Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


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.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) demonstrate critical 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.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Robyn Carroll and Renae Barker
Unit rules
Enrolment in
20810 Doctor of Juridical Science
Enrolment in
LAWS5118 Family Law
Contact hours
3 hours per week
Required texts

A Sifris, L Young, R Carroll, A Parker, M Fernando, R  Alexander,  Family Law in Australia, 10th edition Lexis Nexis 2021

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.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.