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25 Oct
Retired Family Court judge Richard Chisholm has passed his 'use by date'

06 Oct
Child Support - Change of Assessment data

05 Oct
Commonwealth Ombudsman highlights serious failings in Australias child support system

04 Oct
Labor MP Michelle Rowland wants parliament to apply more scrutiny to Child Support pay...

14 Sep
NSW to introduce legislation to support the broadcasting of judgments and sentences

24 Aug
Exeter man denied refund after paying 30,000 in child support for girl that wasn't his...

08 Aug
Confidence betrayed by the justice system

30 Apr
inquiry into how the child support system works, including links between it and the Fa...

24 Apr
Domestic violence study flawed say mens health advocates

27 Jan
Court refuses to send quake-affected boys to NZ

14 Dec
Child's school project becomes a plea to the Family Court

18 Oct
Woman who took child abroad on trial

18 Oct
Barriers make child's play hard work for grandads

12 Oct
International report on fathers paternity leave after birth of bubs

05 Oct
Child trapped in Egypt by bizarre custody battle

03 Sep
Paternal influence crucial to the success of children

25 Aug
March against Alienation - Fathers Day Hyde Park

13 Aug
Hard line over child abuse (NZ)

06 Jul
False abuse claims are the new court weapon, retiring judge says

11 May
NSW Government releases Domestic Violence App

29 Apr
Defendants To Front Up In Court Study (NZ)

11 Apr
Cost of raising a child to 18 is now $1 million

08 Apr
Cost of raising a child

06 Feb
Gotcha tapes disliked by court

02 Feb
Review of Australias national Paid Parental Leave scheme

06 Jan
Age eligibility for Family Tax Benefit Part A has changed

01 Jan
Minister Macklin announces changes to Newstart

14 Dec
Lawyers say Family Court reforms pose risk to vulnerable (NZ)

21 Oct
There's got to be something more than this! say men

12 Oct
Mothers who deny fathers access to the couples children after a break-up could be jail...

03 Oct
Father must withdraw criminal charges - Girls ordered back to Italy

02 Oct
New name for Federal Magistrates Court revealed.

15 Sep
Opposition Grows to British Governments Parenting Proposal (UK)

23 Aug
WA court counsellors sticking fathers with false allegations

07 Aug
Sisters lose High Court custody challenge

03 Aug
Feuding couples to pay for dispute resolution (NZ)

23 Jul
Child support formula baffles 90% of parents - AIFS study

12 Jul
Dad's 'good times' with daughter cut by court

29 Jun
Family Court seeks missing children

23 Jun
Tough means test locks low-income earners out of Legal Aid

20 Jun
Dads needed on Father's Day [USA]

19 Jun
Government Assent and Notice of increased fees

13 Jun
Publications released on new Family Law changes June 2012

07 Jun
FM Tom Altobelli takes innovative approach

04 Jun
Taunts, cruelty to pets now domestic violence

02 Jun
Growing importance of men in families

02 Jun
Member calls for Government to undertake a comprehensive review of family law and the ...

29 May
New practice note for AVOs in the local Court (NSW)

27 May
New Federal Magistrate Myers appointed to Newcastle

14 May
Girls 'taken' before being deported to Italy

06 May
Child support payments secured by new investigation unit

04 May
Single parents to lose benefits

01 May
Child protection boosted

01 May
INTERNATIONAL PARENTAL CHILD ABDUCTION

26 Apr
Ex-lover punished for Facebook revenge

29 Mar
The fruits of litigation!

27 Mar
De Facto property laws pass parliament

03 Mar
Grandparents lose out again! Couple lose court battle to contact grandchildren

29 Feb
Family Court restructure Bill to be reintroduced

29 Feb
Government moves to provide certainty over de facto property court orders


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News, Articles & Press Releases


Added 31 May, 2011, 02:52 AM
Author: Secretary SPCA  


FAMILY LAW AMENDMENT (VALIDATION OF CERTAIN PARENTING ORDERS AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2010
Second Reading
Debate resumed from 24 November, on motion by Senator Feeney:

That this bill be now read a second time.

Senator BRANDIS (Queensland) (1.58 pm) The 2006 family law reforms, introduced by the previous government under the guidance of the then Attorney-General, Mr Ruddock, introduced the presumption of shared parental responsibility. The operation of that presumption has been recently the subject of misinformed criticism from some sectors. The majority of those criticisms were answered by the Australian Institute of Family Studies longitudinal survey and the Family Law Councils report to the Attorney-General. These reports found that the 2006 reforms worked well and had been well received in the community.

In particular, the number of court filings in childrens matters had been reduced by 22 per cent, which has resulted in speedier and more dedicated access for the less tractable and more worrying cases. A reduction of such magnitude in the number of filings is the surest indication that the scheme is working in an improved manner.

The family dispute resolution process was very highly rated by its users. A substantial majority of parents with shared care reported that the arrangements worked well for them,
and for their children. The coalition is very proud of the shared parenting regime and although we allow for the possibility that, like any comprehensive law reform, it is capable
of being improved at the margins we will fight strongly to defend it if, as has been foreshadowed by the government, it comes under attack in future legislation.

The Family Law Amendment (Validation of Certain Parenting Orders and Other Measures) Bill 2010 is not such an attack. It is an uncontroversial bill which arises from an issue which has arisen within the family law system that is, the issue of reports of cases in which mothers were allegedly being confined in remote communities by orders requiring equal parenting time with fathers.

The coalitions view was that the making of such orders arose from a misinterpretation of the reforms.

In March, the High Court handed down its decision in a case called MRR v GR, holding that court orders for shared time must be in the best interests of the child and reasonably practicable. The court held that restricting a mother to a certain location which denied her employment opportunities and caused her distress was neither in the best interests of the child nor reasonably practicable. We agree. The view of the Attorney-Generals Department is that the decision casts doubt on the validity of certain parenting orders made pursuant to the reforms though not, obviously, the parenting order which was the subject of that case, which was disposed of in the appeal. The orders that may be affected
are those where the parents have shared equal parental responsibility.

The court has not considered certain criteria relating to equal time or, if the case requires, substantial and significant time in accordance with section 65DAA of the Family Law Act.

The bill creates new statutory rights and responsibilities and ensures that these are exercisable and enforceable as if they had been made under the act, while preserving appeal rights against orders affected by the High Courts decision. Those people with contested parenting orders will be able to commence fresh family law proceedings where the court did not consider the reasonable practicality of the order, without having to demonstrate a material change in the circumstances.

The bill also amends the act to permit a court to consider the statutory criteria in section 65DAA(1) and (2)that is, the best interests of the child and the reasonable practicality of the arrangement in relation to applications for consent parenting orders, where the parents are to have equal shared parental responsibility. This will allow the courts to give appropriate weight to agreements between parents.

The bill does not interfere with the 2006 reforms but seeks only to remove doubts as to the validity of orders made between the commencement of the reforms and the High Courts decision last March.

The few decisions that confined women to remote communities were a misinterpretation of the provisions, creating misleading perceptions in the community, and resulted in genuine distress and hardship for a small number of parents. The High Courts decision and this bill should put the misinterpretations of the reforms to rest and reinforce
the paramountcy of the best interests of the child as the basic principle underlying these provisions of the act, a basic principle in no way impinged upon by the principle of shared parenting. I commend the bill to the Senate.

Senator JACINTA COLLINS (Victoria Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations (2.03pm)

I thank senators for their contributions and commend the Family Law Amendment (Validation of Certain Parenting Orders and Other Measures) Bill 2010 to the Senate.

Question agreed to.
Bill read a second time.
Third Reading
Bill passed through its remaining stages without amendment or debate

Attachment
Family Law Amendment (Validation of Certain Parenting Orders and Other Measures) Bill 2010
» Download: Family Law Legislation Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures Bill 2011.pdf (77 Kb, 4228 downloads so far)

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