How does the 2017 Budget affect the family law Courts?
Written on the 15 May 2017 by Matthew Carney
The government has made several announcements that will affect the family law system in the 2017 budget. These include a new initiative to help resolve disputes, additional family law consultants, and a trial of domestic violence units. The Australian Law Reform Commission has been asked to conduct a comprehensive review of the family law system and consultation will soon commence in relation to amendments to the Family Law Act 1975.
Parenting management hearings
A new initiative, parenting management hearings will be introduced to reduce family law disputes. The hearings will be established as a forum to resolve family law disputes between self-represented litigants and are designed to be a fast, informal, non-adversarial dispute resolution mechanism. Almost $13 million has been allocated for this purpose.
Family law consultants
Almost $11 million has been allocated to engage more family consultants in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, the Family Court of Australia and the Family Court of Western Australia. The purpose is to assist the courts in dealing with vulnerable families.
Domestic violence units
A trial of domestic violence units in legal centres will commence. Six new specialist domestic violence units will be set up over two years at a cost of $3.4 million.
Review of the family law system
The Australian Law Reform Commission has been asked to conduct a comprehensive review of the family law system. The government announced that the Commission will be asked to identify reforms needed to ensure that the family law system meets the needs of families and addresses family violence and child abuse.
It was announced that consultation will commence shortly regarding proposed amendments to the Family Law Act in relation to family violence. The main purpose of the amendments is to ensure that victims of family violence are not put in a position where they are cross-examined by alleged perpetrators.
These changes will have significant impacts if implemented and it is important that if you have a family law matter that your lawyer is up to date with any legislative changes.
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Author: Matthew Carney
About: Matthew Carney is the head of the Family & De Facto Law Team and our Criminal Law Team. Matthew provides practical and effective family law advice to clients in all matters including property settlements, parenting matters, applications for divorce, annulment applications, child support, contravention, recovery and relocation proceedings. Matthew assists his clients to resolve matters in their best interests at the earliest possible opportunity. Matthew explains the law in an individual way tailored to each clients needs while demonstrating genuine care and compassion in this difficult time.Connect via: Twitter Google+ LinkedIn
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