• The Family Law

  • Matrimonial & De Facto Relationships and Laws

  • Parental Responsibility for Children

  • Child Protection Laws

  • State & Territory Government Jurisdiction

  • Federal Government Jurisdiction

The Family Law in Australia


Family law in Australia is those laws that revolve around family relationships, family interaction and children.  The family law covers diverse areas including marriage, divorce, de facto relationships, same-sex relationships, property settlement, spousal maintenance, de facto maintenance, child responsibility, child spend time arrangements, child protection, child neglect, child abuse, child support, family violence and intervention orders.


Just as family relationships can be complex, so can be the family law that Australia needs to help resolve changes in family relationships, family conflict and issues around children.


In Australia, different levels of government have different responsibilities for making laws and rules that can affect families. 


Federal Government Family Law Responsibilities

The Federal Government in Australia has responsibility for laws about marriage, divorce, matrimonial property settlement, de facto property settlement (except WA), spousal maintenance, de facto maintenance (except WA), child support, child parental responsibility, child spend time arrangements, child passports, preventing children from leaving Australia, deciding where children live, grand-parents rights, court-ordered child name changes, child recovery, International child disputes and protecting children from family violence and child abuse.


State & Territory Governments Family Law & Child Protection Responsibilities

The State and Territory Governments in Australia have responsibility for laws about the government intervening to protect children from harm, neglect and child abuse (including deciding on parental responsibility, where and whom children live with), care orders where children need long term protection; intervention orders and domestic violence orders; adoption, foster care, guardianship and most criminal laws that affect children and adults.


Overlap of Family Law & Child Protection Responsibilities

Depending on the circumstances, both levels of government often have laws and powers that overlap.  Both levels of government cooperate to resolve jurisdictional issues.  Usually, if there are immediate concerns about child safety, State or Territory child protection authorities step in under State or Territory laws.  These matters go to the Childrens Court.  Whereas family separation, child responsibility and spend time arrangements are under Federal Laws.  These matters go to the Federal Circuit Court or Family Court.


Below is a diagram of the areas of the law that each level of government have responsibility for.

Our Family Law Solicitors understand the legal and jurisdictional complexity of the laws around families in Australia.  We understand how to best resolve your family law issues based on your needs and circumstances.  That's why we take an understanding approach to customise our legal advice and services to your specific needs to help you realise your goals to promptly resolve your family law matter or child protection matter.


We take the pressure off of you by providing sounds guidance, taking the time to explain your options and helping you to make the right decision for your circumstances to get the best outcome.


Free Initial Family Law or Child Protection Consultation

Call us today, for an initial free consultation with a family lawyer where we can go over your circumstances and give you options and an indication of the cost to help you with your family law matter or child protection matter.

Family Law Services

Thinking About Seperating?

Are you thinking about separating?  Get to know your options and work toward a positive outcome.

Children, Parents and Rights

Find information out about children, rights, resolving parenting issues and putting children first.


Whether married or de facto, if you have separated, understand your options and rights and what to do next.

Property Settlement

Understand who gets what in property settlement and how to divide the assets between you and your ex-partner.


Find information about how to get a divorce, the cost of divorce, how long does a divorce take and who gets what.

Spousal Support & Maintenance

Find information about spousal maintenance and spousal maintenance rights in Australia.

Free Family Law Resources

Marriage, Families and Separation Brochure

A free brochure that contains general information that broadly covers family law separation, divorce and parenting matters.

Children Leaving Australia After Separation

A free fact sheet about children leaving Australia after separation and general options and rights around passports, negotiations and court orders.

Going to Court for the First Time?

Get information about your first family law duty list hearing, including practical guidance and what outcomes you may be able to achieve.

Family Law Office Locations

Our family lawyers provide family law services across Australia.  Our main family law offices are listed below.  In addition to this, we have conference rooms in many major locations and service most of Australia. 

Call or come in and meet our professional solicitors in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane or Perth.

Level 10, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Level 45, 680 George Street, Sydney

Level 23, 127 Creek Street, Brisbane

Level 3, 267 St Georges Street, Perth

18 Main Street, Pakenham

Offices and Service Areas

Free Case Evaluation

Contact Us

P: 1800 572 417

F: (02) 8569 2344



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Disclaimer - This information has been provided for general information and education purposes only. This information is not intended and should not be taken as legal advice. This information is general in nature only and may not be applicable in all situations and may not, after the date of its presentation, even reflect the most current authority. This information should not be relied upon nor acted upon without the benefit of professional legal advice based upon your particular facts and circumstances.

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