On the 19 October 2023, the Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 was passed by both houses of Parliament.

The Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 introduces significant changes to the current family law regime.

The key changes introduced by this bill include:

  • a refined the list of ‘best interests’ factors which the Court is required to consider when making parenting orders;
  • the removal of the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility;
  • a new requirement that the Independent Children’s Lawyer meet with the children to provide them an opportunity to express their views;
  • the simplification of the provisions relating to compliance and enforcement of orders relating to children;
  • the introduction of a new definition of ‘member of the family’ to include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Isander concepts of family and kinship; and
  • the introduction of provisions enabling government regulation of family report writers.

These changes, at least in theory, should not drastically alter outcomes in parenting proceedings. However, the effect of these amendments will not be clear until a substantial body of case law has developed under the new provisions.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided above is published for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be nor should it be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice.