Glossary - Family Law


In Family Law

Re-examination is when a party, or their lawyer if they have one, gets to question their own witnesses again. This is done after direct examination and cross-examination. They can only ask the witness about anything new that was discussed in cross-examination.

reasonable arrangements for the children

In Family Law

Reasonable arrangements for the children mean that money or financial plans have been made to look after the children from a marriage. For example, plans have been made for child support.

reasons for judgment

In Family Law

Reasons for judgment is a judge’s written or oral explanation of a decision they have made. If a judge gives oral reasons, they read the reasons for judgment out loud in court. The parties may order a transcript from the court to get a copy of the judge’s reasons.

regular service

In Family Law

To serve a document by regular service means you have to give a copy of that document to your partner or their lawyer by either:

  • mail
  • courier
  • document exchange
  • fax
  • email

There are rules about how to serve a document by regular service that depend on how you serve the document. For example, you can serve a document by electronic document exchange or email only if the person you are serving agrees or you have a court order that allows you to serve documents this way.

Most documents can be served by regular service. In some cases, such as when you are starting a court case, you have to serve your document by special service.


In Family Law

The respondent is the party responding to the family law court case started against them. The party who starts the court case is called the applicant.

responding party

In Family Law

The responding party is the person responding to a motion. The moving party is the person asking the court to make an order after a motion.

restraining order

In Criminal Law, Family Law, Housing Law

A restraining order is a court order that limits what a person can do in any way the family court thinks is appropriate to your situation. The order might limit where a person can go, or who they can contact or communicate with. For example, it can say one or more of these things:

  • your partner cannot come within 500 metres of you and your children
  • your partner cannot talk to or contact you or your children except through an agency or another person
  • your partner cannot come within 500 metres of your home and work
retroactive support

In Family Law

Retroactive support is child support or spousal support that you should have received before you started your court case, but did not get.

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