The Federal Government should enact retrospective legislation immediately to ratify de facto property orders or risk thousands of rulings being challenged, according to the Family Law Practitioners’ Association of Queensland (FLPA).
The call comes in the wake of Wednesday’s shocking revelation that the Government has failed to properly authorise Family Court of Australia and Federal Magistrates Court of Australia orders relating to de facto couples, including property settlements and maintenance agreements, between 1 March 2009 and 11 February 2012.
FLPA president Deborah Awyzio said FLPA believed the implications of this “very unfortunate administrative error” could have far-reaching consequences and was a sensitive issue for those involved as it had potential to “open old wounds.”
“Family law is a highly emotive and complex area of law,” Ms Awyzio said.
“In many instances the couples involved in these disputes have struggled to reach settlementsand are trying to put the past behind them and move on.
“It is pleasing to see that the Governor-General Quentin Bryce has rushed through a proclamation which has allowed changes to the laws effective from 11 February this year.”
Ms Awyzio urged the opposing parties to unite to ensure the legislation was enacted immediately to safeguard de facto property and maintenance orders made by the Family Court and the Magistrates Court in the period since March 2009.
For further information, please contact:
Merrett Pye on 0422 096 049 or Caroline Thurlow on 0414 565 575
The Family Law Practitioners’ Association of Queensland is the leading professional association for the family law sector in Queensland.