Family Court of Western Australia

Family Court of Western Australia – what to expect?

Generally, if at all possible, avoid the need to go to the Family Court. It is expensive, stressful, time consuming and quite daunting. If, however, you find yourself in a situation whereby you have no alternative, we provide the following guidance.

Pre-action procedures

Prior to any application being made in the Family Court in relation to child welfare matters the parties must attend family dispute resolution. This is to encourage parties to settle their matter out of court and as sensibly as possible. When dispute resolution is not considered an option by a family dispute resolution practitioner then a certificate is issued and must be filed along with the application to the Family Court.

The application will not be accepted without a certificate although there are some exceptions to this:

  • The matter is considered of an urgent nature by the Family Court and your solicitor.
  • There are allegations of child abuse.
  • There are allegations of family violence.
  • There are allegations of fraud.
  • If there are time limitations (i.e. if the parties are required to file within a certain time period such as no later than 12 months from divorce).
  • It is clear that the other party will not negotiate.
Family Court – frequently asked questions

Do I have to be in the same room as the other party at Court?
If there are allegations of violence and genuine fears, then your solicitor can notify the court which will put necessary measures in place to ensure your safety at all times. At times, you do need to go into conference rooms for negotiations between court attendances but these can always be arranged in separate rooms.

There are brochures available on the Family Court website in relation to the processes of the Family Court.

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