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De Facto property laws pass parliament

The Family Law Amendment (Validation of Certain Orders and Other Measures) Act 2012 has been passed by the Parliament on the 22nd March.  The Act will retrospectively validate de facto property and maintenance orders made by the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrates Court.  The provisions take effect on the day after the Act receives Royal Assent.

De Facto property laws pass parliament
22 March 2012


Laws to provide certainty to people who have orders of the federal family law courts in de facto property and maintenance matters passed Parliament today.
Ms Roxon, the Federal Attorney General said
The laws ensure that people who have spent time and money to get court orders can rely on those orders.

Following relationship breakdown, it is important that people can move forward with their lives, having some certainty about their financial affairs.

The laws put people in the same position they would have been in had proclamations been made on schedule in 2006 and 2009.

The Government has acted quickly to resolve these two bureaucratic oversights.

In addition to amending the legislation to prevent a similar oversight occurring again, I have requested an external audit of my Departments processes be conducted to help ensure that all its legislative requirements are met.
The Family Law Amendment (Validation of Certain Orders and Other Measures) Act 2012 will retrospectively validate de facto property and maintenance orders made by the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrates Court. The Proclamation should have been made in early 2009 to enable the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrates Court to validly make these orders.  

The Act also retrospectively validates certain orders of the Family Court made on appeal from Family Law Magistrates in Western Australia between 1 July 2006 and 21 October 2011.

This will address any concerns about the validity of those orders stemming from a similar Proclamation not having been made until October 2011.

This Act also removes the need for Proclamations to be made to bring into effect changes made to the Family Law Act, preventing a similar oversight from happening again.

For more information can be found at www.ag.gov.au.

Media contact:
Attorney-Generals Office - 02 6277 7300

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