Links

KEY LEGISLATION
Family Law Act 1975

Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act 2006

Family Law Regulations (1984)

Marriage Act 1961
 

FAMILY LAW REFORMS
• Family Violence Act (2012)
According to the Federal Attorney General's department, more than half of the parenting cases that come to the courts involve allegations by one party or both parties that the other has been violent.

The Australian Government has amended the Family Law Act to:

  • Prioritise the safety of children in parenting matters by giving greater weight to the protection from harm when determining what is in a child's best interests.
  • Change the definition of 'family violence' and 'abuse' to reflect a contemporary understanding of what family violence and abuse is by clearly setting out what behaviour is unacceptable, including physical and emotional abuse and the exposure of children to family violence.
  • Better target what a court can consider in relation to family violence orders as part of considering what is in a child's best interests
  • Strengthen advisers obligations by requiring family consultants, family counsellors, family dispute resolution practitioners and legal practitioners to prioritise the safety of children
  • Ensure the courts have better access to evidence of family violence and abuse by improving reporting requirements.
  • Make it easier for state and territory child protection authorities to participate in family law proceedings.

Further details regarding the reforms and other related information can be found on the Attorney General's department website: http://www.ag.gov.au/familyviolenceact