What is the Slip Rule (Family Law)?

What is the Slip Rule (Family Law)?

The slip rule is derived from Rule 16.05 of the Federal Circuit Court Rules 2001, which states that the court or a registrar may vary or set aside a judgment or order after it has been entered, if there is an error arising in the judgment or order from an accidental slip or omission. It is basically a rule that allows the Court to change or set aside a judgment if there were any typos or mistakes in the order. 

Amending court orders are beneficial for both the judge and the clients or parties. For judges and legal practitioners, the slip rule is their safety mechanism. It is common for mistakes to occur in legal practices and on a trial, so having the authority to correct erratic orders is necessary. The amendment of a court order can either be by a judge’s own initiative or by consent. 

Moreover, the slip rule is mostly convenient for parties as they do not have to attend to court again while the amendments are being done. The most practical scenario where a slip rule can be applied is when the name of one of the parties is misspelled on the orders. Another example would be when both parties tend to overlook the changeover terms that were agreed under the parenting orders. These terms could be about the children’s weekends and weekdays schedule with the other parent. 

The slip rule is a procedural rule in family law matters under the Family Law Rules 2004. It aims to ensure that orders accurately and clearly reflect the court’s true intentions. The judge may vary or set aside an order at any time if it was obtained by fraud, if there is a clerical mistake in the order, and if it was made in the absence of a party. 

If a party claims that there is an error in an order issued by the court, the party must provide a written notice to the Registrar and all parties. However, it is important to note that the slip rule cannot be used to add further orders or to make any changes that alter the substance of the agreement. It only makes the agreed arrangements more accurate and clearer. 

To avoid the need for a remedied order, all parties should make sure they understand the orders in their entirety. Parties should carefully check every line of the draft orders and ensure they have applied their consent to every aspect of the agreement.