The Family Court of Western Australia is the only Family Law Court to not reside under the same organisation as the rest of the country. Family courts in NSW, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC, NT, and the ACT are all under the same two groups – The Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.
Whereas the Family Court over here in WA sits all on its own. This guide will attempt to explain some of the most common questions we receive from users regarding the Family Court.
Some of the topics covered are;
- Cases the Family Court hears
- Which legislation and acts related to Family Law
- Family Court rules and procedures to follow
- Common Family Court fees and forms
- How to find a good family lawyer
- Location of the Family Court in WA
Cases the Family Court hears
Given away by its name, the Family Court hears all disputes relating to inter-family matters which cannot be solved outside of court.
Some of these may include:
- Divorces (one of the most common cases)
- Marital property settlements
- Issues relating to child custody
- Domestic violence
- Other various court orders
The Family Court should be the last resort for family issues. Please see here for a list of organisations to assist you in helping resolve your issue before filing case documents.
Family Law Court Acts and Legislation
There are a number of acts which have been passed relating to family law. The main one is the Family Law Act 1975 which also established the Perth Family Court.
Proceedings in the court itself are governed by the Family Court Act of 1997 (Western Australia).
Issues relating to surrogacy are can be found in the Surrogacy Act 2008.
Feel free to browse specifics sections of the act you are interested in to gain further information about specific family law rules and regulations.
Family Court Rules and Procedures
As many people realise the costs of going through family court can quickly add up, a few chose to represent themselves in hopes to keep the costs to a minimum.
Compared with other legislation in Australia, family law is pretty straight forward thankfully. Which is why the state have prepared two (2) extensive guidebooks covering children’s cases and property cases.
The children’s guidebook contains information such as:
- What to wear to court
- What to take with you
- How you should behave in the court
- How to prepare for the trial
- What happens during the trial
- When the judgment is given, and
- Much more
You can read all the information in the guide here.
The property handbook contains similar information, but specifically tailored to situations involving property. Feel free to browse through the guide, here, at your own leisure
WA Family Court Forms and Fees
All of the following fees ar effective from 1 July 2016.
- Application for divorce – $865
- Reduced fee – $290
- Application for nullity – $1,225
- Reduced fee – $410
- Daily hearing fee
- Case before a judge – $825/day
- Case before a Magistrate – $605/day
- Notice of appeal fee – $825
- Filing of a subpoena – $55
You may be eligible for each of the reduced fees above if you hold certain government concession card, or you are in financiall hardship.
For a full list of the fees, see here.
There are a huge number of different forms available for different circumstances. As we previously mentioned, many people opt to represent themselves, so the court has again decided to provide user-friendly kits to help a person get started.
Each of the kits below contains a range of information including relevant laws, questions to ask yourself before proceeding, and anything else to take into consideration.
- Consent Orders Kit – PDF
- Parenting Orders Kit – PDF
- Property Orders Kit – PDF
- Service of Documents Kit – PDF
- Subpoena Kit – PDF
You are also able to apply for a divorce online through the Commonwealth Courts Portal.
Feel free to check out a full list of all the forms available here.
Finding a good Family Lawyer in Perth
There are a number of resources you can use to help you find the best family lawyer in Perth.
You can ask your friends, you can use yellow pages, or you can simply just call random law firms. But none of them are the most effective.
We recommend a few more clicks of your mouse and head to our list of the top Family Lawyers in Perth.
Location of the WA Family Court
Family Court of Western Australia
Address: Level 1, 150 Terrace Road, Perth 6000