The Australian Family Court Marks a 40-Year Anniversary

Since its establishment in 1976 by the Family Law Act 1975, the Australian Family Court celebrates its 40th year in the family law sector. Because there was increasing need for a Court to specialise in family law cases, the Family Court got established. Apart from Western Australia, the Act was able to create a family law system that was uniform across all Australian Territories and States. However, in mid 1976, the Family Court of Western Australia was opened. In order to handle the family law matters sensitively and ensure efficient Court proceedings in the Family Court, experienced and proficient judges who were well-familiarised with the Family Law system were appointed to serve the newly opened courts by then.

There were many reasons as to why the Australian Family Court got established including, introducing non-legal professionals, such as counselors and also to enable the court procedure be more informal as compared to the State Courts. Instead of using an overly adversarial approach, the Family Court got established to facilitate and encourage resolving family disputes by the parties reaching an agreement cooperatively. According to a South Australian-based law firm partner, Diana Dichiera, people were able to access greater freedom to leaving abusive and unhealthy relationships thanks to the introduction of the Family Court in 1976.

The Family Law Act 1975 and the Family Court have greatly changed both in relation to the court processes and the law over the past 40 years. Today, the changes to the most common areas of family law practice in Australia include; Parenting Matters, Property Settlement Matters, and Divorce. It is a fact that divorces were often difficult and expensive to obtain before the Family Court and the Act got introduced in Australia. As a matter of fact, “parties had to have been separated for five or more years in order to obtain a divorce order,” said Diana while speaking with Aussie Lawyer Blog.

Alternatively, only the spouse that proved the other partner was a fault for the breakdown was allowed to obtain a divorce order if the couple got separated. The following were the grounds of fault at that time; Bestiality, Sodomy or Rape; Habitually cruelty to a spouse of at least one year; There had been desertion by a spouse of at least two years without excuse or cause; and Adultery had been committed. Therefore, this shows how the Family Law system in Australia has greatly improved since the establishment of the Family Court and the Act.

Written by Joseph Craig

Joseph Craig is a writer, blogger, legal researcher and best-selling author of dozens of technology, law, digital marketing and self-development books and courses. You can contact him at josephcraigwrites@gmail.com

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