3 Types of Cases and Hearings in Australian Family Courts

family court process in Australia

Australia has a distinct setup for hearing and solving family law matters like divorce, parenting disputes, or property division.

In most cases, citizens should try to resolve the matter before reaching any Australian family court. However, such a scenario isn’t always realistically possible. 

If you live in any Australian state, general awareness of the family court process in Australia can prove helpful. At the same time, you should know basic details about the cases and hearing types that take place in such courts. 

This article simplifies and elaborates on the Aussie family law hearings and court case types.

Australia Family Law Jurisdiction

Here are the main applications that fall under the category of Family Law:

  • Divorce
  • Proof of divorce
  • Financial disputes
  • Parenting orders
  • Recovery orders
  • Apprehension warrant of children
  • Other appeals

As you can notice, all these applications are concerned with domestic issues. Hence, the main people that appear before the Australian family court are spouses, parents, and children.

Main Types of Cases in Family Courts

In simple words, family courts handle various cases and differ from their general civil or criminal counterparts. This section explains the main types in brief.

Divorce Cases

Australia stands in the top 10 countries with the highest divorce rate. Hence, these cases are high in number at family courts.

If a couple wants marriage dissolution, they can apply for such an arrangement under family law. Notably, the court can also grant separation. The family court can issue alimony, property, and child custody orders in such cases.


These cases help determine the following aspects of a child or adult who cannot take care of themselves:

  • Personal care
  • Medical assistance
  • Financial decisions

Notably, the Aussie family courts can determine guardianship through legal proceedings.

Child Custody

The family court process in Australia also includes applications for paternity and legal custody of children. 

Even unmarried parents can apply for child support and legal and physical custody of their kids. For this purpose, proper guidance from professional law agencies is crucial.

Hearing Types Under Aussie Family Law

There is a set procedure for attending hearings at an Australian family court. Here’s a brief explanation of each type:

  • First event: Procedural hearing to facilitate the preparation of matter for subsequent stages of the court process
  • Directions hearing: Different types of procedural hearing to prepare orders about a case
  • Interim hearing: The Judge or Senior Judicial Registrar analyse material from both parties to make a decision on a particular issue.
  • Dispute resolution: This stage includes conciliation or dispute resolution conference
  • Judicial settlement: Finally, the Judge acts as a mediator in a confidential setting. This stage becomes active in case of failure in dispute resolution.
  • Compliance hearing: This hearing ensures that both parties comply with the family court orders
  • Trial management hearing: Stage as per the Judge’s decision before proceeding to the final stage
  • Final hearing: The last stage in which a Judge makes the final decision

Overall, the entire process of resolving family disputes and problems undergoes several vital stages.

Legal guidance is crucial to apply for any dispute resolution under Australian family law. Notably, a different court system for such domestic issues proves helpful in accelerating the entire application process.

Ensure that you discuss all the possible options with a professional lawyer before deciding on family issues.