Relationship Breakdown - Legal Studies

Evaluate the effectiveness of the law in achieving justice for parties involved in relationship breakdown
Relationships are an integral part of Australian society, whether they are a marriage, de-facto or same-sex, or whether there are children involved, therefore when these relationships break down Australian law must protect all individuals affected. Family law regarding all relationships must be altered in accordance with the changing morality and needs of the community and also must remain up to date with relevant issues in order to deal with them effectively. Relationship breakdown can include divorce, separation or domestic violence and affects a number of people, not just the individuals in the relationship; other people involved include children, family and friends. There are numerous legal and non-legal measures designed to help all parties achieve justice during a separation. Australian law is to a certain extent effective in providing justice for these parties, though occasionally the legal system is unable to uphold the rights of individuals or maintain current with the social needs of the time and there are also criticisms of some aspects of the law. Justice involves providing fair and equitable solutions for all parties, this is especially important for cases involving domestic violence and/or children.
The Family Law Act 1975 establishes the principle of no fault divorce and requires only the grounds of irretrievable breakdown of the relationship. Prior to 1974 married couples needed to apply under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1959 (Cth) and identify the cause of the divorce, possible causes included adultery, cruelty, insanity and desertion. Each of these was very difficult to prove and as a result many people remained in unhappy or unsafe relationships. The transition from fault to no-fault changed the nature of divorce and made it much easier for couples to separate. The main aim of the new Act was to decrease the blame involved in divorce and to...