AG welcomes Senate passage of legislation enabling de facto couples to access the federal family law courts on property and maintenance matters.
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2008 18:14:02
Subject: Attorney-General Media Release - Rudd Government Welcomes Senate Passage of De Facto Reforms
Rudd Government Welcomes Senate Passage of De Facto Reforms
Attorney-General Robert McClelland has today welcomed the passage through the Senate of the Rudd Government's landmark legislation enabling de facto couples to access the federal family law courts on property and maintenance matters.
"These reforms are long overdue. They will end current arrangements which place a huge administrative and financial burden on separating de facto couples," Attorney-General Robert McClelland said.
"De facto couples have been waiting six years for the Commonwealth to accept references of power from the States and Territories to simplify the laws and provide greater protection."
"Consistent with the Government's policy, the legislation will not discriminate between opposite-sex and same-sex de facto couples. Nothing in the legislation will alter marriage laws."
"The Rudd Government has acted swiftly to provide a simpler, less costly and fairer regime for de facto couples across Australia, honouring its election commitment."
The legislation will now return to the House for approval.
Media Contact: Adam Sims 0419 480 xxx.
The aim of de facto changes is to 'benefit' the 'primary caregiver'?
FAMILY LAW AMENDMENT (DE FACTO FINANCIAL MATTERS AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2008 - Second Reading
Senator LOUISE PRATT (Western Australia) (4:39 PM) … During the recent Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs inquiry into this bill, Heidi Yates, of Womens Legal Services of Australia, said:
the Family Court, as a specialist court, with particular ability to look at the future needs of the primary caregiver and their ability to care for the children, provides the most just and equitable outcome and therefore it would be most appropriate if both de facto and married couples could use that federal system.