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Family Law Amendment Act 2024

On 6th May 2024 the Family Law Amendment Act 2024 (Cth) (FLAA) came into effect. Its objective, to improve the outcomes for Australians that are separating, by making the process simpler, safer and more accessible.
Please refer to our updated page for more information.

Family Law Amendment Bill 2023

In October 2023 two pieces of legislation were passed in Parliament to improve the outcomes for Australians that are separating, by making the process simpler, safer and more accessible.

What the Bill means for children

This proposed amendment to the Family Law Act 1975 via the Family Law Amendment Bill 2023, is largely intended to further facilitate the best interests of children.  The desired outcome is that it should be easier to navigate and implement parenting decisions whether they be in or out of the court.  The focus is on children’s welfare.

In  order to prioritise the safety of children, courts will under the the new information sharing orders have direct and more timely access to information from police, child protection and firearms agencies on matters that could place children at risk.

The presumption from the provisions of the Family Law Act of 1975 of “equal shared parental responsibility” do not necessarily follow, as they improperly exposed the children to risk and compromised safety.

These changes have set out after much consultation and consensus and address a range of concerns and considerations surrounding the family unit and the courts.  To find out more, you may contact us and arrange an appointment or should you like to explore this further on your own we have listed some resources below.

List of references

Dreyfuss, Mark. Attorney-General’s Portfolio, Attorney-General’s Department, 19 Oct. 2023, 


“Feedback Updated 8 Nov 2023.” Family Law Amendment Bill 2023, Attorney-General’s Department, 8 Nov. 2023,


“Updates on Family Law Amendment Bill 2023.” Law Council of Australia, 8 Sept. 2023, 


Father’s rights under Family Law in Australia

Whether you are thinking of a separation, already in the process of divorce or seeking clarification on your situation or simply want to know about maintenance obligations, this guide is designed to dispel the myths about unpaid spousal maintenance and father’s rights under Australian Family Law.

Along with alimony, we will briefly address some of the most critical problems in family law that fathers face.  In a system that may often appear to be skewed in favour of mothers.  We will discuss the key role of attorneys in assuring the fathers’ right to a fair and just resolution of their cases. As everyone’s circumstances vary and there are so many factors that require evaluation this is simply a guide which should be followed up with the consultation of a professional.  In this article we will touch on the support and claim issues, unpaid spousal maintenance and the legal representation of fathers.

My Ex Has Stopped Paying Spousal Maintenance

Divorce is a complicated process, and one area that often needs to be looked at closely is the matter of spousal maintenance. This monetary aid is supposed to assist one spouse in maintaining a minimum level of living after the divorce. 

Nevertheless, one may get into a situation where the spouse no longer adheres to the spousal maintenance payments, which inevitably falls upon an individual to shoulder all the expenses. Those that are required to pay the other party often ask, “Why should I pay?” “Is this fair?”  “How are these obligations determined? Or “What if I don’t pay?”    

Let’s begin by reviewing spousal maintenance alimony, the criteria for eligibility, and what one should do if maintenance payments are not received on time.

The Divorce Court settles maintenance claim for spouse and children

What is Spousal Maintenance?

The Family Law Act governs spousal support, a financial mechanism where one ex-spouse supports the other ex-spouse following separation or divorce. It discusses the economic apportionment that could result when one partner becomes financially dependent during a marriage. Spousal maintenance can be in the form of periodic payouts or lump-sum amounts, and this supports a fair outcome that is intended to address the circumstances and contributions of both parties after divorce.

In deciding on the type and amount of maintenance the spouses may be entitled to, the court considers various factors to achieve a fair and just financial arrangement that would contribute to both parties’ economic well-being. These factors include:

  • Marriage duration

Longer marriages could need a longer term of domestic support. The court considers that a divorcing couple tends to become more economically dependent over time. Therefore, such a long-term marriage may require a longer-term spousal maintenance order.

  • Financial disparities

Potential financial differences between partners are important in setting spousal maintenance payments. The court considers the monetary demand of a spouse requesting maintenance and the ability of the other spouse to meet such needs. Higher maintenance payments are more likely if the ex-spouses have considerable income differences.

  • Contributions to the marriage

The court weighs both financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage.

Therefore, non financial contributions, like homemaking, child-rearing, or spousal career support, are also appraised. This acknowledges that contributions go beyond financial aspects and gives the recognition that plays of different roles require value within the marriage.

How Do I Know If I’m Entitled to Spousal Maintenance?

Factoring spousal maintenance is a significant step in post-divorce financial planning and should take into account the entire surrounding situation. Although laws vary by jurisdiction, some principles are considered when making an assessment.

The main issue would be if the other spouse needs financial support. If a partner cannot continue living to the same standard as that of the marriage because of economic differences, then they may be entitled to spousal maintenance.

The court typically scrutinises the standard of living set in the marriage. If divorce severely affects one spouse’s standards of life, it may be necessary for spousal maintenance to be granted to fill the gap and provide reasonable financial support.

The ability of each spouse to support themselves is a crucial factor in the decision to the weighting of spousal maintenance amounts. In case one spouse earned notably less than the other or didn’t manage to support themselves enough, the court may take these factors into consideration when deciding upon spousal maintenance.

Legal Advice and Application Procedure

Coping with the complicated requirements for spousal maintenance can be difficult, and it’s better to get advice from a family law attorney. In Australia, the Family Law Act is the legislation that oversees spousal support. Knowing the subtleties of this law is fundamental to not only whether or not a person qualifies but the amounts and period of maintenance can be impacted by the level of exploration and expertise of legal counsel.

Consulting a spousal maintenance lawyer lets you evaluate your circumstances according to the criteria specified in the Act. It not only allows you to find out whether you are eligible for spousal maintenance but a shrewd practitioner may help you uncover hidden assets.

Lawyers for Dads

Fathers have distinct legal challenges during divorce, child custody, and support proceedings that require specialists. The statistics may seem to suggest that family law disputes favoured mothers, which can be a drawback for fathers. Lawyers for dads are focused on overcoming these difficulties to achieve the best and fairest results often irrespective of gender, role or financial status.

Why Is A Specialised Lawyer For Dads A Necessity?

Navigating family law cases, specifically, those involving custody of children and parental rights, is complicated by traditional male stereotypes that fathers often find themselves to be slotted into and therefore requires deeper investigations into the nuances of the relationships and contributions involved. Specialised legal representation for dads becomes essential for several reasons:

  • Pushing for equal shared parenting
    Lawyers for fathers occupy a critical position in the struggle for equal shared parenting rights. An important part of the family law is that both parents are involved in the child’s life.
  • Navigating parental rights challenges
    Fathers may be at odds with enforcing their parental rights, especially if there are misconceptions concerning their involvement or ability. Experienced representation will help facilitate fair and just outcomes.
  • Promoting fair custody arrangements
    Fathers advocating for custody may encounter obstacles in attaining an equitable and fair custody arrangement. Lawyers for dads strive to set a custody program that places the child`s best interests above all else and, at the same time, acknowledges the father’s rights.

Finding the Right Legal Support

Family Lawyers Near Me

Finding a family attorney in your area is a necessary first step. Proximity guarantees the convenience of communication and accessibility during case litigation. Additionally, when looking for the best family lawyer, one needs to account for expertise, experience, and client reviews. An attorney with much experience handling family law cases can positively affect your case’s outcome.

Good family lawyers, especially father-rights-oriented ones, distinguish themselves with their legal knowledge, empathy, and caring hearts. They enforce positive co-parenting outcomes whilst safeguarding the father’s rights.

For fathers lacking financial resources, the legal aid office can be an essential support. Legal aid makes it possible for fathers to have access to specialised legal representatives regardless of their financial situation.

What can fathers expect from the Family Law?

The family law landscape, particularly in matters of unpaid spousal maintenance and a father’s legal position, must be examined in terms of individual circumstances. We seek to clarify entitlements and ways of resolving issues by simplifying the basic legal terms so those facing these challenges can confidently approach the process. Turning the lens on how fathers are represented in a court of law, the guide recognizes that there are some particular challenges that fathers have to deal with in the Family Court. It recognises but is not necessarily reminded of the importance of fathers in ensuring custody fairness, combating parental rights problems, and arguing for joint shared parenting. At Dianne Grace Family Law, no matter what the gender or role of the partner or parent may be, we strive to achieve fair and equitable conflict resolution for the parties so that they may move on to new chapters in their lives with equanimity.

Our Top Priority is Your Welfare

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