4 Jun 2013

Select committee endorses Family Court shake-up

10:36 pm on 4 June 2013

Parliament's justice select committee has endorsed changes put up by the Government as part of its Family Court shake-up.

Nearly 400 written submissions and 200 verbal submissions have been made on the changes.

In April this year, the Government decided to back changes that include giving certain parents up to four hours access to a lawyer, as well as up to three hours of preparatory counselling to allow them to make the most of the Family Dispute Resolution Service.

Other changes being supported will enable judges to refer parties back to the service or a parenting course, while lawyers will be able to engage earlier in the court process at a judge's discretion.

Now that the select committee has recommended the bill be passed, the legislation will head for its second reading.