• Parenting
  • Property Settlement
  • Separation

The Basics of Family Law in Australia

July 31, 2023

The Basics of Family Law in Australia

Dealing with family law matters can be a challenging and emotional experience for everyone involved. Whether you’re dealing with children’s issues, navigating property settlements or divorcing, it is essential to have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of family law in Australia.


Arrangements for children

Children’s issues are often the most significant and sensitive issue in family law. In Australia, the Family Law Act 1975 outlines the principles that the court considers when making decisions about the care and living arrangements of children.

The court’s primary concern is always the best interests of the child, and they’ll consider a range of factors, including the child’s relationships with each parent, their current living arrangements, any exposure to family violence and/or the risk of family violence and the children’s needs and wishes.

The type arrangement that is best for your family will depend on your unique circumstances, and it’s important to work with an experienced family lawyer to ensure that your rights and your child’s best interests are protected.


Property Settlements

In Australia, property settlements are based on the principles of ‘just and equitable’ distribution, which means that each party should receive a fair share of the property and assets. This will not necessarily lead to a 50/50 property settlement outcome.

The court needs to consider a range of factors when determining how property should be divided, including the financial and non-financial contributions of each party to the relationship, level of care of children, the parties’ future needs and earning capacity, and any other relevant circumstances.


It’s important to note that property settlements can be negotiated outside of court through alternative dispute resolution methods, such as mediation or collaboration or via lawyer/lawyer negotiation. These non-adversarial approaches to property settlement can often be less stressful, less expensive, and more efficient than going through the court process.


Divorce and Separation

The law regarding divorce in Australia is relatively straightforward. To get a divorce, you and your spouse must have been separated for at least 12 months. You can apply for a divorce jointly or individually, and you’ll need to provide proof of your separation and other relevant information to the court.

Once your divorce is finalized, you’ll be legally single and able to remarry if you so choose. It’s important to note that getting a divorce doesn’t automatically resolve issues related to property, children, or finances. You’ll need to address these matters separately.  You have 12 months from the date of your divorce in which to finalise your property settlement or make an application to the court.


Getting the Support You Need

Going through family law matters can be an emotional and challenging experience, and it’s essential to get the support you need to navigate the process successfully. This might include working with an experienced family lawyer, seeking counselling or therapy, or connecting with support groups or other resources in your community.


Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. Many people and resources are available to help you through this difficult time.


Contact us today for expert advice.

Back to MainNext Article