In particular, the 2006 changes to the Family Law Act 1975 were intended to bring the views, feelings and experiences of children into sharper focus. The present study explores the experience of parental separation for 623 adolescent children aged 12–18 years, whose parents separated after the introduction of the family law reforms in July 2006.
The Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department (AGD) and Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) commissioned the study. With the backdrop of the family law reforms, the aim of the study was to describe how adolescent children view their experiences of parental separation.
It is through the voices of these young people that we learn of their experiences of the process of parental separation and their own involvement in the decisions parents made about them following separation. Moreover, the findings in this study shed light on what adolescents wanted in their care-time arrangements, how they expressed their views, who they turned to for support, their relationships with parents and other family members, and their understanding of issues concerning parental conflict.