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Two New Bills Providing Greater Relief for Distressed Families

Senator the Hon George Brandis QC has introduced two new Bills to "ease the pressure on separating families".

Relationships Australia NT welcomes the news that Senator the Hon George Brandis QC has released two new Bills under the banner of providing "greater relief for distressed families navigating the family law system". The Bills are proposed to aid separating families with a focus on the protection of vulnerable women and children in a swift and affordable manner.

The Family Law Amendment (Parent Management Hearings) Bill 2017 is the initial step in a $12.7 million pilot program announced for this year's budget. Under this new Bill separating parents will be able to reach arrangements without going through the additional stress of the traditional court system. Parent Management Hearings will provide a mechanism for parents to come to a decision that best supports the welfare of the children quickly, fairly and without additional cost. Counselling and family violence services will also be of a priority, ensuring that parenting matters are not strictly considered from a legal perspective.

The Family Law Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2017 aims to reduce the need to navigate multiple courts in addressing issues of family violence. The Bill provides state and territory courts with the ability to handle "family law matters when those families are already before them for related family violence or protection matters." This allows families to avoid the trauma of delays, expense and further risks of violence. The Bill also allows police to charge offenders when breaching a personal protection injunction.

Relationships Australia NT supports the message these new Bills are sending to Australian families: "family violence is not a private matter, it is criminal behaviour".

See the link below for more information on these new Bills.




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