The Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 went under the microscope at today’s profession update at the Queensland Law Society (QLS) Family Law Conference in Brisbane.
QLS Councillor Samantha Bolton, Director of Pippa Colman & Associates, opened today’s conference saying “Family Law is a dynamic area of practice, and this year has and will continue to be one of significant change in terms of legislation and case law.
“This makes it crucial that we as practitioners remain well-informed and at the forefront of legal developments,” she said.
“That’s why events like this one are exceptionally important, where we unpack the impacts on our practice, and explore new ways to best support our clients as we discharge our duties.”
Samantha said the Family Law Amendment Bill 2023 was an important piece of legislation and “being touted as the most significant reform since the commencement of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia in 2021”.
“In the QLS submission to the Law Council of Australia on the draft bill and consultation paper, our Domestic and Family Violence and Family Law committees closely considered how the proposed amendments would improve safety for those who have or may experience family violence,” she said.
“We expressed content with the proposed drafting of the amendments to the framework for making parental orders and supported the simplification of the best interest factors.
“QLS also backed the removal of the presumption of shared parental responsibility and mandatory consideration of certain time arrangements.
“As a result, community expectation of equal time should dissipate – and our members expect they will be better able to focus advice on how orders for time will depend on evidence about what is in the best interests of the child, taking all relevant family issues into account.”
This afternoon, His Honour Magistrate Colin Strofield of the Magistrates Court of Queensland, will give an update on recent legislative changes in the domestic family violence landscape, and how they will impact practice and ethical obligations.
In a related track today, expert counsellor Nova Gibson will speak on understanding narcissistic abuse, with QLS Future Leaders Committee member Georgina Peereboom chairing the discussion.
Also Her Honour, Judge Ann Demack, of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, will moderate a discussion on the current approach of the family courts to financial agreements, and how best to draft an agreement that sticks.