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The Priority Property Pool case list

Reducing delays and legal costs for Property division and Spousal maintenance matters.

The Priority Property Pool case list
Bronwyn Gunning
By
Bronwyn Gunning
-
Principal Solicitor, Accredited Family Law Specialist
June 28, 2024

On 1 March 2020, the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia piloted The Priority Property Pool (PPP) Case management system in anumber of registries throughout Australia including Melbourne.

On 30 October 2023, this case management approach was expanded nationally to all filing registries with a new broader criteria.

The aim of the PPP case program or PPP List is to reduce delays  and  legal costs for Property division and Spousal maintenance matters where the combined Property pool has or appears tohave a net value (excluding superannuation) of $550,000 or under or the netvalue of the asset pool of the parties (excluding superannuation) is not significantly greater than $550,000 and the court in its discretion makes adeclaration  or a notation that the proceeding is designated as a PPP case in circumstances where:

  • Having regard to the relevant assets of the parties, the court considers it appropriate to include the matter as a PPP case; and/or
  • Due to the parties or a party having a particular vulnerability including having regard to the location of the parties, demographic features of the parties or allegations of family violence including coercive control, the court considers it appropriate to include the matter as a PPP case; and/or
  • The court otherwise in its discretion makes a declaration or notation that the proceeding is designated as a PPP case.

The PPP case program does not extend to cases where :

1. The asset pool includes an entity or entities such as the family trust, company or partnership owned or in the effective control of either party, where the value is contested and requires valuation or expert investigation;

2. Proceedings where only Parenting orders are sought;

3. Child support cases;

4. Child maintenance cases;

5. Contravention applications;

6. Enforcementa pplications.

The benefit of the PPP list includes  reduction in the amount of documents a party must prepare and file to commence proceedings noting If you qualify for the PPP list, you only need file an Initiating application, Financial summary and Genuine step certificate.

Other features of the list include:

  • Step one – before the first court date, preliminary orders will be made by judicialregistrar in chambers.
  • Step two – at the first court date before a Judicial registrar,  the balancesheet will be settled  and the case will be referred to a Conciliationconference, private mediation or legal aid conference.
  • Step three –  the dispute resolution session occurs With a judicial registrar,external mediator or legal aid conference.
  • Step four – at the second court date, if the case did not settle, the balance sheetwill be checked  and the case will be listed for Compliance and readinesshearing before a judge. In order to limit costs, it is encouraged that if thematter did not settle at the dispute resolution stage, parties can write to theJudicial registrar and request a Compliance and readiness hearing date and thatthe second court date be vacated , so parties can avoid the costs associatedwith a court appearance.
  • Step five – Compliance  and Readiness  hearing before a judge.
  • Step six – Final hearing  - also noting if both parties agree,  the Finalhearing  can be a short form expedited hearing where the judge decideswhich of the rules of evidence apply, material and evidence is focused on and limited to the issues in dispute, the judge decides whether or not you oryour former partner/spouse/lawyers should ask any questions of the other partyand if so, for how long and the length of hearing is limited.

Other features and benefits include:

1. Proactive referral toappropriate services.

2. Where possible, the number ofcourt appearances are reduced.

3. There are opportunities forresolution at an early stage.

4. There is intensive monitoringof compliance with orders to ensure that necessary documents are produced andvaluations completed.

For support on any family law matter please contact one of our friendly team.

Bronwyn Gunning
About
Bronwyn Gunning
-
Principal Solicitor, Accredited Family Law Specialist

Bronwyn is a solicitor and accredited family law specialist with experience in property, child support, financial agreements and more.

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