In Western Australia, all family law matters are heard and considered in the Family Court of Western Australia. The Family Court of WA has one location in the Perth metropolitan area:
150 Terrace Road
If you live outside the Perth metropolitan area in Western Australia, your family law matter will be heard in your local Magistrates Court. You can find a list of regional Courts here.
In Western Australia, the Court uses two main pieces of law. They are the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and the Family Court Act 1995 (WA).
If you are a party to a marriage, your matter will be governed by the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). If you are a party to a de facto relationship, or parents of a child but have never been married, your matter will be governed by the Family Court Act 1995 (Cth). Both pieces of legislation are largely identical, and the same principles apply regardless of the nature of your relationship.
The types of matters that the Family Court deals with include:
- Children’s matters (including urgent recovery applications);
- Property matters (including superannuation splits, spousal maintenance and matters including third parties);
- Complex child support matters and matters of adult child maintenance;
- Divorce and annulment;
- Contravention and Enforcement applications; and
- Finalising agreements by consent.
Before making or responding to an application in the Family Court, you may wish to get legal advice. You can do this by seeing a private lawyer, speaking with the duty lawyer at the Court, contacting a community legal centre or applying for Legal Aid.
The Family Court hosts information sessions throughout the Perth metropolitan area, as well as regional Australia.
It also has a general information powerpoint available for download, as well as video information about children caught in a family law conflict.
To access this information, visit the Court’s information page here.
Resolving a Dispute
The Family Court also has a host of information and step-by-step guides on how to resolve your family law dispute. It also provides procedural information on how to finalise an agreement or commence an application in the Court if you cannot agree.
You can obtain this further information by accessing the Family Court website Dispute Resolution section here.
The Family Court website has a “Frequently Asked Questions” section to answer common, general queries about the Court and Court facilities. To find out more, visit their “FAQ” page here.