Family law disputes are governed by the Family Law Act . Each court bases its decision on the aforementioned law in accordance with their Rules of Court. The following courts have jurisdiction over family law disputes:
The Family Law Court and Federal Circuit Courts have concurrent jurisdiction (with a few exceptions) over family law matters but each has its own Rules of Court. These courts were created by virtue of Australian Federal Government legislation. The Family Court as much as possible avoids the parties from going through a trial and aims to resolve the dispute by following a case management approach:
On the other hand, the Federal Circuit Court deals with simpler family law matters except for the following:
The Federal Circuit Court encourages primary dispute resolution all throughout the court negotiations. The Federal Circuit Court operates from Melbourne, Dandenong, Canberra, Parramatta, Newcastle, Brisbane, Townsville, Darwin, Adelaide, Hobart, Launceston and Sydney (divorce applications only).
The Family Law Court and Federal Circuit Courts have their own forms which can be obtained from the Court Registry. Decisions of these two courts are appealable to the Family Court of Australia
The subject matters under the jurisdiction of the Family Court of Australia are: