Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee: Family Law Amendment Bill 2023
This submission applies ANROWS research to the provisions set out in the Family Law Amendment Bill 2023.
The submission supports the Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 and its focus on ensuring the best interests of children are prioritised in and at the centre of the family law system. It builds on previous ANROWS submissions to inquiries and reviews of the family law system, including our submission to the Attorney-General on the exposure draft of this bill.
The submission supported:
- the drive to make the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) clearer and more concise in plain language, drawing upon our evidence relating to self-represented litigants from “No straight lines”: Self-represented litigants in family law proceedings involving allegations about family violence
- the repeal of the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility and the related equal time and substantial and significant time provisions where Compliance with and enforcement of family law parenting orders: Final report demonstrates that the presumption can mean victims and survivors, including children, comply with unsafe parenting orders
- the intent to improve responses to vexatious litigation and systems abuse with harmful proceedings orders as evidence of perpetrators controlling their current and former partners by manipulating definitions and available support systems as prevalent across the body of ANROWS research.
The submission drew upon ANROWS research, Compliance with and enforcement of family law parenting orders: Final report, to highlight the need to prioritise recovery needs for children and non-offending parents experiencing domestic and family violence. It recommended the family law system prioritise the recovery needs of children and non-offending parents from domestic and family violence by using “recovery” as the best consideration relating to safety. The focus on victim and survivor recovery from violence is consistent with the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022–2032.
Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety. (2023). Re: Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 [Submission]. ANROWS.