What You Need To Know About Family Law In Australia

Family Law in the country of Australia involves several legislation pieces, along with laws-of-equity and common law that affect families and the relationships between these people, which includes when these relationships end in a divorce. The majority of Family Law is practiced inside the Family Court of Australia.

The Laws That Affect De Facto And Married Couples

The Family Law Act of 1975 covers spousal maintenance, divorce, property division, childrens orders along with related matters. Since the 1 March 2009 the de facto couples also fall under the Family Law Act in the territories or states that have conferred powers over the de facto relationships to the federal jurisdiction. This power was conferred over all jurisdictions, excepting Western Australia. Since the year 2009, the definition for the de facto couple includes the same-sex couples. This definition is applicable throughout Australia in territory, state and Commonwealth legislation.

The Laws That Affect Children

The family law framework in Australia covers parenting arrangements that focus on the best interests of a child or children, particularly in the circumstances when the children are regarded as at risk or when their carers or parents are in the process of a separation. Even though child protection is mainly handled on a territory and state basis, under territory and state legislation, the parenting arrangements are also sometimes handled under the Federal Family Act of 1975.

The child support scheme which is government-administered allows parents a way to reach a private agreement or the choice to register with what is known as the Child Support Agency Australia. This agency might stipulate that one of the parents will need to be making payments to the other parent, which will depend on division of care, the income of each parent, along with any other relevant factors associated with each case.

On the 22 May 2006, the Family Law Act of 1975 underwent an amendment by the Shared Parental Responsibility (Family Law Amendment) Act of 2006, that applies to all court matters that involve children that went to court on either the 1 July 2006 or after. The main objective associated with this law involves ensuring that all courts always focus on the best interests of the child as the most important consideration.

Property And Financial Outcomes

Australia is regarded as a country that focuses on equitable distribution. This means that the net wealth will not be divided equally (50/50) upon a divorce. Instead the Courts are provided with wide powers, that take into account around 27 statutory factors, in order to decide what is just and equitable when it comes to dividing up wealth. In most outcomes the division results include a 55-65% in favour of either the spouse who is economically weaker or the wife, before payment of the legal fees. This process is criticised by many due to the fact that wealth re-allocation processes in Australia can take up to 2 years. For the couples that have more wealth, these processes can last as long as 4 years, and in some cases even longer.

Given the complex nature of family law in Australia, it may be advisable to seek the professional input of a specialist