The proposed changes to family law aim to prioritize the safety and well-being of children during court processes surrounding separation. Mark Dreyfus, the Attorney-General, introduced reforms to parliament’s lower house on Wednesday with the goal of resolving family law matters quickly, inexpensively, and without jeopardizing the safety of those involved. Dreyfus deemed the current family law framework complicated and sometimes led to unsafe parenting arrangements. The proposed amendment would revoke the misunderstood presumption of equal shared parental responsibility and reinstate that a child’s best interests were paramount. Dreyfus explained that the emphasis on shared parenting rights had created confusion, taking the focus away from the child’s well-being. Additionally, the new bill would require independent children’s lawyers to speak with children and make the consequences of not following parenting orders more explicit. The bill also guarantees that courts considered the rights of Indigenous children to preserve their connection to their family, culture, and language. The proposed changes aim to create a more accessible and safer family law system, ensuring it delivers justice and fairness for all Australian families.
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