Information collection under the Family Law Act: Melbourne Family Court hearings, 1981
Occasional Paper Number 5
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Paper discusses the need for systematic information about Family Court outcomes. Discussion centres on information collected on a prototype record system developed by the Melbourne Registry of the Family Court. Records from the year 1981 were analysed to provide a first picture of decisions made over the course of that year in the Melbourne Court. The analysis shows that important information on outcomes of the Court can be obtained with relatively little effort, provided that record keeping is structured in an effective manner. The recent decision to automate records by the Court is welcomed as the means to obtaining a systematic picture of the characteristics of those who divorce, the patterns of disputes over custody, access, property and maintenance, and of the outcomes as decided by consent or by court orders. The data presented give some idea of what a computerised record-keeping system will be able to do.