Legislative changes to the family law are expected to provide relief to families with separated parents.
In the past, matters that concerned broken families were filled with tension, often requiring much time and help from reputable family law solicitors to iron out disputes. Following the proposed pilot program, separated parents will have access to free hearings that help families make important decisions without spending too much time and money, and without unnecessarily prolonging the agony for the children.
Shorter Process, Less Effect on Kids
Attorney-General George Brandis, who paved the way for the reform, aimed to lessen the gravity for children, who are often the ones who suffer when parents fight. The senator referred to research which noted that protracted conflict harmed children more than the family separation itself.
Senator Brandis said that when the mum and dad fight, the children get hurt, and the more intense the conflict, the greater the children’s suffering. The children suffered longer, and the adversarial nature of the existing family law system exacerbated and prolonged the conflict.
Less Stress, Expenses for Families
Following the shake-up of family laws, separated parents can now benefit from free hearings that deliver binding results, without navigating both state and federal courts. The discussions aim to expedite the process by undertaking enquiries and gathering information that yields safe and informed outcomes for families while helping them avoid further expense, delays, trauma, and risk of violence.
A separate bill filed aims to reduce the need for families to navigate multiple courts. Under this proposal, states and territories will receive greater powers to take care of family law matters, to better help the plight of families faced with violence or child protection concerns.
If the laws pass parliament, the pilot is expected to begin in Parramatta in the middle of 2018 and another site later in the year.