16 May 2017

The 2017 budget seeks to address the overburdened family law system

The government has allocated tens of millions of dollars in the 2017 budget to try to address the over-burdened family law system.

Budget measures include:

  • a comprehensive review of the family law system by the Australian Law Reform Commission;
  • a desperately needed boost to funding of Community Legal Centres and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, to a total of $55.7 million;
  • $10.7 million to fund additional Family Law Consultants in the Family Law Courts, who are qualified social workers and psychologists who assist the Courts in dealing with children’s cases;
  • a $12.7 million initiative – parenting management hearings – to try to resolve family law disputes between self-represented litigants through an informal, non-adversarial forum;
  • $3.4 million to fund six additional specialist domestic violence units to be set up in Legal Centres to deliver legal and social support to women at risk of, or experiencing family violence; and
  • consultation, which will soon commence, regarding amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 in relation to family violence.

If you would like any further information on how the 2017 budget measures might affect you, or someone you know, or would like advice as to any family law issue, please feel free to contact me.

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