LAW202 Family Law (8)

This subject introduces students to family law in a multicultural Australia. Students explore family law issues such as de facto relationships, divorce, property settlement, custody and access, together with the protection of children under the Family Law Act 1975. Issues of parental rights, same-sex relationships and Indigenous perspectives on family law are also canvassed. In addition, societal problems of child abuse and domestic violence are examined, including the growing awareness of children's rights.

Subject Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


Session 2 (60)
Bathurst Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: LAW202. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


Centre for Law and Justice

Assumed Knowledge

All Level 1XX core LAW subjects.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the historical context of family law, including the links between sociological, historical, philosophical and political perspectives on the developments in areas of family law
  • be able to discuss critically the development and role of family law in multicultural Australia
  • be able to identify restraints imposed on the powers of the Family Court of Australia by the Australian Constitution
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the Marriage Act 1961, especially in relation to irretrievable breakdown of marriage, relationship breakdown, separation, divorce, property, financial arrangements, and spouse and defacto maintenance
  • be able to articulate and apply the current law relating to parental responsibility, children, access, and custody, including making professional judgement decisions, and identifying any pre-action procedures
  • be able to critically evaluate legal mechanisms relating to the resolution of family disputes
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of family law within the context of gender, and the links between gender, family violence and the economic consequences of relationship breakdown, including gender inequalities associated with property settlements and financial arrangements.
  • be able to articulate and evaluate critically the role of law reform in the areas of child abuse and domestic violence; domestic and international laws targeting the crime of parental child abduction; and international developments in respect to the protection of children, including demonstrating an understanding of the best interests of the child principle
  • be able to reflect on Indigenous people's perspectives on family law, including addressing critical issues pertaining to Indigenous people's access to justice in the Family Court of Australia


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • What is family? The historical, philosophical, sociological and political context and perspectives
  • Contemporary multicultural Australia - family structure, changing family behaviour and current developments in family law
  • The constitutional context: constitutional restraints and jurisdictional factors relevant to the litigation of family law disputes
  • Marriage and de facto relationships
  • Principal relief (separation, nullity and divorce)
  • The resolution of family law disputes (alternative dispute resolution)
  • Economic aspects of relationship breakdown, including property settlement and gender inequality
  • Spouse maintenance
  • Children in family law: parental responsibility and parenting orders
  • Child support
  • Indigenous concerns, perspectives and family law
  • Violence and family law, including injunctions and family violence orders
  • Parental child abduction: domestic and international legal responses
  • Contemporary issues in family law and future challenges in the realm of family law practice


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.