types of proceedings.

Practice directions are issued by the Chief Justice/Chief Judge upon advice of judges of the Court, pursuant to the Court’s inherent power to control its own processes, as well as the power under the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Act 2021 for the Court to give directions about the practice and procedure to be followed in a proceeding.

In general, practice directions are issued to:

  • complement particular legislative provisions or rules of court
  • set out more detailed procedures for particular types of proceedings, and
  • notify parties and their lawyers of matters which require their attention.

Below are links to the practice directions that apply to this area of law: