What is Family Law?

Family law practice involves advising clients about ways to resolve issues that arise from the breakdown of their relationship and about various dispute resolution processes and the courts.

This subject deals with law and practice in parenting, financial, child support and spouse maintenance matters.

Unit Purpose

In this subject, you will focus on the practical aspects of conducting a family law file, not just on the law.

You will complete two tasks in this subject based on a fact situation that an entry level lawyer is likely to face in practice. Each task has associated activities.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this subject, you will be able to demonstrate the competence required of an entry level lawyer in these elements of civil litigation practice:

  • assessing the merits of a case and identifying dispute resolution alternatives
  • advising on costs of litigation
  • initiating and responding to claims
  • taking and responding to interlocutory and default proceedings
  • gathering and presenting evidence
  • negotiating settlements, and
  • taking action to enforce orders and settlement agreements.

You will cover the law, court rules and practice that apply in civil litigation, which will enable you to advise clients on appropriate strategies to resolve disputes, and to conduct litigation for clients in a timely and cost-effective manner

Tasks and activities

You will complete practical tasks such as initiating and responding to claims, appearing in interlocutory applications and settling and enforcing judgments.

To assist your learning, you have online resources such as readings and interactive case studies. You also have a hard copy of the College’s Practice Papers, which are also available online and in eBook format.

The course calendar sets out the milestones for you to meet and guides you through the subject. However, other than meeting dates for submission of work and assessments, you can progress through the learning resources and tasks at your own pace and where it suits you.

Your lecturer is your mentor and will give you individual guidance. Your lecturer will also give you feedback, and coach you to achieve the required level of competence.


To be eligible for assessment you must complete each task to a competent standard as determined by your lecturer.

The final assessment in the subject will be an oral assessment that will include:

  • submissions in the hearing of interim orders sought in a matter
  • reflection on your learning in the subject
  • review of the tasks you have submitted, and
  • questions arising from the learning materials.

Your performance in the oral assessment will be graded.