A do it yourself kit to help you prepare a family law case and represent yourself in Court.
This kit is for people involved in disputes under the Family Law Act 1975(‘the Act’) about childrenand property.The information about children applies to everyone.
The information about property applies only to people who are or were married. People who are or were in domestic partnerships (de facto or same-sex couples) cannot use the Act to sort out property disputes. The law is changing inthis area. For these cases get legal advice.References are made to the Family Law Act 1975and to the Federal Magistrates Act 1999andthe Rules made under these Acts.
Many people are unable to afford a lawyer to help them to resolve family disputes.
They can be at a disadvantage because the law is complicated and court
processes are sometimes difficult to understand.
This booklet is designed to help those people who do not have a lawyer to
present their cases in the Family Court of Western Australia. It is not a substitute
for competent legal advice, but it is hoped the information provided will make it
easier for you to navigate through the court system.
Judges and Magistrates must always remain impartial and not appear to help one
side of a dispute to the disadvantage of the other. Whilst the Judge or Magistrate
can provide some (very limited) assistance, it is expected that each party who does
not have a lawyer will have tried their best to become familiar with this booklet
before coming to Court.
The Court has received much positive feedback about earlier editions of the
booklet. We would appreciate hearing from you about any way you feel that future
editions might be improved.
All writers begin with a putative reader in mind: for these observations, mine is a young, bright but inexperienced lawyer keen to get into court and to build his or her advocacy skills. This reader knows already how daunting it can be to rise to one’s feet in court and start a case but is still open to ideas. She or he has yet developed no patina or carapace of bad habits. So, while some older lawyers could, with advantage, learn something from these remarks, I am placing my trust in the eagerness of youth.