The Family Law Practitioners’ Association of Queensland (FLPA) today called on the State Government to rethink an amendment to the Civil Partnerships Bill proposed by the Queensland Council of Civil Liberties.
Under clause 18 of the new Bill, a proposed amendment requires the District Court to be satisfied that reasonable arrangements had been made for any dependent children of the relationship when terminating a civil partnership.
FLPA president Deborah Awyzio warned that if the proposed amendments were made to the Bill, it could lead to increased legal costs and confusion for separating couples from a civil partnership.
“FLPA commends the Government’s commitment to reducing discrimination against same-sex couples by offering them formal recognition of their relationships through an official union,” she said.
“While FLPA welcomes and supports the proposed legislation, we see the purpose of the Bill as providing a mechanism for registering committed relationships for same or heterosexual couples who don’t want to or can’t get married.
“There is a Commonwealth jurisdiction already established and administered by the Federal Magistrates Court and Family Court of Australia which is best placed to consider parenting arrangements.”
Ms Awyzio said the legislation should stay focused on the relationship between two people, not on their family situation.
“The object of the Bill is to provide for legal recognition of relationships and ability to register those relationships and terminate those relationships,” she said.
“The is no point making this a part of the District Court as they would have no power to do anything about a situation where they felt that the parenting arrangements were unreasonable except in cases where it was so extreme that the State Child Protection jurisdiction was called in.”
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.