I need to file in Court…but which Court?
It can become confusing when talking about starting proceedings in a family law matter. Whilst we are settlement focused and our goal is always to avoid Court, in some matters, the initiation of Court proceedings is a reality.
The area of family law covers a broad range of issues, which are encompassed under the Commonwealth legislation of the Family Law Act 1975. Closely connected to many family law matters is the issue of domestic violence, such issues being encompassed under the Queensland legislation of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012.
There are two Courts which deal with family law matters under the Family Law Act, the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia.
The Federal Circuit Court of Australia is where the majority of family law matters are dealt with, including Applications for Divorce. The Family Court of Australia deals with family law matters which involve allegations of significant child abuse, international relocation matters and also complex property settlement matters. This Court is also the appropriate Court to approve the terms of an agreement reached between parties, with regard to parenting and/or property settlement matters and issue Consent Orders.
In so far as domestic violence matters are concerned, such matters are dealt with by the Magistrates Court of Queensland. As such, in some matters there are proceedings on foot in both the Commonwealth Courts (ie – Federal Circuit Court or Family Court of Australia) and the State Court (ie – Magistrates Court of Queensland).
Should you have any questions regarding whether Court is necessary for your matter and the appropriate Court in which to initiate proceedings, please call one of our Gold Coast or Logan Family Lawyers for free family law advice.