The Family Court of Australia http://www.familycourt.gov.au/ was established under the Commonwealth Family Law Act 1975 http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/fla1975114/ to specifically deal with marriage, divorce, matrimonial causes, parental responsibility for children and financial matters arising out of the breakdown of de facto relationships and certain other matters.
The court commenced on 5 January 1976. It is constituted by a Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, Judges of Appeal Division, Family Court of Western Australia and Judicial Committees.
Since 5 July 2004, the Chief Justice has been Diana Bryant AO.
The Chief judge makes rules delegating the judicial powers to Registrars and non-judicial officers.
The court provides both judicial and administrative procedures for the determination of disputes.
The court has registries in all states apart from Western Australia, which has it’s own Family Court. All of the registries support the family law jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court.
At first instance, the court hears matters before single judges. The court also has an appeal division (Full Court) which hears appeals from first instance decisions of the Family Court and the family jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit Court.
In the Sydney metropolitan area, the Family Court has registries at: