Commonwealth Courts Portal logo

The Commonwealth Courts Portal (the Portal) provides users with secure web-based access to information about their file and access to electronically file (eFile) a range of applications and supporting documents.

What do I need to eFile in the Portal?

You will need access to the internet, a scanner, printer and if a filing fee applies a VISA or Mastercard (credit/debit card).

What are the circumstances when I cannot eFile?

You cannot eFile if:

  • you do not have access to the required technology,
  • you are unable to pay by credit/debit card online (see Helpful Hint under Unable to eFile), or
  • the application you require to file is not currently available to file online such as:
    • Application for a decree of nullity/validity of a marriage
    • Contravention
    • Contempt
    • Enforcements
    • Reviews of a decision
    • Arbitration
    • Third party debt notices
    • Notices to intervene by a Third party
    • Requests to issue a Subpoena

How do I get started in the portal?

Go to www.comcourts.gov.au to create your individual username and password Image of the Registration link on the Commonwealth Courts Portal

If there are no current or finalised family law proceedings

Once you are registered, log in to your Commonwealth Courts Portal account and follow the steps for the type of documents you want to eFile at Select the document you want to eFile below for more details.

If there are current or finalised family law proceedings

Once you are registered, only if you have previously filed with the court, you will need to link yourself to your file. You will need your file number and client number. If you do not have these numbers contact us and provide your full name, date of birth and the full name of the other party, then see Already registered but do not have access to your file below.

For more information about registering for the Commonwealth Courts Portal see: How do I register for the Commonwealth Courts Portal.

If you are already registered for the Portal and linked to your file log in to your Commonwealth Courts Portal account and follow the steps for the type of documents you want to eFile at Select the document you want to eFile below for more details.

Now that you have registered it is important to link to your existing family law file. You will need your file number and client number. If you do not have your file number and/or client number contact us so we can organise access to your electronic file. You will need to provide your full name, date of birth and the full name of the other party and your portal user name.

If you do have your file number and client number follow these steps:

  1. Log in.
  2. Select Your profile Image of the Your profile link to make changes to your details
  3. Select Request access to your file. Image showing Access to my files options: View my linked files and Request access to your file
  4. Enter your file number and client number then Submit Image of the File number, client number and submit button 

You will now be linked to your file. To access your file follow these steps:

Select the Available Files tab to locate your file Image of the Available Files tab

or search using the search bar. Image showing the Search for file form field

Once you select your file you can access information about your file including lists of documents filed, view orders and file certain documents.

Select the document you want to eFile below for more details

The following applications can be eFiled by completing the guided online interactive form or if you have already completed the form, uploading a PDF version of the completed application using the unguided process.

  • Initiating Application
  • Application in a Case

Hint: The kit/form only needs to be completed beforehand if you are choosing the unguided upload process.

Choosing the guided or unguided process

Guided process

Selecting the guided option provides you with procedural assistance when answering the application question. Based on your answers you may be presented with help text and links to fact sheets relevant to that question. You will also be directed to upload supporting documents prior to submitting the application.

Unguided process

Selecting the unguided option allows you to upload a PDF version of a completed application document. A small number of online questions are required to create your file. The unguided process offers limited procedural guidance and is designed for someone who is familiar with Family Law proceedings. Using this process means you understand and accept the responsibility of ensuring the correct information and proper documents are provided. If you wish to seek fee exemption due to financial hardship, you need to use this process.

If you are a new user and want to file an application and there is not an existing file

Go to Image of Family Law eFiling Start a new file and follow the relevant prompts and see step 1 below.

If you have had previous proceedings with the same party and are a new portal user it is very important that all proceedings (past and future) between yourself and the other party are registered on the one file number.

Note: If you have any previous proceedings with the other party you will have an existing file number.

To file a new application on an existing family law file

Go to Image of the Electronically file an existing Family Law file link on the home page or go to your file via search or available tabs to select your file and select Image of the file a new application link then see step 1 below.

For legal representatives: To eFile a new application on an existing file, on behalf of your client, you may use this link if you are not yet registered as the legal representative on the file.

Steps to eFile

  1. Confirm the statement if you are filing on your own behalf.

  2. Read and confirm you have read and understood the eFiling obligations.

  3. Select the application type and court to file in
    Image of the options Which document do you want to file and which court do you want to file in

    Image showing radio button selectors for what court  you want to file in

  4. Except for Divorce and Applications in a Case that start a new file, you will now see options to choose an application process (see Choosing the guided or unguided process above)

    Guided

     

    Unguided

     

  5. Create a Title and Description then select Create and OK to confirm. This information is not supplied to the court and is only use by you to identify started/partly completed applications (which are available for 90 days).
    Image showing the title and description fields

  6. Complete the questions in each part, saving and validating each completed part as you go.
    Showing the validation options of Valid and Saved or Not valid and Saved

    Helpful hint: users can go to Portal at each question for help with that question.

  7. Complete any supporting documents, scan and save on your computer drive where you will be able to find them easily. The required documents will depend on what type of application is filed and the information you provide on the application.

    NOTE: Supporting documents are split into 2 categories - required (must be provided to continue with the application) and additional (can be provided to support the application).

  8. Go to the drop down menu at Document Type and select the relevant document type.

    Select your name to choose who the document is filed on behalf of.

    Click on Choose File, select the document from where you had saved them – any document must be in PDF format* and under 30 Mb and the document (including an attachment) cannot be over 100 pages.

    Click on Upload.

    *Use the PDF convertor in the right hand column if you need to convert the document to PDF.

    When successfully uploaded a green tick Image of the green tick will appear against the document.

  9. Complete Statement of Truth (guided process only). This will only appear once all of the above steps are fully completed (green ticks against all). A green tick will appear once the Statement of Truth is completed.

    Note: If you have selected the unguided application option, this step is not required as you would have completed this step on your application form.

  10. Submit the application.

    Select the location where the application is to be heard from the drop down menu.

    Select a court date from the range of dates provided.

    You will be required to pay a filing fee. Confirm the payment option and complete the credit/debit card details. You may be eligible for an exemption. See Guidelines for fee exemption, reduction and refund.

    Once payment is approved a sealed document complete with the court date will be available to print for service on all parties to the proceedings (including the Independent Children's Lawyer - if any).

  11. Go to Image of the Documents Filed button  and select the Adobe pdf logo icon to print out a sealed copy for service.

    See How do I serve family law documents? for details about service.

Helpful hint: You can save the application you are working on and come back to it at a later date. If you save and log out, your application information will be preserved for 90 days. The court will not have access to your application until you pay the fee and submit the application. You can find it under "Partly completed applications" on the home page.

To eFile a response you must be linked to your file. If you are not linked see Link to your file after registering above.

For legal representatives: To eFile a response on behalf of your client, you may use this link if you are not yet registered as the legal representative on the file.

The following responses can be eFiled by completing the guided online interactive form or if you have already completed the form, uploading a PDF version of the completed application using the unguided process.

  • Response
  • Response to an Application in a Case

Affidavits and supporting documents need to be completed using the appropriate forms available on the website, then saved and uploaded to the portal.

Hint: The kit/form only needs to be completed beforehand if you are choosing the unguided upload process.

Choosing the guided or unguided process

Guided process

Selecting the guided option provides you with procedural assistance when answering the application question. Based on your answers you may be presented with help text and links to fact sheets relevant to that question. You will also be directed to upload supporting documents prior to submitting the application.

Unguided process

Selecting the unguided option allows you to upload a PDF version of a completed application document. A small number of online questions are required to create your file. The unguided process offers limited procedural guidance and is designed for someone who is familiar with Family Law proceedings. Using this process means you understand and accept the responsibility of ensuring the correct information and proper documents are provided. If you wish to seek fee exemption due to financial hardship, you need to use this process.

  1. Access the file by selecting the file number at Available Files or search the file number e.g. ABC1234/2014 at Search for file then select your file. Select your file number next to  to access the file details.

  2. Under  select  at the appropriate application you wish to respond to.

  3. Select File a Response  

    You will now see options to choose an application process.

    Guided

     

    Unguided

     

  4. Create a Title and Description then select Create and OK to confirm. This information is not supplied to the court and is only use by you to identify started/partly completed applications (which are available for 90 days).
    Image showing the title and description fields

  5. Complete the questions in each part, saving and validating each completed part as you go.

    Helpful hint: users can go to Portal at each question for help with that question.

  6. Complete any supporting documents, scan and save on your computer drive where you will be able to find them easily. The required documents will depend on what type of application is filed and the information you provide on the application.

    NOTE: Supporting documents are split into 2 categories - required (must be provided to continue with the application) and additional (can be provided to support the application).

  7. Go to the drop down menu at Document Type and select the relevant document type.

    Select your name to choose who the document is filed on behalf of.

    Click on Choose File, select the document from where you had saved them – any document must be in PDF format* and under 30 Mb and the document (including an attachment) cannot be over 100 pages.

    Click on Upload.

    *Use the PDF convertor in the right hand column if you need to convert the document to PDF.


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    When successfully uploaded a green tick Image of the green tick will appear against the document.

  8. Complete Statement of Truth (guided process only). This will only appear once all of the above steps are fully completed (green ticks against all). A green tick will appear once the Statement of Truth is completed.

    Note: If you have selected the unguided application option, this step is not required as you would have completed this step on your application form.

  9. Submit the application and make payment (if applicable).

    NOTE: A filing fee applies for Response to Initiating Application. Confirm the payment option and complete the credit/debit card details. You may be eligible for an exemption. See Guidelines for fee exemption, reduction and refund.

  10. Go to Documents filed section and print sealed copies for service on all the parties to the proceeding (including the Independent Children's Lawyer - if any).

    Go to Image of the Documents Filed button  and select the Adobe pdf logo icon to print out sealed copies for service.

    See How do I serve family law documents? for details about service.

Affidavits and supporting documents need to be completed using the appropriate forms available on the website, then be saved/scanned and uploaded to the portal.

The required documents will depend on what type of application is filed and the information you provide on the application.

Steps to upload supporting documents

  1. Complete the document, scan and save on your computer drive where you will be able to find it easily.

  2. Access the file by adding the file number e.g. ABC1234/2014 at Search for file then select Search. Select your file number next to  to access the file details.
     

  3. Under  select  at the appropriate application.

  4. Select add document  
    You can also select the envelope to be notified by email of any activity on your file

  5. Go to the drop down menu at Document Type and select the relevant document type.

    Select your name to choose who the document is filed on behalf of.

    Click on Choose File, select the document from where you had saved them – any document must be in PDF format* and under 30 Mb and the document (including an attachment) cannot be over 100 pages.

    Click on Upload.

    *Use the PDF convertor in the right hand column if you need to convert the document to PDF.

    When successfully uploaded a green tick Image of the green tick will appear against the document.

  6. Go to Documents filed section and print sealed copies for service on all the parties to the proceeding (including the Independent Children's Lawyer - if any).
    Go to Image of the Documents Filed button  and select Image of PDF icon button icon to print out a sealed copy for service.

    See How do I serve family law documents? for details about service.

Printing the sealed documents for service

Go to Documents filed section and print sealed copies for service on all the parties to the proceeding (including the Independent Children's Lawyer - if any).
Go to Image of the Documents Filed button  and select Image of PDF icon button to print a sealed copy for service.

You can find more details about service at How do I serve family law documents? for details about service.