The Family Court of WA is a place of last resort.

Where parties cannot agree on how to divide their property, one party can apply to the Court for a decision about that division. And while some other processes are available, in high-conflict matters, the Family Court is often the only option.

Unfortunately, for parties who have an application before the Court, there is usually a very lengthy wait before a decision is obtained, which is usually measured in years.

As of 1 October 2023, the Family Court of WA will introduce a new, faster pathway for matters that meet specific criteria. The relevant criteria are:

  • A net property pool of less than $500,000, ignoring any superannuation entitlements
  • The case should not include, amongst other things, jurisdictional issues, complex valuation issues, or third parties
  • Matters which also include children’s issues are not eligible
  • The trial can be heard in 2 days or less
  • The new pathway, called PPP500, is expected to suit self-represented litigants but is also available to represented litigants. The application and supporting forms have been simplified, and the process is court-managed, meaning that the Court will follow up compliance with the Orders to ensure that the matter is ready.
  • The Court has indicated that matters could progress to a Trial in months, as opposed to years, which should free up the Court’s time for more complex cases and hopefully result in a faster result for all.