Family law is a branch of law specialising with issues concerning family relationships. It addresses issues surrounding divorce, property settlement, child adoption, child custody, premarital and post-marital agreements. The Australian family law is anchored on the Family Law Act 1975. Read this article to learn more about family law in Australia. 

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

Engaged or married couples are allowed to create contracts detailing how they would like to share property or raise their children in case of divorce or separation. Parties should not be coerced into signing these contracts. Additionally, they should receive independent legal advice before signing the agreement. Unlike other countries, Australia does not allow parties to include preposterous clauses such as punishments for extramarital affairs or the number of times the couple should have intercourse.


Australia adopts a no-fault divorce policy. As such, the family court does not assess what led to the divorce. Instead, couples are asked to prove that their marriage has irretrievably broken. Divorcing couples should be separated for at least one year. An affidavit is required if the parties have been living under the same roof.

Property Settlement

Divorcing couples can only divide property acquired within the course of the marriage. However, there instances when individual property and inheritance can be considered during property settlement negotiations. For example, if the other party played an active role in managing the property. Unemployed, financially disadvantaged and disabled parties qualify for spousal maintenance. However, payments cease once the party gets into another relationship. 

Child Custody

Under Australian law, parents are required to take an active role in raising their children. As such, they should agree on how to make contributions to the child's welfare. Parents should agree where the children will live. Besides, they should formulate a visitation plan. If one parent thinks that the other parent is a danger to the kids, the court will make a ruling based on the best interests of the child. Sole custody is not a guarantee since the court may allow the other party to have supervised visitations. 

Child Adoption

Australian residents (single or married) are allowed to adopt children from Australia or overseas. The state adoption department will conduct thorough background research to ensure the adopted child fits in your family. For instance, you must be willing to accept the child's religious and cultural background. Besides, you should allow continued contact with biological parents. Children above 12 years must consent to the adoption. You require a permit from your state government when adopting from overseas.

You now have a glimpse of the Australian family law. An experienced and licenced family law solicitor can help you with the various family law issues.