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Introduction to Family Law

Section 3: Differing Family Laws in Australia

By: Room Staff |

Family Law By State

In Australia, family law is predominantly regulated by the federal government. Individual states hold jurisdiction over specific areas such as child-related matters, domestic violence, and intestacy. Western Australia has its own Family Court established under the Family Court Act 1997 (WA). This sets it apart from other states.

All States may oversee certain parenting and property orders through the Magistrates Court. However, the parties must agree to have the matter heard by the State Magistrates Court and agree to the order’s terms.

Let’s break down the nuances of family law between States.

Queensland Family Law

Queensland has specific laws regulating issues such as child welfare, domestic violence and certain parenting and property orders.

Child protection

Queensland’s Child Protection Act 1999 protects and promotes child welfare. It may also serve to support families caring for children to the extent appropriate.

Domestic violence

Queensland’s Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 covers protection orders to safeguard individuals from family violence. This Act defines domestic violence and sets out the process for obtaining a Domestic Violence Order (DVO).

Types of protection orders in Queensland are the following:

  • Protection order. An order granted by a Queensland magistrate to protect victims from family violence.
  • Temporary protection order. A short-term protection order that provides for parties in immediate danger. It remains in effect until the Court can decide on a full protection order.

Legal Aid and Support Services

Queensland provides specific legal aid services and support for family law matters. Bodies like Legal Aid Queensland and various community legal centres can help those in financial hardship. Here is a list of Queensland support services:

  • Legal Aid Queensland
  • Community Legal Centres
  • Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Woman’s Legal Service
  • Hub Community Projects

Children’s Court Jurisdiction

The Children’s Court of Queensland deals with child protection and juvenile justice matters. These matters can intersect with family law issues.

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