HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE COURT SYSTEM IN DEALING WITH ISSUES AFFECTING FAMILY MEMBERS
The Family Court of Australia was created in 1976. Its jurisdiction is determined by s.51 of the Australian constitution. The court manages the Family Law Act 1975, the Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989, and the Child Support (Registration and Collection) Act 1988. Its objective is to resolve or determine disputes arising from family separation. The court has one main outcome which is ‘serving the interests of the Australian community by ensuring families and children in need can access effective high quality services’.
According to the Matrimonial Causes Act 1959, if you wanted to divorce you had to wait for a period of five years. During this time you often saw your spouse as an enemy. There was a major law reform to this law, which took place in 1975 under the Family Law Act 1975 which introduced the ‘no fault divorce.’ This meant neither party were to blame for the breakdown of a marriage. The only ground for divorce would be ‘irretrievable breakdown’ of the marriage. The introduction of this was that if one party wanted a divorce, they had to inform their spouse and separate for a period of twelve months. Divorce was made easier in the court system. An application needed to be lodged to the Family Court for dissolution of marriage. At that point a ‘decree nisi’ would be issued, and one month after that a ‘decree absolute’, that indicated that the marriage had officially ended.
An effectiveness of shortened divorce time is the case ‘Father from Hell’ who had repeatedly beaten his wife and also his children to the point where they were close to death. This is the first case in Australia were the father is banned from ever seeing his children. If divorce was to take five years as it was before the wife and children wouldn’t have been alive today.
This fundamental change to divorce law was clearly a reaction to changing social values. This made divorce easier for...