Last Updated 18 November 2016. This chapter is under review.
The Family Law Act and Children of Separated Parents
Independent Children’s Lawyers
Contravention of Parenting Orders
Family Dispute Resolution
Family Violence Orders
Other Orders Relating to Children
Obtaining Orders from the Family Court or the Federal Circuit Court
There are basic principles that apply in determining the best interests of the child when couples separate and disputes arise about the care of children for whom they have parental responsibility. Part VII of the Commonwealth Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (Family Law Act) sets out the responsibilities and roles of parents in relation to their children, and matters are heard in the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.
Where the issues involve the protection of a child from harm, the Queensland Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld) is relevant, and issues regarding child care and child safety are dealt with by the respective state courts. However, there is a requirement on the parties to family law court proceedings to disclose any child protection matters that a party is aware of to the proceedings (ss 60CH, 60CI Family Law Act).
Each of the relevant courts has their own set of legislation that is used in addition to the Family Law Act. Careful reference to the relevant legislation for each court is recommended, as there are differences and common practices. In this chapter, unless specifically indicated, a reference to the court is a reference to any court exercising jurisdiction under the Family Law Act.