Family law and family separation

A core focus for AIFS since our establishment in 1980

Family law and family separation have been research priorities for AIFS ever since our establishment in 1980 under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).

Since then, a range of social changes and policy shifts have continued to influence the system in significant ways. These are reflected in many different amendments to the Family Law Act, including:

  • the introduction of the presumption in favour of equal shared parental responsibility in 2006
  • provisions placing increased emphasis on the need to protect children from harm from exposure to abuse, neglect and family violence in 2012.

AIFS' research into family law and family separation has included:

  • the evaluation of the 2006 family law reforms
  • the evaluation of the 2012 Family Violence Amendments
  • the 2008 Family Pathways series of projects
  • the 2018 Children and Young People in Separated Families and Direct cross-examination in family law matters projects
  • and, since 2020, evaluations of the Lawyer-assisted Property Mediation Pilot and Small Claims Property Pilot, and the Compliance with and Enforcement of Family Law Parenting Orders project.

AIFS' family law team makes submissions and/or provides evidence to parliamentary committees and law reform commission activities in the area of family law. 

View publications from the Family law & family separation team.