Family law regulates domestic relationships and family matters. There is a special Court system in Australia to deal with family issues, the Family Court of Australia. Domestic relationships include marriage, civil unions, and de facto partnerships. Family matters concern the raising of children, including custody, adoption, surrogacy and IVF. Usually, people come in contact with family law during situations of family breakdown, family violence, separation or divorce. In these cases, a person may need legal advice on how to divide property between partners, or how to arrange child custody, child maintenance or spousal maintenance. When agreement cannot be reached, independent mediation may be required. Sometimes this may be informal and organised by the people in the relationship. Other times the Court may need to be involved to finally settle the disputed issues. Litigation in the Family Court is always the last resort, however it is sometimes necessary.
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