AWAVA welcomes the opportunity to contribute a submission to the Senate inquiry into the Family Law Amendment (Financial Agreements and Other Measures) Bill 2015.
We support the intention of the Bill to strengthen the Family Law Act, and particularly the intention of enabling the courts to offer better protection to victims of family violence.
We agree that there is merit in enabling family courts to dismiss an application where there is no reasonable prospect of success, but we share Women’s Legal Service Queensland’s concern about possible negative unforeseen consequences for victims of domestic and family violence.
More generally, in light of the serious concerns raised by Women’s Legal Service Queensland in its submission, we have reservations about whether many of the proposed amendments will achieve the purpose of offering better protection to victims of family violence. Much more extensive change is needed in order to make the safety of women and children central to the operation of the family law system.