Family Law Act

Legal Complexities and Problems of Part VII of the Family Law Act

Part VII of the Family Law Act provides that it is impossible for a child to have more than two parents. Both the Commonwealth and State laws do not contain specific clarifications on the issue in question. To that end, it is essential to explore how the judges approach this problem. Specifically speaking, the court in Groth & Banks ascertained that the fact that a child has two parents who are his or her biological progenitors permeates the language of the Act.[1]

The primacy of biology in the ascertainment of who is a child’s parents has been displaced for many years by reason of various State and Commonwealth laws reacting to the challenges of artificial reproductive technology. However, it is also pointed out that the language of Part VII provides an insufficient recognition of the realities of certain modern families. Possible complexities and questionable matters may arise in cases where children are born from an assisted conception procedure. The issue of whether it is in the best interests of the child to spend time with a person is separate from the legal recognition of that individual as a parent.

Property and Financial Issues

Property and Financial Issues After Separation

Legal effects of separation on proprietary and financial relationships between the spouses

As a matter of fact, separation necessitates dealing with a wide spectrum of proprietary and financial issues that stem from and are related to marriage. Specifically speaking, it is usually incumbent on the spouses to handle division of their property (assets) and debts. Australian law prescribes various means by which spouses can accomplish such division. First and foremost, spouses, to the same extent as de facto partners, are entitled to come to an agreement on how the property should be divided without having any recourse to court. Second, if the spouses arrived at a mutually acceptable conclusion, they can formalise their arrangement by filing an application for a consent order in the Family Court. Third, as an alternative, if the spouses are unable to reach a consensual arrangement, they may apply to a court for a financial order, such as the order pertaining to the division of property and payment of spouses or de facto partner maintenance.

children’s matters

Children Related Issues Under Australian Family Law

The regulation of children’s matters under Australian law has become a topic of vigorous debates and legal analyses. Thus, legal experts in Australia deem it wise to focus on a federal Status of Children Act in order to improve the regulation of various issues regarding the parentage of children. Per legal experts, it has become crystal clear that Part VII of Family Law Act does not perfectly fit to providing a definition of legal parentage for the purposes of Commonwealth laws in general.

The major objective of Part VII of Family law Act is the parenting arrangements for children when there is a dispute. Though the question of who is or who are a child’s legal parents is of huge importance, in terms of the Family Law Act, the considerations involved in determining what is in a child’s best interest in parenting disputes go beyond the determination of legal parentage. In this connection, the proposed federal Status of Children Act is aimed at providing a clear, consistent and accessible statement of the legal parentage of children for the purposes of all Commonwealth laws and for all courts that exercise federal jurisdiction. It is also expected that the Act will include all the existing parentage provisions in Part VII of Family Law Act. The last but not least, the Act is expected to provide a mechanism for the family courts to transfer parentage in surrogacy agreements.