LAW 6507 - Family Law Practice

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of family law practice to enable you to practice at an entry level standard in a family law practice, such as but not limited to providing basic advice to a client and acting on various family law matters such as divorce, child support, property settlement issues, and spousal maintenance. The course is offered in partnership with South Australian practitioners and agencies.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 6507
    Course Family Law Practice
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Intensive
    Prerequisites LAW 6501
    Course Description The aim of this course is to provide an understanding of family law practice to enable you to practice at an entry level standard in a family law practice, such as but not limited to providing basic advice to a client and acting on various family law matters such as divorce, child support, property settlement issues, and spousal maintenance.

    The course is offered in partnership with South Australian practitioners and agencies.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Maree Cutler-Naroba

    In the first instance, students are to contact the GDLP Program Director, Maree Cutler-Naroba at

    The GDLP Program Director will then contact the appropriate Course Supervisor if further clarification of the student query is needed.

    Course Supervisor: Kerry  Antoniou
    Course Coordinator (UA Law School): Allan Perry
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    For Family Law there are 12 hours of lectures: the lectures are pre-recorded and available online.
    There are NO face to face lectures.

    For Family Law there are 9 hours of Seminars divided into the following blocks of time
    All Seminars are compulsory
    Students enrol in ONE seminar group ONLY

    Topic 1: Children's Matters 3 hours
    Topic 2: Property Settlement Issues 3 hours
    Topic 3: Family Dispute Resolution 3 hours

    In addition to the Lectures and Seminars there are 3 hours of online activities to be completed.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    By the end of this course you should be able to: 

    1.  Advise and take action in relation to parenting matters, property settlements, spouse maintenance and child support problems.

    2. Identify appropriate dispute-resolution processes, for such matters, in the light of client's circumstances and conerns.

    3.  Advise clients on pre-action procedures.  

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1, 2, 3
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1, 2, 3
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1, 2, 3
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1, 2, 3
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1, 2, 3
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1, 2, 3
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 1, 2, 3
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 1, 2, 3
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Seminar resources are available on MyUni ONLY. Please NOTE there will be no hard copy of seminar resources printed. Students must bring along an electronic device to seminars so that they can access seminar materials. Reading resources are also available on MyUni, along with supplementary non-assessed online quizzes and activities to enhance your learning.


    • Application for Divorce Kit – Family Law Courts 
    • Divorce Service Kit – Family Law Courts 
    • Etiquette in the Courtroom: How Not to Get the Judge Off-Side by Lindy Powell QC (CPD March 2010) 
    • Court Etiquette by Joe Bowler (CPD March 2010)
      Pathways Family Law Handbook and Service Directory – May 2012 
    • Further resources to be advised prior to course commencing


    • Financial Agreements – Making Them Binding and Making Them Stick: Martin Bartfeld QC (CPD May 2011) 
    • Family Trusts and the Next Generation; the Implications of Spry’s Case – John Goldberg (CPD November 2010)
      De facto Relationships in the Context of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cwth) in South Australia – A Field Guide: John G McGinn (CPD October 2010)


    • Family Law Courts Fact Sheet – Applying to the Court for Orders
    • Family Law Courts Fact Sheet – Pre-Action Procedure for Parenting Cases 
    • Family Law Courts Fact Sheet – Compulsory Family Dispute Resolution 
    • Drafting Orders in Family Court Proceedings by Adele Du Barry (CPD February 2007) 
    • What is Legal Aid? Assessing Eligibility for Legal Aid – Information from the Legal Services Commission website 
    • Federal Circuit Court – Brochures and Fact Sheets 
    • Changes to Family Law from 7 June 2012 
    • Application for Consent Orders Kit: Family Law Court of Australia 
    • Consent Orders in Parenting Matters Where Proceedings Have Already Been Filed in the Family Court: Family Court of Australia 
    • Finding a Better Way – A Bold Departure from the Traditional Common Law Approach to the Conduct of Legal Proceedings – Family Court of Australia 
    • Family Violence Act Frequently asked questions
    • Family Violence best practice principles
    Recommended Resources
    Note: all of the resources are provided to students ONLINE.
    Due to the emphasis on the currency of legal practice, other materials may be added after the course outline has been posted.
    Details of supplementary readings and resources will be posted online under the Content section of Family Law Practice.
    Online Learning
    All course materials are provided on My Uni. This includes readings, seminar materials, assessment information and instructions, and audio recordings of lectures. Students are expected to check MyUni frequently over the time of the course, to keep up to date with these materials and additional learning resources.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course will be taught through online lectures supported by face to face interactive problem-solving seminars and practical exercises developing primary material.

    Students must come prepared for seminars with prior reading of material and draft responses to the seminar questions. Students must arrive on time for the seminars. If students have not prepared seminar responses and/or have arrived more than 10 minutes late they will be asked to leave the seminar group and enrol in another seminar group.

    A reminder that students MUST bring along an electronic device to the seminars so that they can access the seminar material electronically.

    Attendance is necessary to ensure that students are part of an interactive and reflective learning environment (which enhances learning outcomes of the substantial material covered) and develop their skills of oral presentation, teamwork and persuasion (valuable communication skills in professional environments).

    Preparation for seminars is an essential element of this course. The necessary interactive learning environment in a seminar cannot be achieved without informed participation from all students. Further, by working in small groups within seminars to answer some questions, students develop skills of teamwork. Moreover, active participation in seminar discussions requires students to develop their skills of oral presentation, and their abilities to persuade others through the use of reasoned argument.

    Students who, due to disability, compelling medical or compassionate reasons, or in exceptional circumstances, are unable to attend the required number of seminars, may complete alternative work in lieu of attendance. The precise nature of this make-up work will depend on the seminar missed and will be negotiated with the GDLP Program Director. Students should inform the GDLP Program Director at the earliest opportunity if they will require this permission.

    For these reasons seminar attendance is compulsory and active participation is required.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    There will be 12 hours of online lectures and 9 hours of face to face seminars during the course plus an additonal 3 hours of online activities

    Family Law is a 2 week ELECTIVE intensive course.

    In addition to the lectures and seminars, we recommend that you spend 8 hours per week in private study which includes reading the material, preparing for lectures and seminars and undertaking the assessment tasks.
    Learning Activities Summary

    Topic 1: Dispute Resolution Processes

    Lectures 1a and 1b: 4 hours (2 hours each)

    Seminar 1: 3 hours

    Assessment: Family Law Scenarios - Dispute Resolution Processes 30%

    Topic 2: Childrens Mattters

    Lecture 2a and 2b: 4 hours (2 hours each)

    Seminar 2: 3 hours

    Assessment: True False Short Answer Test 10%

    Assessment: Childrens Matters Orders 25%

    Topic 3: Property Settlement Issues

    Lecture 3a and 3b: 4 hours (2 hours each)

    Seminar 3: 3 hours

    Additional 3 hours of online activities complementary to the lectures and seminars.

    Assessment: Short Answer Questions Property Settlement 10%

    Assessment: Property Settlement and Spousal Maintenance Letter of Advice 25%

    Specific Course Requirements

    The course is based on the rules of the Legal Practitioners Education and Admission Council (LPEAC) 2004 which specifies the expected competency standards for entry level lawyers at the point of admission. In order to pass this course you are required to demonstrate competence in these standards. Consequently, compulsory attendance and active participation in seminars is required. 


  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Topic 1: Dispute Resolution Processes


    Family Law Scenarios - Dispute Resolution Processes 30%

    Available: 19/8/14, 9am
    Deadline: 26/8/14, 5pm

    Topic 2: Childrens Mattters


    True False Short Answer Test 10%

    Available: 25/8/14, 9am
    Deadline:1/9/14, 5pm


    Childrens Matters Orders 25%

    Available: 26/8/14, 9am
    Deadline: 2/9/14, 5pm

    Topic 3: Property Settlement Issues


    Short Answer Questions Property Settlement 10%

    Available: 1/9/14, 9am 
    Deadline: 9/9/14, 5pm


    Property Settlement and Spousal Maintenance Letter of Advice 25%

    Available: 1/9/14, 9am
    Deadline: 10/9/14, 5pm

    All assessments are individual and are redeemable.

    All assessments cover off the learning objectives 1 to 3.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Attendance and satisfactory participation in seminars is compulsory.
    Assessment Detail

    Unless otherwise stated, there is no prescribed word limit for assessments.

    This is because the purpose of the GDLP is to transition you from academic study into professional employment. In a workplace it is highly unlikely you are going to be told a certain number of words or pages for the tasks you are asked to complete.

    However, in the majority of assessments guidelines will be provided.

    The quality of English expression is considered to be an integral part of the assessment process.

    Marks may be deducted from assessment because of poor expression, incorrect grammar, typographical errors etc.

    Presentation is to be single spaced and 2.5cm left margin.

    Assessments will be returned to students within 3 weeks of the due date, unless otherwise notified by the GDLP Program Director through a Course Announcement.

    The marked and scanned copy of assessments will be returned via email.


    Students must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.

    All failed assignments, per University policy, are double-marked before the result is released back to the student. The first and second markers then discuss what the final result will be.

    If a student still fails after the double marking process, they have to revise and resubmit the assignment to a pass standard. The maximum mark a student can receive is 50%.

    Late submission penalty
    Any assignment submitted after the due date without an approved extension will receive a penalty of 5% for every 24 hours of lateness.

    Approved extensions are through the GDLP Program Director.

    Extensions on medical or compassionate grounds will be in accordance with University Policy.

    Late assessments are to be submitted to

    If a student receives a mark between 50 to 55%, but subsequently fails due to late penalties then 50% is the maximum mark they will receive. BUT, in addition, the student will be asked to revise and resubmit a task from the assessment, at the discretion of the GDLP Program Director.

    If a student receives a mark of 56% or above, but subsequently fails due to late penalties, then 50% is the maximum mark they can receive. There is not an opportunity to resubmit this assignment.

    For example if a student gets 64% and has a late penalty of 20%, giving a result of 44%. This student would get 50% for the assessment and will not be able to resubmit this assignment.

    All the assessments for this course are redeemable. This means, if you fail the assessment due to the quality of the work (not because of late penalties) then you are able to revise and resubmit the assessment. You have 7 days from the time you are informed by email from the LSSA GDLP Office to resubmit your assessment.

    The parts of the assessment you are to resubmit are the parts that you received less than 50% on. You only have ONE opportunity to revise and resubmit your assessment. An alternative task will be set for the non-redeemable assessment.

    When your assessment is resubmitted it is marked according to the marking rubric. Your result, for example maybe 64% BUT the most you can receive for a revised and resubmitted assessment is 50%.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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