Starting An Application

If mediation fails and you can’t reach a settlement with your former partner outside of court, you will have to start an application in court for the orders you want.

In Australia, there are two courts that hear matters in relation to Family Law.

Family Court of Australia

This is a very specialised court and only deals with the following types of matters:

  • it is an application for annulment of marriage, for a declaration of validity of marriage or a divorce, for a special medical procedure or pursuant to the Hague Convention; or
  • the issues in the case are of a complex nature requiring the determination of the Family Court of Australia

Federal Circuit Court of Australia

To start your proceedings in court, you will need to complete the following:

Initiating Application – a document where you complete your personal information and write the orders that you want the court to make.

Affidavit – A statement written by you that outlines the facts of the matter and provides detail as to why you are seeking the orders in the Initating Application.

Notice of Risk – This needs to be filed only if you are seeking parenting orders. It is to put the court on notice that there may be a risk to the children involved in the court proceedings.

Financial Statement – If you are going to court for a financial matter, you will need to file this document. You will need to fill in information about your current financial situation.


You must make sure you make a genuine effort to resolve your child custody dispute through counselling or mediation.

All child custody decisions are focused on ensuring the best interests of the child are made.

Generally speaking, it’s often in the child’s best interests to have a  loving relationship with both parents, but arranging such relationships can be the main challenge in resolving a child custody dispute.

We encourage parents to go to mediation, however, there are circumstances when a court will take the view that mediation is not required before starting proceedings; this is in a minority of cases and will usually only where there is a history of physical, sexual or psychological abuse or if there is an urgent need for court orders.

The decisions you make now in relation to your child custody arrangement will affect your child’s development and potentially your future relationship with them.

Each decision should be made carefully with the help of professionals who know and understand the consequences of every action.

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How To Get A Divorce?
How to get a divorce in Australia if married overseas?
Divorce Counselling
Should I Change My Will After Divorce?
Child Custody
What are the best interests of the child?
What is equal shared parental responsibility in Australia?
Sole Parental Responsibility
Changing A Child Custody Agreement
Child Relocation After Divorce
How To Prevent My Children Travelling Overseas?
What is Supervised Contact?
Child Passport After Divorce
Grandparents Rights
Property Settlement
Divorce Property Settlement – How Much Will I Get?
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Coming To An Agreement Outside Of Court
Do I Pay Stamp Duty To Transfer My Property After A Divorce?
Financial Agreements
What is a Prenup?
What Are The Pros and Cons of Financial Agreements?
How Can I Get A Prenup Set Aside?
Consent Orders
Why do I need Family Court Consent Orders?
Application for Consent Orders
Contravention of Court Orders
Child Support
What is Child Support?
Apply for Child Support
Child Support Calculation
Changing Child Support
Family Mediation
5 Tips to Help Prepare for Family Mediation
What is a s60i Certificate?
Going to Court
Starting An Application
Filing A Response
Can You Be Separated And Live In The Same House?
Domestic Violence
ADVO – Apprehended Domestic Violence Order
Remove My ADVO
What Is Child Abuse?
Father's Rights After Separation
Formalise Your Agreement
Tip's For Fathers
Mothers' Rights After Separation
De Facto Relationships
Definition of De Facto Relationship

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