Will the family law system really change?
It made headlines – the family law system is changing. But is it?
The newspapers would have you believe that the government’s plan to merge the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court of Australia is going to create and bring about the change our family law system desperately needs. My concern however is that we are only moving the deckchairs on an already sinking titanic.
You see, what hasn’t been said is what additional resources the government is going to provide to this new entity. The Courts as they currently stand, whilst independent of each other still work closely together already. It is hard to see how the merging of the courts is going to make much of a difference without additional resources being provided. Our family law system is one that hasn’t kept up with the times. Our families and our children are suffering as a result.
Don’t get me wrong I am all for change in this broken system but our Judges are only human. They can only hear so many cases in a day and they too, along with our Family Consultants, Registrars and Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners, need to be considered in this process. If we want this new system to work and to really make an a difference for the families in it – we need more people who can listen to the cases, put in the effort to help people resolve their issues and bring about a change for the better. Not just a change in name.