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Family Matters No. 67 - May 2004

Legislating for shared parenting

The 'joint custody' inquiry makes recommendations for change
Catherine Caruana

Abstract

After six months of inquiry, the House of Representatives Family and Community Affairs Standing Committee has released its report on child custody arrangements following separation. In this article the author summarises and comments on the Committee's report. Three recommendations for change in the report are: changes to the substantive law through the introduction of a legal presumption of equal 'parental responsibility' following separation, in contrast to the mooted presumption of a 50/50 time split for children; a restructuring of the family law system, with the recommendation that a non adversarial, multi disciplinary tribunal replace the Family Court in the adjudication of all but the most difficult of family law disputes; and a review of the Child Support Scheme.

After six months of inquiry, the House of Representatives Family and Community Affairs Standing Committee has released its report on child custody arrangements following separation. In this article the author summarises and comments on the Committee's report. Three recommendations for change in the report are: changes to the substantive law through the introduction of a legal presumption of equal 'parental responsibility' following separation, in contrast to the mooted presumption of a 50/50 time split for children; a restructuring of the family law system, with the recommendation that a non adversarial, multi disciplinary tribunal replace the Family Court in the adjudication of all but the most difficult of family law disputes; and a review of the Child Support Scheme.

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