How does the family law system work?

 

image of person thinking about court

Family law is the area of law that deals with families, relationships and children.

It covers things like divorce, arrangements for your children, your property, spousal or de facto maintenance and child support.

Family law is different to child protection law – see what is the difference between child protection law and family law?

 

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Most family law issues in Australia are covered by the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).

 

 

 

image of legal adviceIf you are in Western Australia, the family law system is a bit different and you should get legal adviceACTNSWNTQldSATasVicWA and see information about Western Australia below.

 

 

 

image of disagreement or comparisonIf you were married or in a de facto relationship, the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) will cover any disagreements you have about:

• your children

property and spousal or de facto maintenance.

 

image of a childIf you were not married or in a de facto relationship the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) will only cover disagreements you have about your children.

 

Western Australia

 

In Western Australia, the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) covers:

The Family Court Act 1997 (WA) covers:

If you, your ex-partner or your children live in Western Australia, you should get legal advice from a lawyer in Western Australia.

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Family law disputes are usually dealt with in the Family Courts and the Local or Magistrates’ Court.

 

 

We refer to these courts as ‘Family Courts’:

• the Federal Circuit Court of Australia

• the Family Court of Australia

• the Family Court of Western Australia.

 

image of person thinking about childIf you start your case in the Local or Magistrates’ Court it will often be transferred to the Family Courts.

 

 

 

image of an order being changedThe Local or Magistrates’ Court can also change or stop Parenting Orders when it makes a Domestic Violence Orders.

 

 

 

image of legal adviceIf you have a Parenting Order and experience domestic and family violence, it’s important to get legal adviceACTNSWNTQldSATasVicWA.

 

 

 

image of a protection orderAlso see, what happens when there are Parenting Orders before a Domestic Violence Order is made?

 

 

 

image of person thinking about courtIf you aren’t sure which court to start a case in, get legal adviceACTNSWNTQldSATasVicWA.

 

 

 

image og person with a sheildIf you’re worried about your safety at the Family Courts, see getting a safety plan for court.

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