LAW4177 - Introduction to family law - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Summer A: Dr Renata Alexander

Not offered in 2019


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later:

LAW1111; LAW1114; LAW2101; LAW2112;

LAW1112; LAW1113; LAW2102; LAW2111

For students who commenced their LLB course prior to 2015: LAW1100 OR LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104 AND LAW2101 and LAW2102 and LAW2201 and LAW2202


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later: LAW3111; LAW3112


LAW4162; LAW4163Not offered in 2019


This unit gives students an understanding of the fundamental principles and concepts in Family Law. Topics include:

  • the family - history and the concept of 'the family'
  • practising family law - professional and ethical challenges and courts jurisdiction;
  • marriage and divorce - obligations created by marriage
  • dividing property under the Family Law Act - principles relating to property division between married couples and those living in a de facto relationship
  • children's rights and parental responsibilities - the Family Law Act relating to parental responsibility and parenting orders
  • family support spousal maintenance and child support.


On completion of the unit students will be able to:

  1. comprehend and explain the essential concepts and policies underlying the Australian family law system including the broader context in which the system operates.
  2. critically evaluate the challenges and debates surrounding family law including the ethical debates and professional responsibilities facing family lawyers.
  3. identify, analyse and critically comment on disputes between parties to a marriage or parties in a de facto relationship involving issues of property, children and maintenance
  4. demonstrate reasoning skills and professional judgement which generate appropriate responses to complex statutory problems
  5. communicate effectively appropriately and persuasively on issues pertaining to family law.
  6. learn and work autonomously and collaboratively and use feedback to improve their own capabilities and performance.


NOTE: From 1 July 2019, the duration of all exams is changing to combine reading and writing time. The new exam duration for this unit is 1 hour and 10 minutes .

Examination (1 hour writing time plus 10 minutes reading and noting time): 50% plus participation in a placement program (25%) with a written research assignment (25%) (1250 words): 50%


Examination (1 hour writing time plus 10 minutes reading and noting time); 50% plus research assignment 2500 words 50%.

Please note that the FLAP placement option will not be available in summer semester A, 2018 for this Unit.

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcome for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information