LAWS5118 Family Law

6 points
(see Timetable)

If this unit does not have an online alternative, then students who are presently unable to enter Western Australia and whose studies would be delayed by an inability to complete this unit, should contact the unit coordinator (details given on this page) to ascertain, on an individual case-by-case basis, if alternate arrangements can be made to support their study in this unit.

Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face Predominantly face-to-face. On campus attendance required to complete this unit. May have accompanying resources online.
In this unit students learn the key aspects of family law: marriage and de facto relationships, separation and divorce, parentage, parenting orders relating to children, property orders and the alteration of property interests and financial support for spouses and children, before progressing to study selected topics in-depth including family violence, family law processes and ethical issues in the practice of family law. The unit develops students' ability to critically analyse family law cases and statutory principles. Students critically examine family law concepts and principles in the context of social, economic and psychological dimensions of family formation and relationship breakdown, including the impact of separation on children.
Students are able to (1) demonstrate understanding of key aspects of Australian family law, family dispute resolution and the family law system; (2) critically reflect on family law and ways that it applies to themselves and others; (3) research primary and secondary materials on complex family law issues; (4) critically evaluate factual, legal and policy issues in selected aspects of family law; and (5) communicate succinctly, orally and in writing, on family law topics applying primary and secondary materials.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) in-class presentation; (2) reflection journal; and (3) take home assessment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a Juris Doctor Student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Robyn Carroll
Unit rules
for Juris Doctor (JD) students: LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering and 30 points from: LAWS4102 Criminal Law, LAWS4103 Contract, LAWS4104 Property, LAWS4106 Torts, LAWS4107 Land Law, LAWS4108 Foundations of Public Law, LAWS5106 Legal Theory and Ethics or LAWS4109 Legal Theory and Ethics); for all other postgraduate students: approval must be given by the unit coordinator to take this unit
LAWS3376 Introduction to Family Law, LAWS3377 Advanced Family Law (or equivalents)
Contact hours
3 hours per week
Required texts

Young, L., Monahan, G., Sifris, A., and Carroll, R. Family Law in Australia, 9th edn: LexisNexis 2016

Additional suggested texts

Dickey, A. Family Law, 6th edn: Lawbook Co. 2014

Felberg, B., Kaspiew, R., Millbank, J., Kelly, F., and Behrens, J. Australian Family Law: The Contemporary Context, 2nd edn: OUP 2014

Parkinson, P. Australian Family Law in Context: Commentary and Materials, 6th edn: Lawbook Co. 2015

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.