Course Outline

LAW419 Family Law

Course Coordinator:Simone Pearce ( School:School of Law and Society

2023Semester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Family Law concerns the law of family relationships and the institutions that are responsible for assisting people when those relationships fail. You will consider those family relationships that are recognised by law as well the processes that are available to end them formally. You will examine the law governing care of, and financial support for children when relationships break down, as well as the law concerning spousal maintenance and division of property in these circumstances. There will be considerable emphasis upon the growing use of non-adversarial techniques in family law practice

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Asynchronous learning materials made available online 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Weekly on campus tutorials 2hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

Family Law an introduction history and overview, Judicial Framework and Constitutional basis; Social issues and context; The ongoing Australian Law Reform Commission review of the Family Law system.
Marriage, Nullity, defacto relationships and Divorce
Children and Parenting issues
Dispute resolution in Family Law Contexts;
 Recording the resolution - Consent Orders; Parenting Plans and Binding Financial agreements. 
Child Support and Spousal Maintenance;
Introduction to Property disputes and the alteration of property interests by a Court; 
The Factors involved in a property division/adjustment and Order -how to apply the sections of the Family Law Act; Superannuation; Third Party interests. 

What level is this course?

400 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 The ability to explain, describe, analyse and apply key concepts in Family Law Knowledgeable
2 Demonstrate an understanding of the role of lawyers in Family Dispute Resolution processes and in court proceedings. Ethical
3 Demonstrate the ability to process a client's instructions, filter the relevant material, and give basic advice that is relevant and practical and comprehensive. Knowledgeable
4 Enhanced capacity to locate primary and secondary legal sources and to use those sources to engage in persuasive writing. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
5 Demonstrate the ability for oral persuasion. Empowered

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


LAW102 and enrolled in any Law Program


Not applicable



Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

The Course includes assessment in week 3 and 4, and ongoing in class review of workshop materials to consider academic progress.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Oral Individual 20%
10 minutes
Refer to Format In Class
All 2 Written Piece Individual 40%
1000 words
Week 13 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Written Piece Individual 40%
2000 words
Week 13 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Debate appearance
To apply legal research and oral skills to demonstrate your understanding of a key topic in family law and your ability to critique the relationship between the law and wider social issues.
Product: Oral
Submit: Week 3- 4. 

An oral presentation of argument in relation to a current family law socially relevant topic provided in class.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Depth of research
Capacity for critical thinking
1 3
Your ability to present your argument persuasively and effectively
3 5
Oral presentation and persuasive argument skills
Your understanding of the social context of Family law issues
1 2 3
All - Assessment Task 2:Court Documents
To demonstrate your understanding of key concepts in Family Law and your ability to apply the law in context.
Product: Written Piece
Court Docuument
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Your understanding of Family Law concepts and principles
1 2
Your ability to apply your understanding of family law concepts, legislative provisions and judicial authority, to provide appropriate and comprehensive legal advice to a fictitious client
Your ability to explain to a legal audience the legal basis and reasoning, by reference to
case law and legislation
Clarity of writing
1 4
Accuracy of referencing, grammar and spelling
All - Assessment Task 3:Annotated Negotiated agreement
To demonstrate your ability to problem-solve and make a persuasive argument in a family property settlement.
Product: Written Piece
You will prepare a written agreement in an accepted format, annotated with reference to the law applicable to the terms.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Your understanding of the relevant law
1 3 4
Your ability to present your argument persuasively
Your ability to translate the outcomes of the negotiation to a practical context displaying an understanding of the law

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Eithne Mills, Marlene Ebejer 0 Family Law 8th Edition n/a

Specific requirements


How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

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Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

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