Children and young people in separated families: Family law system experiences and needs

Children Children's rights Courts Family law Family Court Separated families Australia
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This report sets out findings from the Children and Young People in Separated Families: Family Law System Experiences and Needs project, a qualitative study commissioned and funded by the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department (AGD). This study aimed to investigate the experiences and needs of young people whose parents had separated and had accessed the family law system.

The study was comprised of in-depth, semi-structured interviews carried out between May 2017 and April 2018, with 61 children and young people aged between 10 years and 17 years (supplemented by interviews with 47 parents of these children). The interviews with 47 parents of these children were undertaken by telephone to enable the collection of demographic information by way of background to the data provided by the children and young people. These data enabled the research team to understand the services accessed by the parents and the pathways used to resolve their family law matters. Against this backdrop, the data from the interviews with children and young people provided rich insights into the experiences and needs of children and young people whose parents had separated and had accessed the family law system.

In this report, the authors make extensive use of direct quotes in order to provide a direct voice for participating children and young people and to ensure that, as far as possible, their perspectives are made available in their own words. This enables a deeper understanding of how children and young people articulate their views and experiences in this context.

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