Family Law Amendment Bill 2023
The Law Council of Australia welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Attorney-General’s Department (Department) in relation to its January 2023 Consultation Paper on the exposure draft of the Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 (Cth) (Draft Bill).
The Law Council notes that the Draft Bill proposes the ‘first tranche’ of legislative reform addressing the 2019 Final Report of the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC), Family Law for the Future—An Inquiry into the Family Law System (ALRC Report)1 and implementing elements of the 2023 Government Response to the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System (Joint Select Committee).2
The Law Council supports reform to Australia’s family law system, including the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (Family Law Act), that may facilitate the resolution of parenting disputes and places the best interests, safety and wellbeing of any child to a family law proceeding at the centre of the decision-making process. It makes the observation that many of the proposed changes are intended not only to improve the substantive law but to make it easier to understand for both self-represented litigants and for separating couples who are negotiating their own parenting arrangements without litigation, and likely without the assistance of any family law professional.