Change To Court Rules Aims To Protect Children

Change To Court Rules Aims To Protect Children

Following the incorporation of the Federal Circuit Court Amendment (2014 Measures No. 1) Rules 2014 (Cth) in the Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001 (Cth), there is now a requirement to file a completed ‘Notice of Risk’ form with all initiating applications, and responses to initiating applications for parenting matters commenced in the Federal Circuit Court after 12 January 2015.

This form replaces the previous ‘Notice of Child Abuse, Family Violence, or Risk of Family Violence’ form, and is required to be submitted regardless of whether the children involved in the proceedings are or are not at risk.

The ‘Notice of Risk’ form is required to be submitted in accordance with section 69ZQ(1)(aa) of the Family Law Act 1975(Cth), which requires the court to question the parties involved in proceedings whether they believe that the children involved are at risk of being, or have been subjected to violence or abuse.

The compulsory requirement to submit the form in regards to parenting matters conveys the Federal Circuit Court’s desire to increase the protection of children from abuse. This is similarly shown by the requirement on the registry manager to report notices of risk to the relevant protection agency.

The completed form is required to be served on all parties to the proceedings, including where an Independent Children’s Lawyer is appointed, as well as the person against whom the notice alleges has abused, or is at risk of abusing the protected children.

The form may also be submitted by an interested party in the proceedings. This includes the actual parties to the proceedings, an Independent Children’s Lawyer and any other interested parties such as grandparents.

Further the evidence relied upon for the risk of abuse stated in the form must be included in either the affidavit accompanying the initiating application or response, or in a separate affidavit accompanying the form.

For more information on how this will affect you please contact us on (02) 9555 5595 or visit

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