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MLL320 - Family Law


2021 unit information

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Last updated: 4 June 2021

Enrolment modes:Trimester 1: Burwood (Melbourne), Waterfront (Geelong), Cloud (online)
Credit point(s):1
Previously coded as:


EFTSL value:0.125
Unit Chair:Trimester 1: Michele Tucker
Cohort rule:

For Bachelor of Laws (including combined Law awards) students only


Students enrolled before 2019: MLL110
Students commencing from 2019: MLL110 and MLL113 plus 6 additional credit points of Law units

Incompatible with:


Typical study commitment:

Students will on average spend 150 hours over the teaching period undertaking the teaching, learning and assessment activities for this unit.

Scheduled learning activities - campus:

1 x 2 hour class and 1 x 1 hour seminar per week

Scheduled learning activities - cloud:

1 x 2 hour class (recordings provided) and 1 x 1 hour online seminar per week


This unit will examine the legal relationships arising out of the family as a legal and social institution. The syllabus includes: a study of society and the family; the Commonwealth constitution, and the impact it has on the Family Law Act 1975 (Cwlth); the jurisdiction of the Family Court; the legal rules which govern marriage; divorce and other forms of principal relief; the responsibility of parents and the Family Court to make decisions 'in the best interests' of a child; the division of property upon marriage breakdown; spousal maintenance; the child support assessment scheme (briefly); financial disputes between domestic partners under Federal law; and from a sociological and legal framework, violence within a family.

ULO These are the Learning Outcomes (ULO) for this unit. At the completion of this unit, successful students can: Deakin Graduate Learning Outcomes

Construct an image of the modern family, and recognise and discuss, the sociological and legal factors affecting the family, and its formation, whether de jure or de facto/domestic relationship.



Explain the Jurisdictional and Constitutional aspects of family law, and why they may be peculiar to Australia.



Recognise the difference between a de jure and de facto/domestic relationship, and identify and apply the circumstances that give rise to a valid application for a divorce in relation to a de jure marriage.



Identify and apply the law as it relates to division of property and granting of spousal maintenance upon the breakdown of a de jure marriage or a facto/domestic relationship.



Describe and analyse, the concept of the importance attached to the rights of children under international and domestic law, and apply the various Commonwealth provisions for who children live with and spend time with.



Critically evaluate issues of violence within the family and the remedies available under Commonwealth and State law.


These Unit Learning Outcomes are applicable for all teaching periods throughout the year

GLO key: GLO1: Discipline-specific knowledge and capabilities, GLO2: Communication
GLO3: Digital literacy, GLO4: Critical thinking, GLO5: Problem solving, GLO6: Self-management, GLO7: Teamwork, GLO8: Global Citizenship


Assessment Description Student output Grading and weighting
(% total mark for unit)
Indicative due week 
Assignment 1 (Individual) Report (Research) 4000 words 50% Week 7
Open Book Examination 2 Hours 50% Exam Period

The assessment due weeks provided may change. The Unit Chair will clarify the exact assessment requirements, including the due date, at the start of the teaching period.

Learning Resource

The texts and reading list for the unit can be found on the University Library via the link below: MLL320 Note: Select the relevant trimester reading list. Please note that a future teaching period's reading list may not be available until a month prior to the start of that teaching period so you may wish to use the relevant trimester's prior year reading list as a guide only.

Unit Fee Information

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