Family Court of Western Australia

News & Media Releases

Changes to the Family Law Act and the Family Court Act


From 6 May 2024, recent amendments to the federal Family Law Act (which applies to cases concerning children whose parents were, or are, married to each other) will commence.

The amendments include changes to the factors that the court needs to consider in making orders to ensure that the best interests of children are met, including ensuring their safety.

There is further information for parents on all of the changes on the Federal Attorney-General's Department website.

The Family Court's website has now been updated to refer to these changes which commence on 6 May 2024.

If you have a trial listed to commence before 6 May 2024, then the ‘old’ legislation applies to your case.

The state Family Court Act (which applies to cases concerning children whose parents were never married to each other) will also be amended to mirror the changes.

The Family Court is aware the amendments are being drafted with high priority and will be introduced to Parliament as soon as practicable. The timing will depend on a number of factors including the resolution of complex drafting issues.

Cases under the Family Court Act will continue to be dealt with under existing legislation unless and until the state amendments take effect.

The Court already has a legislative mandate to prioritise the safety and best interests of children and will continue to do so in all cases.