The Laws Involved In Family Matter
The Family Law Act 1975 (Commonwealth)
The Family Law Act 1975
is the main law in Australia on matters involving divorce, property settlement after marriage, spousal maintenance (between married couples), and issues relating to children's arrangements after separation and divorce. The Act emphasises the obligations of parents and the best interests of the children.
All children are covered by the Family Law Act, regardless of whether their parents were married or not. However, the Act does not cover property disputes between de facto couples. The Courts set up under the Family Law Act are the:
- Family Court of Australia, and
- Federal Magistrates Court.
Family Law Rules, Practice Directions and Guidelines
In the Family Law Act, the Parliament delegated authority to the Chief Justice of the Family Court to make Rules, Regulations and Bye-Laws connected with the Act. These are known as the Family Law Rules.
The rules deal with the practice and procedure of the Court and apply to all proceedings under the Family Law Act.
The Chief Justice of the Family Court also has the authority to make practice directions and guidelines
about the procedures of the Court. These are intended to inform everyone who uses the Court about the way cases move through the Court.
Child Support Act 1988-89 (Commonwealth)
- children who were born on or after 1 October 1989, and
- children whose parents separated after 1 October 1989, and
- children who had a sibling (brother or sister) born after 1 October 1989.
Under this Act, financial support for children is called child support and you apply for it to the Child Support Agency. For information on how to change the child support assessment, contact the Child Support Agency.
Australia has signed an international agreement called the Hague Convention. This is an agreement about international child abduction. One of the main aims is to promptly return children wrongly removed from another convention country. Australia is a convention country but not all countries are.