Family Law in Society

Unit code: BLB3136 | Study level: Undergraduate
(Generally, 1 credit = 10 hours of classes and independent study.)
City Campus
Online Real Time
BLB1101 - Australian Legal System in Context; and
BLB1114 - Legal Research Methods
(Or equivalent to be determined by unit coordinator)


The aims of this subject are to:

  • Introduce students to the principles and practice of Family Law in Australia.
  • Enable students to develop an understanding of the principles underlying development of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and the amendments to it and other relevant legislation.
  • Provide students with a comprehensive knowledge of the rationale for and the current law with respect to marriage, divorce, de facto, children and the financial aspects of relationship breakdown.
  • Provide students with an appreciation of past, present and likely future directions of family law.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Analyse the major issues in family law in contemporary Australian society;
  2. Articulate the current law relating to children and the financial aspects of relationship breakdown and apply it to practical circumstances making professional judgements and decisions;
  3. Analyse the principles of alternative dispute resolution in family law and evaluate its role in, and application to, complex family law disputes;
  4. Articulate and evaluate the rationale for the development of family law as it currently stands in Australia and likely future directions; and
  5. Contextualise the procedures adopted by the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court in dealing with wide ranging family law matters in contemporary society.


For Melbourne campuses

Assessment type: Assignment
Grade: 40%
Court Report
Assessment type: Test
Grade: 10%
Online Quiz
Assessment type: Examination
Grade: 50%
Written examination (3 hours)

Required reading

Further required reading will be posted on VU Collaborate and students will need to look up cases as part of the prescribed reading.

Australian Family Law in Context
Parkinson, P 2019| Thomson Reuters

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following course(s):

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