It’s time for family law reform.
It’s time for Safety. Justice. Now.
The Australian Government is proposing to remove the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility in the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) which sees many adult and child victim-survivors of family violence and abuse being locked into unsafe arrangements post-separation.
Full Stop Australia strongly supports the government’s historic and landmark reform to remove the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility, but also seeks other changes to improve safe outcomes for children and victim-survivors, including:
- That family law system legislation, service and court responses must be transformed to become ‘family violence informed’ where safety is prioritised.
- That specialised best interests’ principles be introduced to guide court decision making to specifically address risk of family violence and abuse.
- That an expanded definition of coercive control be introduced to the legislation to recognise patterns of abuse and power differentials, and to improve identification and response to family violence and abuse.
- That earlier responses to litigation and system’s abuse be developed.
- That an inquisitorial approach to family law litigation be adopted and trauma informed case management processes be implemented.
- That victim-survivors be assisted to achieve economic justice post separation through better recognition of the impacts of family violence in the division of property.
More ideas for change are contained in the Full Stop Australia Summary Position Paper on Family Law available below. Full Stop looks forward to working with government to address the other reforms that are necessary to achieve safe outcomes for victim-survivors and their children in Australia.
Full Stop Australia's Summary Position Paper on Family Law Reform: "Safety, Justice, Now" - PDF