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Family Matters No. 53 - June 1999

What is a fair divorce settlement?

Peter Saunders

Abstract

The Attorney-General's department is currently considering proposed changes to the rules governing property settlement in divorce. This is a highly contentious area of the Family Law Act, and in this essay the author sets out to show why. There are, he says, different and competing criteria of 'fairness' in Australian culture, and some of the ideas now under consideration support only one notion of fairness while neglecting others that are equally valid. This article is a personal contribution to the debate over divorce law reform, and does not represent the 'official' position of the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

 

 

The Attorney-General's department is currently considering proposed changes to the rules governing property settlement in divorce. This is a highly contentious area of the Family Law Act, and in this essay the author sets out to show why. There are, he says, different and competing criteria of 'fairness' in Australian culture, and some of the ideas now under consideration support only one notion of fairness while neglecting others that are equally valid. This article is a personal contribution to the debate over divorce law reform, and does not represent the 'official' position of the Australian Institute of Family Studies.

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