Family Law Changes

Family Violence Amendments to the Family Law Act

Women’s Legal Service NSW, with Women’s Legal Services Australia (the national network of women’s legal services), welcome the changes to the Family Law Act relating to family violence. The changes took effect on 7 June 2012, which means they do not apply to cases filed before this date.

The changes mean the law will now prioritise a consideration of the protection of children over an ongoing meaningful relationship with another parent.  The changes also broaden the definition of family violence and abuse to better encapsulate the experience of victims and their children.

A guide to the changes is available on the Women’s Legal Services Australia website.

While the changes are important, we do not believe they go far enough due to the continued emphasis on shared parenting and presumption of equal shared parental responsibility.  We believe there need to be greater recognition that every family is unique and so these presumptions should be abolished.

Along with Women’s Legal Services Australia, we will monitor the impact of the changes.

Ask LOIS Webinars

LOISWatch a free online workshop (“webinar”) about the amendments. A collection of webinars on a range of topics are available to watch for free at

Family Law: Review of Changes to the Family Violence Provisions 3 years on
Date: 24 March 2015 

In this webinar, we look at the 2012 changes to the Family Law Act around family violence and what impact they have had in practice. We review literature and different perspectives to identify trends and what these mean for clients who have experienced violence. A summary factsheet of the webinar is available.

Presented by Mari Vagg, Solicitor, Women’s Legal Service NSW

Watch the webinar

Family Law: Changes to the Family Violence Provisions
Date: 23 October 2012

Learn about the changes to the Family Law Act that came into effect on 7 June 2012. A factsheet summary of this webinar can be downloaded.

Presented by Kate Duffy, Solicitor, Women’s Legal Service NSW

Watch the webinar


W&FL Cover May 14

Women and Family Law

For information about family law, including children’s matters and options for protection from domestic violence, see our plain-English guide to family law Women and Family Law.


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