WEL 1998 Election Form Guide

Family Law / Child Support

The area of Family Law is always difficult because there are no winners in many of the disputes to be resolved. Two households with one set of resources will both be worse off financially and the issues around access are always hard. However, the changes over the past two decades have been substantial. The existence of some very angry people, often male, makes this area one which gender issues tend to be central. Recent moves have tended to favor male non resident parents because they have complained, without evidence, that the feminists had corrupted the Family Court. This shift is very misogynist as it sees women as the problem to be solved and men as victims. Both sides have tended to this view but the Coalition has funded it.

1993-96 under Labor -3

Positives

-

Negatives

1994 review of certain family law issues, particularly the Child Support Scheme which made recommendations which decreased non-custodial parents' responsibilities while increasing their control over their ex-spouse, yet which put matters pertaining to assessment of company and other investment income into the too hard basket.

1996-98 under the Liberal/National Party Coalition -3

Positives

Attempts to make the Family Court more user-friendly and less confrontational

Negatives

Election Promises by Labor -3

Positives

None

Negatives

No inclusion in policy, however continued support for the Child Support Amendment Bill 1997.

Election Promises by Liberal/National Party Coalition -4

Positives

Family is seen as in trouble so money for education and counselling to help families to mediate, but not replacing cuts in other areas of family court.

Negatives

Continued support for the Child Support Amendment Bill 1997, family policy seems to see men as needing support not women, judgement implicit that it's men who suffer from women's actions.

SCORE Labor -6
Coalition -7

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Page created 20 September 1998; last updated 20 September 1998