Family law proceedings

The Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 (Cth) is currently before Parliament. The Bill amends the Family Law Act 1975 to:

  • amend the parenting order framework by refining the list of ‘best interests’ factors, removing the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility and related equal time and substantial and significant time provision, and clarifying the circumstances in which a court can vary an existing parenting order;
  • redraft provisions relating to compliance with, and enforcement of, parenting orders;
  • amend definitions relating to the concept of ‘family’ to be more inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and traditions;
  • permit the appointment of independent children’s lawyers (ICLs) in matters brought under the Hague Convention and require ICLs to meet with a child and give them an opportunity to express a view;
  • clarify restrictions on communicating identifiable information arising in family proceedings; and enable standards and requirements to be prescribed for professionals who prepare family reports;
  • makes consequential amendments to the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 and Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Act 2021;

Amends the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Act 2021 to:

  • allow registrars of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA) to be delegated the power to impose a make-up time parent order in contravention proceedings;
  • bring forward the review of the Act by 2 years;
  • provide that a judge of the Family Court of Western Australia can be dually appointed as a judge of Division 1 of the FCFCOA; and

Amends Family Law Act 1975 and Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Act 2021

  • to introduce ‘harmful proceedings orders’ and extend the ‘overarching purpose of family law practice and procedure’ and the accompanying duty to all proceedings instituted under the Family Law Act 1975.

More information can be found here: