The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) is the court that deals with family law matters. If a matter has been decided in a way that you think is wrong, you can lodge an appeal, which means asking a different judge or panel of judges of the FCFCOA Appeals Court to overturn the decision made by the judge in the original application (the primary judge).
Provided you meet the criteria for an appeal, you can lodge a notice of appeal within 28 days of the primary judge’s decision. Your appeal will be heard before either a single judge or a panel of three judges (a Full Court) in Division 1 of the FCFCOA.
If your original application was heard in Division 1, your appeal will be before a Full Court. If your original application was heard in Division 2, your appeal may be heard by a single judge or by a Full Court.
Occasionally, appeal decisions are referred to the High Court of Australia, where leave must be obtained from the High Court to proceed with an appeal.
Keep in mind that lodging an appeal does not stop any orders made by the primary judge, with the exception of divorce orders. To keep the orders from being carried out, you’ll need to file an application to stay the orders and an affidavit to confirm the statements made in your application are true.
If you need advice about or assistance with lodging a family court appeal, book a free 30-minute consultation with our experienced family law team.