What the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia staff CAN and CANNOT do for clients

Court staff are here to help clients but there are limitations on what help we can provide. This brochure summarises what we can and cannot provide or do.

We can:

  • Advise you how to find an interpreter for your hearing.
  • Inform you of the Courts’ policy on issues of family violence and personal safety.
  • Refer you to external services that help people with separation and legal issues.
  • Help you understand what forms you may need to file.
  • Check your paperwork is complete and includes all requirements.
  • Point you in the right direction for further information.
  • Explain how the Court works.
  • Tell you about how your case is managed at each stage, from filing to hearing or trial.
  • Provide you with your hearing date, time and location.
  • Advise you on the status of your matter.
  • Help you register for the Commonwealth Courts Portal – www.comcourts.gov.au – to access your court file online, eFile documents and download orders.
  • Assist you to use the Portal and provide technical support.

We cannot:

  • Give you legal advice.
  • Advise what to write in your court documents.
  • Confirm if you have supplied enough information.
  • Tell you what to say in court.
  • Advise if you should bring your case to court. We recommend seeking legal advice to determine this.
  • Recommend a lawyer to act on your behalf.
  • Tell you what the outcome of the Court’s decision might be.
  • Interpret orders made by a judicial officer.
  • Change an order once it has been made by the Court. We recommend seeking legal advice if you want to take this step.
  • Enforce a court order, but can advise how you can apply to do this.
  • Help you communicate with a judicial officer, other than at the hearing of your court case.

Step-by-step guides

You can find information and step-by-step guides to assist with court processes and eFiling on the website: www.fcfcoa.gov.au/howdoi

Personal safety

The Court places a priority on safety and can assist with the safety of you and your family when attending court. If you have any concerns for your safety, it is important you let the Court know well before the day your court event, conference or hearing is scheduled.

Please call 1300 352 000 before your court appointment or hearing so options for your safety at court can be discussed and arrangements put in place.

By law, people must inform the Court if there is an existing or pending family violence order involving themselves or their children. More detail is in the fact sheet ‘Do you have fears for your safety when attending court?’.

Contact the Court

The National Enquiry Centre (NEC) is the entry point for all family law enquiries in the Federal Circuit and Family Court.