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  • 11 Family Law
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Family Law


It is advisable to promptly seek legal advice when your family structure changes due a relationship breakdown.

This section covers the concept of ‘relationships’ through the lens of family law (de facto, marriage and same sex), property settlement and financial maintenance, separation and divorce as well as court process and procedure. The section also explains the responsibility of parents in the event of separation, specifically considering factors relevant to the court making a decision concerning the custody of a child. The section finishes with a discussion of child maintenance and adoption laws and procedure in Tasmania.



This chapter explains the types of familial relationships recognised by the law as well as the impact of the law’s recognition of a relationship on property, wills and estates and family planning.

Property and Maintenance

This chapter describes how the law determines property and maintenance matters between parties. Specific areas covered include: where parties have made an agreement, the type of property that is eligible for division (e.g. a family home and superannuation), the role of property orders, consent orders and spousal maintenance in property settlement and factors the court considers in making an order on the division of property between parties.

Parental Responsibility – Who the Child Lives With and Communicates With

The law prescribes that parents generally have an equal shared responsibility when making orders about the care of their child/children after separation. This chapter considers how parents make the decision about who to live with and communicate with as well as issues specific to the child or parents as well as factors the court may consider (if court is involved).

Separation and Divorce

What happens when a marriage or relationship breaks down? This chapter explains the process and procedure of separation and divorce as well as specific issues that may arise impacting the proceedings (time limits, marriages of short duration and consideration of children). Details are also provided on how to apply for a court order, when to apply for a divorce, serving divorce papers, opposing divorce, seeking legal representation and court process.

Child Maintenance

This chapter explains the structure of the Child Support Agency, how a parent can apply for child support, how to conduct private arrangements and enforcing or ending child maintenance orders.


This chapter provides information on adoption laws in Tasmania as well as explaining who can adopt a child, where a child can be adopted from, the adoption process and the court’s approach to adoption proceedings.

Page last updated 14/02/2020

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