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The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Family Law in Australia

Family law in Australia can be complex and confusing. This cheat sheet will help you to understand the basics of family law in Australia, including what is covered by family law and how it can be applied in your situation. Whether you are considering filing for divorce or need to know your rights as a parent, this guide will give you a basic understanding of Australian family law.

What Is Family Law in Australia?

Family law in Australia covers a wide range of legal issues, including divorce, child custody and visitation rights. The family law system in Australia is designed to help couples resolve disputes fairly and equitably. Mediation will be offered as a first step in resolving disagreements. If mediation fails, you may bring the matter before the family court.

How Do You Go About Getting a Divorce in Australia?

If you’re considering divorce in Australia, you need to have your marriage legally dissolved by a court. Secondly, you’ll need to provide evidence your marriage has irretrievably broken down. Finally, you’ll need to make arrangements for custody and visitation.

What Are the Most Common Pitfalls Made During the Divorce?

A few common pitfalls people make during the divorce process in Australia are:

  1. You may be tempted to try to resolve your disputes without the help of a family lawyer. However, this can often lead to more conflict and less satisfaction with the outcome.
  2. You may be tempted to try to reach a settlement agreement on your own without involving the family court. This can often lead to an unfair agreement that does not consider all of your rights and interests.
  3. You may be tempted to take shortcuts in the process, such as not serving your spouse with divorce papers or not following the proper procedure for filing for divorce. Taking shortcuts can often backfire and make the process more difficult and time-consuming than it needs to be.

Grounds for Divorce in Australia and the Process Involved

There are several grounds for divorce in Australia, including adultery, desertion and mental illness. Under family law, the process of filing for divorce can be complicated, so it is crucial to seek legal advice before proceeding. Once the divorce is granted, you must make arrangements for child custody and visitation if you have children.

Resolving Child Custody and Visitation Disputes in Australia

If you have disagreements about child custody or visitation rights, you can try to reach an agreement between yourselves. If not possible, you can mediate the dispute with a law firm. Finally, you can bring the matter before a family court if mediation fails.

Can Grandparents Get Custody of Grandchildren in Australia?

In Australia, grandparents do not have automatic custody rights over their grandchildren under family law. However, in some circumstances, it may be possible for grandparents to seek custody of grandchildren. This is usually only possible if the parents cannot care for the children or if there are concerns about the safety of the children.

The Role of Mediation in Family Law Disputes in Australia

Mediation is a process whereby parties to a dispute meet with a neutral third party to try to reach an agreement. Mediation can be used to resolve disagreements about child custody, visitation rights and other family law issues. In most cases, mediation is voluntary, but in some cases, it may be ordered by a family court.

Financial Mistakes to Be Avoided in the Divorce Process

There are a few financial mistakes that should be avoided in the divorce process, such as:

1. Not Keeping Track of Joint Expenses

It is important to keep track of joint expenses during the divorce process to account for them in the final division of assets properly.

2. Not Getting a Valuation of Property and Assets

Property and assets should be valued by a professional before they are divided in the divorce. This will ensure that each spouse receives their fair share.

3. Not Considering Tax Implications

Divorce can have significant tax implications, so it is important to consider this when dividing assets and income.

4. Not Updating Your Will

If you have not updated your will, your ex-spouse may still be included as a beneficiary. This can be avoided by updating your will after the divorce is final.

5. Not Getting Legal Advice

Getting legal advice before making any decisions about your divorce is essential, especially if there are complex financial issues involved.

Important Points When Hiring a Family Lawyer

If you are looking to hire a family lawyer, here are a few important points to consider:


When choosing a family lawyer, it is important to consider their experience handling similar cases. This will ensure that they can effectively represent your interests.


Some family lawyers specialise in specific areas of law, such as child custody or divorce proceedings. It may be beneficial to choose a lawyer who specialises in the area of law that is most relevant to your case.


It is often helpful to choose a family lawyer near you. This will make it easier to meet with them and discuss your case.


The cost of hiring a family lawyer can vary depending on their experience and specialisation. Make sure to consider the cost of legal services before deciding.


When choosing a family lawyer, referrals from friends or family members who have used their services are often helpful. This will allow you to get an idea of their work ethic and level of professionalism.

How Madison Marcus Can Help You

Is this cheat sheet helpful? We hope so. 

If you have any questions or need more information, please do not hesitate to call us at +61 (2) 8022 1222 for a free 15-minute consultation. Our family law experts at Madison Marcus would be happy to answer any of your questions and help you figure out the best way to move forward with your case.


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