To help you understand the various terminology you will come across in family law matters, we have provided a glossary of common terms for your reference.


A written statement by a witness that sets out facts and supporting documents to be used as evidence in a Court.

Binding Child Support Agreement

An agreement between parents or carers about child support payments.

Binding Financial Agreement

A private contract that enables a couple to decide between themselves the division of assets if the relationship ends. Also referred to as a BFA, pre-nup or prenuptial agreement.

Child Support

An ongoing regular payment made by one parent to the other to provide financial assistance for children under 18 following the end of a relationship. Also known as child maintenance.

Consent Orders

A written and enforceable agreement approved by a Court, usually in relation to financial matters or parenting arrangements.

De Facto Relationship

Two people, who may be of the same or opposite sex, who are in a relationship together but are not married.


The legal termination of a marriage.

Family Consultant

A qualified social worker or psychologist, with skills and experience in working with children and families, who is appointed by the Court to help parents and judges achieve the best outcomes for children.

Family Court Act 1997 (WA)

The legislation which governs family law matters in Western Australia.

Family Dispute Resolution

A process in which an independant family dispute resolution practitioner helps people affected, or likely to be affected, by separation or divorce to resolve some or all of their disputes with each other.


Parental responsibility

The responsibility of parents or custodians to make decisions and arrangements for the child about various issues such as the child’s name, education, medical issues and passport.

Parenting Orders

Orders made in relation to parenting and child custody matters made by the Court.

Parenting Plan

An informal written agreement between parents outlining how their child will be cared for.

Property Settlement

The process of splitting the property and financial affairs of parties to a marriage or de facto relationship after separation.

Recovery Order

An order made by the Court requiring the return of a child in circumstances where a party has relocated with the child without the other party’s permission or an order from the Court.

Relocation Order

An order made by the Court allowing a parent to relocate with a child in circumstances where the other party do not give permission to relocate.

Restraining Order

An order from the Court protecting a person from certain behaviour such as threats, intimidation, violence or the threat of violence, emotional abuse or stalking.


Level 1, 321 Murray Street
Perth WA 6000
Ph: 08 9476 4499
Fax: 08 9325 4174


Unit 8, 80 Grand Boulevard
Joondalup WA 6027
Ph: 08 9301 4422
Fax: 08 9301 1000


10A Ommanney Street
Bunbury WA 6230
Ph: 08 9721 2022
Fax: 08 9792 5059

Useful Articles

Family, domestic and sexual violence in Australia

Family, domestic and sexual violence is a major health and welfare issue in Australia and globally. It occurs across all...

Understanding WA’s new Family Violence Restraining Order

On 1 July 2017, a new type of restraining order was introduced in Western Australia, namely a ‘Family Violence Restraining...

Who pays the school fees? Child support and private school fees explained

As a general rule, a parent cannot be required to pay additional child support for private school fees. After all,...