LAW202 Family Law (8)

This subject introduces students to family law in a multicultural Australia. Students explore family law issues such as marriages, de facto relationships, divorce, property settlement and children under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). Issues of same-sex relationships and Indigenous perspectives on family law are also canvassed. In addition, underlying social issues such as child abuse and domestic violence are examined, including the recognition of children's rights. A number of these issues within the family law setting are canvassed within the context of gender and gender inequalities.


Session 1 (30)
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 1 LAW core 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 critically discuss the development and role of family law in multicultural Australia;
  • be able to identify restraints imposed on the powers of the family law courts by the Australian Constitution;
  • be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and the Marriage Act 1961 (Cth), especially in relation to irretrievable breakdown of marriage, relationship breakdown, separation, divorce, property, and financial settlement arrangements;
  • 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 critically evaluate 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; and
  • 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 law courts.


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

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of LAW202 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Assessment 1 - online quiz
Research essay
Letter of advice

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.