Complaints – Family Law

Girl blowing a dandelion flower and making a wish

If you wish to challenge the court’s decision about your property or parenting order you may lodge an appeal to ask the Full Court to set aside a decision made by a Family Court judge or Federal Circuit Court judge.

The Appeal Process:

  • A Notice of Appeal must be filed in the Regional Appeal Registry within 28 days of an order made by a Family Court judge or Federal Circuit Court judge. The appellant must pay a filing fee.
  • Within 28 days of filing the Notice of Appeal, the appellant must file a draft index to the appeal books. If the index is not filed within this time, the appeal is taken to be abandoned.
  • After the draft index is filed, the appeal is listed for a procedural hearing when orders will be made as to the preparation of the appeal for hearing and for the filing of any necessary documents (including any appeal books).
  • Appeals are listed for hearing before the Full Court (three judges of the Family Court). The Chief Justice may however, direct that an appeal from a Federal Circuit Court judge be heard by a single judge.
  • For more information about the appeals procedures in the Family Court see the publications:

Filing an appeal does not stop the order

  • Filing a Notice of Appeal does not automatically affect the orders made by the judicial officer (except where the order is a divorce order). This means that both you and the other party must obey the orders, even if you have filed an appeal.
  • If you want to stop the operation of the orders until your appeal is decided, you must file an Application in a Case to stay the orders and an affidavit. That application can only be filed after the Notice of Appeal has been filed.