Proposed changes to the Family Law Act (federal law)

There are proposed changes to the FL Act that directly relate to family violence and are aimed at aligning federal and state law.

One set of proposed reforms includes expanding the powers of state courts so they can vary or suspend parenting orders that are inconsistent with intervention orders.

Another proposed change is to make breaching a FL Act injunction a criminal offence.

The other set of proposed reforms include chan-ges aimed at assisting survivors in court proceedings: it is proposed that survivors of family violence cannot be directly cross-examined by their alleged perpetrators and cannot themselves be required to cross-examine their alleged perpetrators. Questions would need to be put through a lawyer or court-appointed intermediary.

At the time of writing (30 June 2018), these reforms were being considered by federal parliament.