How to run a family law case

How to run a family law case

Preparing your own family law case takes time and can be hard. It is important to be organised, prepared and well informed at all times. Doing your own research can help you understand the law and how it may affect your case.

Using these resources are not a substitute for legal advice. If you are involved or may be involved in a court case, get legal advice

How to run your family law case kit

Note The family law system is under review and we have delayed updating this resource until we know more about how court procedure will change. This kit provides practical guidance on how to complete court documents, and should be read with a current resource Parenting Orders – what you need to know available on the website of the Attorney-General’s department. 

How to run your family law case (docx, 235.11 KB) is a free do-it-yourself kit to helps you prepare a family law case and represent yourself in court.

It is for people involved in disputes under the Family Law Act 1975 (Commonwealth) about children and property.

It covers information about:

  • alternatives to going to court
  • family violence or child abuse
  • how to apply to a court
  • preparing for a court case involving children or property disputes
  • affidavits
  • disclosure and subpoenas
  • trials and final hearings
  • what happens once an order is made
  • where to get help.

The following fact sheets provide a summary of current information on topics covered in the kit:

This kit provides information only and is not a substitute for legal advice. If you are involved or may be involved in a court case, get legal advice.

Accessing court orders in family law matters

From 1 January 2018, the Commonwealth family law courts will no longer be sending out hard copies of orders to court parties involved in family law cases. The exceptions are orders made by consent and orders made in appeals. 

Orders made by the Family Court of Australia or the family jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court will be available from the Commonwealth Courts Portal. This is an online service available from the court website.

If you are not represented by a lawyer in family law litigation, you will need to register with the portal to access any orders made. An email address is required for this purpose. Information about how to register to use the portal, which includes a short video, is available from the Family Court website.

If you need more help to register or to use the portal, contact the National Enquiry Centre (NEC) on 1300 352 000. NEC support staff will be able to help you register over the phone, and tell you how to access computers and printers at the court if required. 

Get help

Call us for free information and advice about running a family law case and how we can help you.

Phone 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm.

If you need an interpreter let us know.

If we can’t help you we can refer you to other organisations that can.

Our other free legal services include:

For some matters we can provide you with a lawyer to help you run your case.

Family dispute resolution can help couples who have separated sort out disputes more quickly and easily than by going to court. We have a family dispute resolution service, Victoria Legal Aid Family Dispute Resolution Service.

Related topics

More information

You may be interested in our other family law publications and resources.

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