Australian family law

Australian Family Law

Australian family law

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Family Law in Australia is contained in various pieces of legislation, but also includes the common law and laws of equity, which affect the family and the relationship between those people - including when those relationships end.

Laws affecting Married and De Facto couples

Laws in Australia covering areas such as divorce, children's orders, property division and spousal maintenance are primarily dealt with in the Family Law Act 1975.

However, there are numerous other laws affecting couples in marriages, marriage-like relationships and parents, including legislation in each Australian state that allows property settlements between de facto couples. The definition of "de facto couple" now includes same-sex partners in all states and in Commonwealth law.

The names for de facto and similar relationships in each state and territory are as follows:

In December 2006, a number of states indicated an intention to transfer their power to make these laws to the Australian parliament. However, as the Australian parliament has refused to make laws governing same-sex couples in the past, the impact these changes will have on the existing scheme is uncertain.

Laws affecting Children

The family law framework deals with parenting arrangements and ensuring the best interests of children, especially in circumstances where they are at risk or where their parents or carers are separating. Child protection is primarily dealt with on a state and territory basis, under state and...
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