Your preferred office location:
  1. Home
  2. /
  3. Family Lawyers Perth
  4. /
  5. Readiness Hearing in the Family Court

“I have received a letter from the Family Court telling me that I have an upcoming Readiness Hearing.”

It is common to have a Court hearing where the Judicial Officer tells the parties that the next step is to wait to receive notification of a Readiness Hearing.

Because of the backlog and under-resourced nature of the Family Court, often it takes a long time to receive notification from the Family Court that a Readiness Hearing has been allocated. It is standard to wait a year, and at the most difficult of times, it can take up to two years. In this time often matters die down, sometimes they resolve, and sometimes the litigation and negotiations continue.

It can often, therefore, come as a surprise when you receive a letter from the Court telling you that your Readiness Hearing is coming.

So what does it mean when you get this letter, and what should you do?

What is a Readiness Hearing?

The Readiness Hearing itself is a procedural hearing run by a Magistrate or a Registrar. The purpose of a Readiness Hearing is to ensure that your matter is ready for trial and should be allowed to proceed to trial. The Court does not like matters to proceed towards trial unless they have been properly prepared, to ensure that limited Court resources are not wasted.

There are several documents that need to be prepared in accordance with certain time frames, prior to the Readiness Hearing. This includes trial affidavits and various other documents.

Usually, when you receive your letter, it means you have about two months to prepare your trial material. It is at this point that if you haven’t received legal advice, you should immediately see a qualified and reputable family lawyer. While two months may seem like a long time, it is not at all, when considering the amount of work that is required for a trial.

It is critical at this point to get legal advice and help to draft your documents because if your matter proceeds to trial, these documents will be the major deciding factor in the outcome. Your Judicial Officer will read the documents before the trial and will often form a preliminary opinion of an appropriate outcome based on the documents. This is the most important time to spend money on a lawyer as it will make the biggest difference.

Another good reason to see a lawyer at this point is that they will tell you if your case is within the range of likely outcomes, or if it is not. If you proceed to trial and run a case which is unsuccessful, you run the risk of having to pay the other party’s legal costs and is not a risk that you should take.

What happens at the Readiness Hearing?

At the Readiness Hearing itself, the Magistrate or Registrar will expect to be informed about:-

  • the main issues of fact or law relevant to your case.
  • whether you propose amending your application or response.
  • whether you have complied with all previous orders, including in relation to the filing of your documents for trial.
  • how many witnesses will be needed at trial, and which of the other party’s witnesses you intend to cross-examine.
  • the likely length of the trial.
  • whether interpreters are required for the trial.
  • whether telephone or video link facilities will be required.
  • whether a bring-up order is required for a witness who is in prison.

These questions are legal and complex.

Once you complete the Readiness Hearing and the Judicial Officer is satisfied that your case should proceed, you join a pool of parties waiting for allocation of a trial, known as the Callover.

What if I don’t prepare my documents in time?

If you do not prepare your documents before the Readiness Hearing, there can be several consequences. These include potential cost orders against you, delay including having to re-join the queue for another Readiness Hearing (another year or so) or the other party may be entitled to proceed undefended in the trial as if you are no longer a party. If neither party complies, your case can be dismissed. It is not a position that you want to be in.

Am I going to trial?

You should be aware that the allocation of a Readiness Hearing does not mean that you must go to trial. Often parties see a lawyer and re-enter negotiations, and with the benefit of legal advice, find that their matter can settle without the necessity for a trial. You should take this step long before the Readiness Hearing, to alleviate any pressure and cost of preparing documents if that is not necessary. Only 1% of matters proceed to trial so it is best to reach a resolution sooner and before you incur legal costs which often cannot be recouped.

If you need advice please contact our experienced family law team to assist you.

*This is general information only, and does not constitute specific legal advice. Please consult one of our experienced Legal Team for specific advice relevant to your situation.

Contact Us

Want to know more? Let’s Chat.

  • By clicking submit you agree to our Privacy Policy

Supporting Western Australians for more than 100 years

"Always fast and thorough service. Thank you"


My circumstances at the time I made contact with HHG were dire following my argument being rejected by two no win no fee firms. Following my initial meeting with HHG's employment law team I was left feeling extremely positive by the response and concern shown by HHG in regards to their support of my argument along with their preparedness to pursue an outcome on my behalf.

I accept the fact that nobody really wins in these cases (mental health/ workplace) however the end result was what would be considered most favourable and far in excess of what would have been achieved had I not sought the advice from HHG.

I have no hesitation in recommending HHG to anyone caught up in the messy circumstances I found myself in at the time.

Great advice and five-star commitment to their client!!"


"Thank you for such great assistance with the transaction of Flying Domestics on behalf of Lorna Good. It has been such a pleasure to work with the HHG Legal Group and I look forward to working with you in the future."


"Simon Creek and his team were at all times empathic, professional and confident.  My matter needed to be addressed within a pressing time frame, and their availability at short notice and contact after hours was much appreciated.  It caused me considerable stress, but having such a thoroughly reliable and competent team to call on helped me to feel in control. Although I hope not to need their services again in future, I would be confident in doing so!"


"A good outcome is what we can expect.  A great outcome is a sign of a company which does the very best for their clients. A very big thank you to Daniel Morris for showing empathy towards my small and much needed legal action.

To HHG Legal Group, thank you for a great outcome.  I would recommend your company to anyone seeking legal services."


"Your support this morning was amazingly kind, not to mention your totally reassuring competence, knowledge and wisdom that you used on my behalf.  It was extremely reassuring to have your knowledgeable support, and I particularly appreciated your real and obvious kindness to me. It means so much at a very difficult time. I'm so grateful to you."

Family Law Client

"Janene was very professional and we established a good rapport quickly. The subject of death and wills can be quite confronting to deal with, however, Janene's approach was soft and accommodating."


"A big thank you to HHG for their professional service, continued support, and wide range of legal knowledge. Our clients have given us nothing but kind words regarding HHG Legal Group and so we have no hesitation in referring and recommending Simon Creek and HHG Legal Group for their outstanding services and legal expertise."


"Simon is a friendly and practical legal advisor. I have received great feedback from the clients I have referred to him and his team at HHG Legal Group."


"Over the last few years, I have been impressed by Simon’s legal ability, management skills, entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity and people skills. He appears to be that rare breed of lawyer – both knowledgeable and commercial."


"Our family has been a client of HHG Legal Group over many years.  Business has included drawing up of wills for three generations and preparing of probate for my father in law. I would have no hesitation in recommending HHG Legal Group to anyone requiring such services."


"You should be congratulated for the manner in which your staff address clients and we found our dealings with your company, once again a very pleasant experience and we would like to truly thank you for your efforts."

Steve and Jane

"HHG Legal were absolutely fantastic. Extremely responsive and brought calm to our chaotic family situation through their knowledge and caring attitude. Extremely professional from our very first contact with them and they expertly guided our family though the required legal process over almost a 12 month period."


"Fantastic team! They really care about their client. Tim Colcutt is a 'go that extra mile' guy who gives his client his all. I can't recommend HHG and Tim enough."


"I had a fantastic lawyer in Matthew Lilly. He helped me out a great deal with good, sound advice in a friendly, professional manner. First class, thanks Matthew"


"Marine Plant Systems has been working with HHG Legal Group for a few years now and they continually provide first-class service. Their professional advice has been invaluable to our company."


"We were kept up to date at all times. Pricing was always updated over the time period so we remained "in budget". Personal access to someone whenever I had questions. All in all a great experience without too much fuss."


"Good service you can count on."


"HHG Legal Group has provided outstanding support as I have taken the journey of buying a business, their professionalism is beyond reproach. Their assistance throughout the Due Diligence process has been invaluable, I would fully recommend them."


"Very friendly and efficient service - what a pleasure working with Matthew."


"I highly recommend Daniel from HHG Lawyer in Mandurah. When dealing with a complicated legal property matter recently I was extremely impressed by Daniel's honesty and integrity and the legal advice I received. I am very happy with the service from HHG Legal."


Preferred Office location:

Please select your nearest office location so we can show you the most relevant information.