Family law



Compliance with and enforcement of family law parenting orders: final report

This mixed-method project was designed to examine the drivers of non-compliance with parenting orders and the operation of the parenting order enforcement regime in Australia. This report sets out findings from contravention matter court file analysis, an online survey of separated parents with parenting orders...

"They thought it was safe - but it wasn't"

This report makes policy recommendations designed to enhance children’s safety by bringing the Australian family law system into alignment with children’s rights. It illustrates its case for reform with the findings of a multiple case study project comprising seven in-depth interviews with adult survivors of...

Compliance with and enforcement of family law parenting orders: views of professionals and judicial officers

This report summarises the views of 343 professionals who work with separated parents and chose to complete an online survey, and 11 judicial officers who exercise family law jurisdiction and participated in one-on-one interviews. The survey instrument was designed to elicit views on a range...

Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System: final report

The Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System was appointed by the Australian Parliament in September 2019. Since that time, the committee has undertaken a comprehensive two-year inquiry into the family law and the child support systems. This final report notes any government actions...

Australia's Child Support Scheme: third interim report

The Joint Select Committee on Australia's Family Law System was appointed by resolution of the Senate on 18 September 2019 and resolution of the House of Representatives on 19 September 2019. In preparing this third interim report, the committee considered all relevant evidence provided to...

Health justice partnership as a response to domestic and family violence

This paper describes health justice partnership as an integrated response to domestic and family violence - what partnerships currently look like, where they are found, who they support, and what they offer partner agencies, practitioners and their clients.

Improvements in family law proceedings: second interim report

This report outlines a series of recommendations, including the implementation of procedures to enable the investigation of claims of a party wilfully misleading the Family Court, and the accreditation of professionals in the family law system. There are also a series of recommendations about making...

Improvements in family law proceedings: interim report

This interim report outlines the current progress on the inquiry into potential reforms to Australia's family law system.

Poverty lawgorithms

Automated decision-making systems make decisions about our lives, and those with low-socioeconomic status often bear the brunt of the harms these decisions cause. This guide explains automated decision-making systems so lawyers can better identify the source of their clients' problems and advocate on their behalf.

Child wellbeing after parental separation

This research summary highlights some key findings from a range of studies dealing with the experiences of separated families, children's needs in the context of the family law system, and the impact of domestic and family violence on parenting.

Rainbow family formation and dissolution in Australia

This review found a diverse and exciting field of scholarship, that while not as extensive as its heterosexual counterpart, provides some clear insight into the contemporary experiences of rainbow family formation in Australia.

A qualitative study on behalf of the Independent Panel examining the 2014 family justice system reforms: main report

The primary objectives of this research were to explore and understand the experiences of the post2014 services for resolving disputes about care including experiences of both out of court and incourt processes.

Te Korowai Ture ā-Whānau: the final report of the Independent Panel examining the 2014 family justice reforms

The National Party’s 2014 reforms made significant changes to the family justice system, including introducing Family Dispute Resolution and removing lawyers from the early stages of some Family Court proceedings. An independent panel examined the 2014 changes and considered how they've impacted separating families and...
Audio interview

State control of family court 'not good for family law or community', former Family Court justice says

Australian Law Reform Commission has recommended scrapping the national Family Court and handing control of family law back to the states and territories. Its report is the first into the crisis-ridden family law system since the Family Court was established in the 1970s.

Family law for the future – an inquiry into the family law system: final report

This report makes 60 recommendations for reform, including that the resolution of family law disputes be returned to the states and territories and that the federal family courts eventually be abolished.

The practice of dowry and the incidence of dowry abuse in Australia

This Inquiry report makes 12 recommendations to government to address dowry abuse in Australia.
Discussion paper

Review of the family law system: discussion paper

This discussion paper asks 33 questions and makes 124 proposals for change to the family law system, which focus on support for children, improving public understanding of the processes, accessible and coordinated service delivery, and enhanced oversight of the family law system and its workforce.

Review of the family law system: issues and opportunities

On 27 July 2018, Professor Rhoades presented at the annual Australian Institute of Family Studies Conference.

Direct cross‑examination in family law matters

This report explores quantitative and qualitative data relevant to direct cross‑examination involving self-represented litigants in family law matters.

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

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 federal Attorney-General’s Department (AGD). This study aimed to investigate the experiences and needs of young people...
Discussion paper

Review of the family law system: issues paper

This issues paper is intended to encourage informed community participation by providing some background information and highlighting the issues so far identified by the ALRC as relevant to the areas listed in the Terms of Reference.

Small claims, large battles: achieving economic equality in the family law system

For women experiencing disadvantage, the risk of poverty, homelessness and ongoing financial insecurity is heightened by the lack of fast, affordable pathways to resolve family law property disputes. Many women are simply walking away from their entitlement to a fair division of property.
Discussion paper

Protecting survivors’ most sensitive information: a sexual assault counselling privilege for family law

This paper responds to the Australian Law Reform Commission Review of the Family Law System. In particular, it addresses question 25 in the issues paper released in March 2018 - how should the family law system address misuse of process as a form of abuse...

Families with complex needs and the intersection of the family law and child protection systems: final report

This is the final report to the Attorney-General on the issue of families with complex needs and the family law and child protection systems. It concentrates on opportunities to enhance collaboration and information sharing within the family law system as well as other support services...

Understanding parenting disputes after separation

This report adds to what is known about the behaviour and motivations of separated parents in Australia, drawing on three independent data sets.