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Practice notes

Practice notes

By Law Institute Journal

Family Court Practice & Procedure 


Family Law Courts

Family law forms updated

The Initiating Application (Family Court and Federal Circuit Court) and the Response to Initiating Application (Family Court only) have been updated. The amendments include:

  • changing the “gender” options available in the forms
  • updating the description of parties (eg, terms like “wife/mother” and “husband/father” have been changed to “parent”, “grandparent”, “party to a marriage” and/or “party to a de facto relationship”)
  • updating definitions in the “legal words used in court” in the kit information.
  • The updated kits and forms are now available on the websites:
  • Family Court,
  • Federal Circuit Court,
  • Additional time is needed to make these changes to the Commonwealth Courts Portal “guided” version of the forms. To allow for these IT system changes, the “guided” versions will continue to be accepted.

Federal Court of Australia | Family Court of Australia | Federal Circuit Court of Australia, 5 August 2019



From 6 December 2007 law practices whose matters are governed by the Legal Profession Act 2004 cannot use the penalty interest rate for their accounts. The maximum rate is the cash rate target plus 2 per cent. The cash rate target is currently 1 per cent (from 3 July 2019). To monitor changes between editions of the LIJ, practitioners should check


For the financial year commencing 1 July 2019, the value of a penalty unit is $165.22. The value of a fee unit is $14.81 (Government Gazette 14, 4 April 2019).


The penalty interest rate is 10 per cent per annum (from 1 February 2017). To monitor changes to this rate between editions of the LIJ, practitioners should check the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria website.




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