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Family Law Changes from May 2024

The Family Law Amendment Act comes into effect on 6 May 2024.

The changes relate to parenting matters and will not affect financial only proceedings.

The Family Law Amendment Act 2023 sets out new laws including about:

  • what the Courts must consider when determining what is in the child’s best interests, and
  • how separated parents are to make decisions about long-term issues for their children.

Go to https://www.fcfcoa.gov.au/news-and-media-centre/fla2023

There are links to very helpful Factsheets developed by the Attorney-General’s Department.

The new laws will make changes to the law about parenting arrangements, including:

  • introducing a shorter list of factors for the Courts to consider when deciding whether parenting arrangements are in the best interests of the child/children
  • introducing new sections about decision making about major long-term issues
  • removing the presumption of equal shared responsibility, noting there has never been a requirement for children to spend equal time with each parent.

There are a number of other changes, which include:

  • expanding the definitions of ‘relative’ and ‘member of the family’ to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander concepts of family;
  • a requirement for Independent Children’s Lawyers to meet directly with children if they are over 5 years old, unless the child does not wish to meet with the Independent Children’s Lawyer or there are other exceptional circumstances;
  • amended compliance and enforcement provisions for child-related orders, which impact applications such as Contravention Applications;
  • new powers for the Courts to prevent harmful litigation, including the power to make harmful proceedings orders.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with or team.


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