On May 13, 2019 a new process will be initiated in Victoria for Provincial Court matters.
Instead of filing an application and appearing in court parties will now be required to complete a Notice to Resolve which will prompt an early needs assessment at the Justice Access Centre. After that, the parties will be required to attend a Consensual Dispute Resolution session which can be with a family justice counsellor, a private mediator or a collaborative law professional.
Parties with children will also be required to attend a parenting information and education program such as the Parenting After Separation course before initiating a court process.
If parties have gone through the needs assessment as well as the consensual dispute resolution process and the parenting education course and still have unresolved issues then the matter can be set before the court.
The first step in the court process will be a family management conference to explore opportunities for resolution with a judge who can also make interim orders and explain the next steps in the court process.
Deborah A. Todd