Frequently Asked Questions About Documents & Proceedings
Can I view my Family Court file?
- Only parties to the proceedings or their solicitors can view the file.
- All persons wishing to view a file will need to supply identification.
- A person wishing to view a file needs to make an appointment with the Records section, supplying an estimate of the time needed to view.
- If they are a solicitor for a party, they must be on the record or file a Form 8 Notice of Address for Service.
Who can witness Family Court forms?
Forms cannot be witnessed by a Commissioner for Declarations
- Outside Australia:
- Australian diplomatic or consular agent
- Commonwealth diplomatic or consular agent
- Judge, magistrate or justice of the peace
- Notary public
- Or person otherwise with authority to administer oaths at that place.
When and how many copies should I make of my Family Court documents?
- You should make copies of your Family Court documents after you have had them witnessed by a Justice of the Peace or other qualified person. (see above)
- Ensure you make enough copies of the original documents to enable all parties (including the Independent Children's Lawyer, if applicable) to receive true copies of the originals.
Can I file documents by email?
- NO. The Court does not accept documents for filing by email.
- The rules prescribe original documents must be filed at the Court either over the counter or by mail. Where a person it more than 20 kms away from the Registry you may fax a copy of the documents to the Court, however the originals must still be lodged to confirm the facsimile.
How can I obtain a copy of a transcript of a court hearing?
- Write a letter to the Caseflow Officer (Audio Visual).
- Date of hearing/s and specific times are required where only part of transcript is ordered. Contact telephone/fax is also recommended in case further information is sought.
- Charges are calculated per 15 minutes or part thereof.
- Payment is required in advance prior to the transcript being ordered.
- Normal orders are charged at the rate of $45.36 per 15 minutes and take seven working days for preparation and delivery.
- Priority transcript is charged at the rate of $47.38 per 15 minutes and can be provided in four working days.
- Charges cannot be waived as the transcripts are prepared by an outside contractor.
- Emailing an electronic copy of the transcript is the preferred method of delivery when transcripts are produced.
- The court holds the audio recordings of hearings for five years only.
- The court does not provide an audio disc of the hearing.
- In accordance with guideline 38.2 of the Case Management Guidelines, upon supply of a transcript a copy will be kept on the court file and a copy will be sent to each other party to the proceedings.
- Transcripts cannot be released to solicitors or self represented litigants until payment is made.
- For more detailed information click here
What fees does the court charge?
- The Family Court of WA has a list of fees that are charged for applications and some other parts of the court process.
- You may be eligible to apply to the court to have the fees reduced on the basis of financial hardship or if you hold a current health concession card. Applications to have fees reduced can be obtained from the "Non-Prescribed Forms" page under "Kits - Forms - Brochures".
What is the stamp duty on property transfers?
- Where the parties have a sealed Family Court order specifying a property transfer from the names of both parties to one party the State Revenue Department will assess the stamp duty at nominal rates on both the transfer and the court order. Currently the rate is $20 each document.
How do we change the house from joint names to one name?
- Where the parties are in agreement about property settlement a Form 11 application for consent orders can be filed. You need to attach signed Consent Orders. A lawyer can assist you to draft these orders and there are examples on the website.
- Once you have a Court Order you can then apply to transfer the land from joint names and any stamp duty payable on the transfer is assessed at a nominal rate rather than at market value.
- Transfers of Land are lodged with the Department of Land Administration and stamp duty is assessed by the Department of State Revenue.
How do I obtain a Family Court unreported judgment from the Internet?
Selected Judgments of the Family Court of Western Australia
You may view selected judgments which are arranged in subject categories. They are located under "Judgments" in the left menu. Family Law judgments from the Family Court of Australia can be found at http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/FCOA/home/judgments/
- Selected judgments as legal precedents are published here in full text.
- Judgments from the Family Court of Australia site are available from 1998 to present.
- They may be searched by party name or via the index by citation or subject. Note some judgments are anonymised ie party names and places have been removed.
- If a judgment is not on the web, it may be possible to obtain a copy by making a reasoned request in writing to the appropriate Family Court registry. It will require the permission of the particular judge to make a copy of the unreported judgment available. There will be a charge for photocopying of the judgment.
- Users of the databases should note the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s121 places restriction on the publication and dissemination of material from these databases, and is an offence against s121 and as such is an indictable offence.
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