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Which courts handle Family Law cases?

Understanding the Family Courts system can be like trying to work your way through a maze. There are lots of different courts. But which court should you apply to for your Family Law matter?

In Australia the Family Courts system is made up of a number of different forums. The 2 most important ones are:

(1) The Family Court of Australia

This is the Court that was established by the introduction of the Family Law Act 1975. It is the court that deals with more complex Family Law cases. You can visit the website for this court by clicking here.

(2) The Federal Circuit Court of Australia

The next tier down from the Family Court is the Federal Circuit Court. This court used to be called the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia. That changed in 2013 when it became known as the Federal Circuit Court and Federal Magistrates became Federal Circuit Court Judges.

The Federal Circuit Court was created to alleviate pressure on the Family Court. Decisions made in this court can be appealed to the Family Court.

You can visit the website for this court by clicking here.


Pressure on the court system causing delays

The Federal Circuit Court deals with a larger caseload than the Family Court but, like the Family Court, is very busy and its resources are stretched.

The pressure of workload on the courts can cause long delays in a case being finalised. Generally it is always a better outcome where parties can agree amongst themselves. Going to court should be a last resort.

But wait, it might be changing!

Just when we thought the court system was settled the government has announced that these two courts are to merge. Read here our article about this and keep an eye on our website for further updates.


Other Courts

Additionally the courts of the States and Territories exercise powers relating to Family Law particularly in the area of family or domestic violence. The Supreme, District, Magistrates and Local Courts may all have some part to play in the Family Courts system.



Growth of online court processes

Understanding the Family Courts system and the part technology has to play is becoming increasingly important.

The rapid growth of the internet has led to on line filing of documents and access to court files. The Federal Family Courts in particular use a service called the Commonwealth Courts Portal . Parties or legal representatives in a Family Law case can register to use the Portal. Then they will have access to the file and can lodge documents or see those already lodged.

Many documents including some court orders are now issued only in electronic form. This makes essential familiarity with technology and how it interacts with the Family Law courts system.

At Bell Legal Group our lawyers are used to handling matters online. We have the skills to make sure our clients have access to the latest developments to ensure you won’t miss out on what’s happening on your case.



Help with your court case

Family law matters can be very complex and involve many different areas of law and jurisdictions both at home and abroad.

If you or another party may be about to start legal proceedings we recommend that you obtain legal advice about your situation as soon as possible.


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Please note that the information on this web page is general in nature and is not legal advice nor should it be relied upon as such.