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Family Law Fact Sheets

The fact sheets contained in this section of the website are designed to help people involved in family law disputes. Please note that they do not constitute family law advice, but are designed to provide an overview of the relevant issues and systems so that you have a better understanding of the process. If you have any questions, or would like to speak to a solicitor about your own situation, contact us by email or phone our office on 1300 4FAMILY.

Separation – the First Steps

When a couple separates it can be one of the most stressful events in an adult life.  Some literature suggests that the breakdown of a relationship is the second most distressing incident a person can experience aside from the loss of a child. Not unlike the loss...

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Parenting Arrangements

After separation, there will often be a period where there is some uncertainty about future arrangements for the children. Couples essentially have three options available to them for making arrangements for future parenting:- By Informal Agreement By Parenting Plan...

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Parenting Orders

In some cases, an application to the Court will be required to obtain formal arrangements concerning the care of the children. It does not make any difference whether your Parenting Orders are made by consent or by a Magistrate at the Local Court, or by a Judge....

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Violence and Abuse

Many family law disputes involve allegations of violence and abuse. Although thought to be largely fabricated by disgruntled women, recent studies in this area indicate that the incidence of fabricated or false allegations is actually very low (as little as 6%). In...

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Property Settlement After Separation

Following separation, there will often be issues to work out between the separated persons concerning property settlement. Property, for the purposes of the Family Law Act, includes things such as the family home, any investment properties, shares, cars, furnishings...

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De Facto Property Settlement

Following the breakdown of a de facto relationship there are often parenting and property issues to work out. Parenting issues will always come under the umbrella of the Family Court, please refer to the relevant sections on parenting for more information on this...

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Changing or Setting Aside Property Orders

Property Orders are typically very difficult to change or set aside in the absence of an agreement. There are basically only five circumstances in which the Court may be persuaded to change property Orders. These circumstances are: Both parties consent - in this case...

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Property Orders

Property orders are typically very difficult to change or set aside in the absence of an agreement. There are basically only five circumstances in which the Court may be persuaded to change property Orders.  These circumstances are: Both parties consent - in this...

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Non-Compliance or Breach of Court Orders

Frequently in Family Law matters, a circumstance arises where one party fails to comply with, or abide by, Orders. The Court imposes an onus on each party to comply with Orders, unless there is an agreement to vary or until the Orders are changed by the Court. Hence,...

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Family Mediation, Dispute Resolution & Conferences

Except in certain circumstances, all Court applicants seeking Parenting Orders must undergo three hours of compulsory family mediation, known as Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) before any application to the Court is made. There are two avenues to pursue this: Via the...

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Going to Court

Both the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court are located in the Commonwealth Law Courts Building on the corner of George and O’Connell Streets, Parramatta (directly opposite Parramatta Park). Arriving at Court When you first arrive at Court you will have to...

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Child Support

Child support legislation was first introduced in 1989. The effect of the legislation was to change the calculation of child support from Court determined and payee collected, to an amount calculated by a mathematical formula and collected by the Child Support Agency...

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DNA Testing

In some family law matters involving children, there can be a dispute as to the paternity of the child in question.  Disputes as to paternity can also arise in the context of child support applications, as the child support agency has very clear guidelines on who...

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Legal Aid

Legal Aid is available for many family law matters, and in some circumstances for child support applications. The Legal Aid Commission has a focus on Dispute Resolution. Therefore, in most cases, a grant will initially be provided for the parties and their legal...

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Our Fees

Our Fees For most couples, separation is a difficult time when financial resources are strained and both parties are unsure about how their income and assets will be divided.  With so much uncertainty and confusion around, the last thing you need is to be hit...

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Read our plain English handbooks

These fact sheets are designed to provide an overview of the relevant issues and systems so that you have a better understanding of the process.