Legal Studies

Evaluate the effectiveness of family law in settling disputes between separating parents

The definition of family has been defined in the family law act as ‘the natural and fundamental group unit of society, especially in relation to the upbringing of children’.   Laws protecting the family entity have been effective and improvements made from law reform are evident.
The concept of family overtime has changed significantly as society’s views have changed; parents from alternative family relationship such as, de facto and same sex couples are now legally recognised and are protected under federal law. Divorce is now easier to come by, thus increasing the number of broken families. According to the Australian bureau of statistics, nearly 25,000 marriages involving children ended in divorce in 2009.   The following question therefore needs to be asked; how effective has family law been in regards to the disputes between separating parents?
Family law in Australia governs laws regarding the relationships between family units and in addition, those relationships that have ceased. Issues such as divorce, division of property, spousal maintenance and the handling of children are dealt with in the family law act enacted by federal government in 1975.   This legislation also outlines the provisions of parents in the case of a separation, specifically that of the care and treatment of children in such circumstances.
The establishment of the family court of Australia was a direct result of the family law act in 1975, making this legislation most significant in regards to family law in Australia. The family court allows such delicate cases to be heard in an atmosphere that is less formal than a standard court, making it more family friendly. This has been exceptionally effective in the cases that involve children   After numerous changes and amendments to the family law legislation the court now has jurisdiction in all matters concerning all children and the separation of...