Adelaide family and divorce lawyer Jane Miller talks to the Advertiser about the major changes to the Family Law Act.
6/6/12 - Click here to read the story on AdelaideNow
SEPARATED parents are expected to inundate the Family Court when new domestic violence laws take effect from tomorrow.
The laws, brought in by the Gillard Government, widen the definition of domestic violence beyond physical abuse to include stalking, repeated derogatory taunts, intentionally damaging or destroying property and preventing someone having contact with family and friends.
They also offer more protection to minors by deeming a parent who has let their child witness an assault on another parent as a form of abuse against their child.
Family Law expert at Tindall Gask Bentley, Jane Miller, said the laws will allow the court to better decide when shared parenting isn't in a child's best interests.
"These amendments represent a significant shift in Australia in recognising, reporting and dealing with family violence and parenting disputes, and are a positive step for children at the centre of custody disputes," Ms Miller said yesterday.
But Lone Fathers National President Barry Williams said the laws were unfair.
"You can't go around accusing people of violence in order to use it to your advantage. It is occurring now and it will happen even more under these laws," he said.
The amendments will apply only to cases filed from tomorrow.
Click here for more about these changes to the Family Law Act.
Jane Miller is an Accredited Family Law Specialist and Partner at Tindall Gask Bentley Lawyers. Contact (08) 8212 1077.