This all changed in 1975 with the introduction of “no-fault” divorce and the Family Court system.
Since its implementation, the family law system has been the subject of dozens of inquiries and amendments.
Patrick Parkinson, the Dean of Law at the University of Queensland, says when considering family law reform, it’s important to remember that the Family Court deals with much more than just marital disputes.
“It’s essential that you start with the proposition that disproportionately we are dealing with violence, abuse, mental illness and drug and alcohol abuse,” he says.
“If you understand that then you can probably understand that the adversarial system and decision-making by lawyers, many of whom have commercial law backgrounds, is not fit for purpose for dealing with those sorts of issues.”