/ 31 January 2023

Shaking up the family law

children, child, childcare, kindy, kindergarten
Image: Erika Fletcher via Unsplash

Care arrangements for the kids of broken relationships is an issue successive federal governments have tried to tackle – and yesterday, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus unveiled new legislation he says will improve things. The requirement for courts to consider equal or substantial time with each parent would be ditched – it’s the current starting point in legal proceedings that he says is leading to “unjust outcomes and compromising the safety of children”. Dreyfus said that judges will be able to order shared parental responsibility, but there would be “6 simple principles” to consider that put the interests of children first. Zoe Rathus from Griffith Uni says the current system “provides an avenue of ongoing harassment and intimidation for some abusive partners to their former spouse”, and it needs to change. But One Nation’s Pauline Hanson says the changes will make it harder for fathers. The plan is out for consultation, and Dreyfus wants the law passed by the end of the year.

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