|A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W
|A court order granting to a non-biological parent of a child legal and all other responsibilities for a child, creating a permanent legal parent-child relationship.
|Legal representative in court proceedings.
|A written statement of a witness’s evidence during family law court proceedings.
|A complete understanding between both sides. You can agree one issue or many. If you reach an agreement with the other side on all issues, you can ask the judge for a hearing to put your agreement on the record.
|A statement by one party about facts which the opposing party may or may not dispute.
|Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
|Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is the common name for the different ways of settling a disagreement outside the courtroom. ADR varies from a simple, informal, discussion among spouses to resolve their dispute, to mediation and collaborative law.
|The party who commences family law proceedings, normally by filing an Initiating Application and accompanying documents.
|Real property, other property and possessions, money.
|The legal profession is split between s barristers and solicitors. Solicitors and barristers are legal advocates although barristers are specialised legal advocated.
|Best Interest of the Child
|In deciding a dispute about a child, the paramount consideration for the court is the best interest of the child. See section 60CA of the Family Law Act. See also section 60CC.
|The general name for the matter filed in court. Also called an action or lawsuit.
|A judge’s private office.
|Child Support Assessment
|The Child Support Agency (Department of Human Services) may determine that a parent make regular, periodic payments of child support to the other parent. An Application for an assessment may be lodged through Centrelink Offices
|The financial obligation that both parents have to their children pursuant to the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989.
|Child Support Formula
|When an application is lodged for an Assessment of Child Support, Child Support Agency (Department of Human Services) will calculate the amount of child support payable in accordance with a formula pursuant to the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989. An estimate of what the assessment may be may be obtained online: http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer//cs1670
|Two people living together in an intimate relationship whether married or otherwise.
|An alternative way to settle disputes in which both parties and their respective lawyers enter into a contract to work together to seek a solution to outstanding matters between them. If the dispute cannot be resolved through the collaborative process, the lawyers engaged for the process may not continue to represent their respective parties
|A compulsory mediation conference which is normally ordered by a judge early in court proceedings aimed to resolve disputes in financial cases.
|Once parties negotiate a settlement of their dispute, they would normally be required to enter into an agreement in writing that reflects the settlement. The written document is sometimes referred to as “consent orders” or “terms of settlement”.
|No longer a legal term pursuant to the Family Law Act but normally recognised as the rights and responsibilities between parents for their children.
|A court’s judgment, order or decree that settles a dispute and decides an issue.
|Decree and Judgment
|The final decision of the court in a family law case. If your case includes an order for money to paid by one side to the other as part of the property division, be sure that your final decree is also says judgment so that you can use collection procedures to get the money if the person does not comply with the order.
|De facto relationship
|Section 4AA of the Family Law Act defines a de facto relationship as follows:
(1) A person is in a de facto relationship with another person if:
(a) the persons are not legally married to each other; and
(b) the persons are not related by family (see subsection (6)); and
(c) having regard to all the circumstances of their relationship, they have a relationship as a couple living together on a genuine domestic basis.
|Defined Benefit Superannuation Plan
|There are different types of superannuation entitlements. Defined Benefit Superannuation Plans (common with public servants) are calculated pursuant to a formula that considers the participant’s projected years of service and final wage compensation These are knows as defined benefits superannuation plans. The superannuation benefits of employees in the private sector normally are contributions based only, that is, the contributions made over the years by the employee and the employer. ..
|There is a requirement in family law matters pursuant to the relevant rules that each party must make full and frank financial disclosure of all relevant information pertaining to the dispute.
|The formal and informal exchange of information and documentation between sides in a case.
|To dismiss a case without any further consideration or hearing.
|The ending of a marriage by a court order. An application must be lodged with the Federal Circuit Court.
|DNA testing which is also called “genetic testing” shows whether
someone is the parent of a child. A DNA sample is collected using a swab, similar to a Q-Tip inside the cheek to pick up cells. Samples are collected from the mother, the child and the person who may be the father.
|Violence and/or abuse are frequently present in family law disputes. Normally, the female partner in a relationship is the victim. Each State and Territory in Australia has legislation for the protection of parties from domestic violence.
|Sometimes, adult persons may develop a close personal relationship (other than a marriage or a de facto relationship) whether or not related by family living together and one or each of whom provides the other with domestic support and personal care. In appropriate cases, a party in such a relationship may be entitled to a property adjustment pursuant to State or Territory legislation – e.g. Property (Relationships) Act (NSW) 1984 and the Domestic Relationships Act (ACT) 1994.
|The right to know that something has been filed in court involving you and the opportunity to tell your side of the story.
|To require somebody to do something that is stated in a court order. For example, if a domestic violence protective order states the respondent needs to stay away from the petitioner and the respondent comes to the petitioners house, the police may enforce that order to keep the respondent away.
|An estate refers to all of your property, including real estate, investments, bank accounts, business interests, life insurance, retirement accounts and personal property.
|Information provided to the court by the parties during the course of a case to assist in the decision making process. This can include affidavits, documents, videos and physical objects. There are special Rules of Evidence that control how and what information can be provided.
|Whenever the judge hears from one side only in the absence of the other party and without the knowledge of the other party. Normally, a court would not hear a case ex parte because it is considered unfair and to violate due process. Both parties must have the right to tell the court their side of the story. However, there are some emergency situations when the court might find it appropriate – e.g. the first appearance before the court in a domestic violence hearing.
|A paper, document, letter, text message, email, video or the like used to help prove a case. Sometimes these are attached to and referred in an affidavit but more often these are brought to the hearing.
|Witnesses in court proceedings are normally only permitted to testify about facts not opinion. An exception exists with witnesses with appropriate expert qualifications and experience in a specific field who may give opinion evidence – e.g. psychologists, engineers, and forensic accountants.
|Family Court of Australia
|The Family Court is a Federal Court which was established when the Family Law Act was passed in 1975. The Court commenced operation on 5 January 1976. Currently, the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court deal with all family law matters. The Federal Circuit Court in the last ten years has been hearing family law matters. The current situation is that Family Court judges hear the more complex family law matters while judges in the Federal Circuit Court hear the rest of the family law matters, in fact the bulk of the family law matters. Judges deal with the more complex family law matters.
|Family Law Act
|The Family Law Act (1975) is a federal piece of legislation that applies throughout Australia except Western Australia. It gives jurisdiction to the court in relation to property disputes and disputes about children between former spouses including former married, de facto and same sex spouses.
|The area of law which generally refers to divorce, dissolution, parenting and property disputes.
|Federal Circuit Court
|See Family Court of Australia above.
|Family Law Accredited Specialist
|The Law Society of NSW accredits some solicitors as specialist’s family lawyers if they successfully completed the accreditation scheme operated by the Society. To apply a solicitor must normally have no less than five years’ experience practicing largely as a family lawyer and must subsequently complete continuing education requirements annually as a specialist.
|The final decision in a case, which is generally issued by the court after the hearing. In certain circumstances a party may wish to appeal this order, in other circumstances, a party may wish to subsequently vary this order.