Federal Circuit Court

The Federal Circuit Court is a lower court than the Family Court of Australia, and sits more frequently and the majority of matters are filed in the Federal Circuit Court. Court procedures in the Federal Circuit Court are less formal and the process is generally much quicker. The Federal Circuit Court is a lower court designed to relieve the Family Court from a high volume of cases. The Federal Circuit Court hears other matters such as family law, administrative law, privacy law, migration law, trade practices law, trade mark and design law, and workplace relations.

Family Court

The Family Court of Australia sits less often, and is reserved for more complex family law matters. The Family Court has jurisdiction to hear all family law matters except for divorce. The family Court deals with matters including adoption, international relocation, serious allegations of child sexual abuse, medical procedures such as sterilisation and gender reassignment, the validity of marriage and complex questions of law and jurisdiction.

Most family law matters that are filed in Court are heard in the Federal Circuit Court.