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  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

New laws could give DV survivors better chance at compo

Proposed law reforms would make it easier for victims of family and domestic violence to seek compensation in property disputes and settlements.

Survivors of domestic violence could find it easier to seek compensation under proposed family law reforms designed to make the justice system safer and more accessible.

Draft legislation and a consultation paper released by the federal government on Monday propose that family violence be considered an important factor in property disputes and settlements.

Inquiries have found challenges facing the justice system include problems with responding to family child abuse and neglect; overly complex and confusing laws; financial hardship from protracted legal battles and incompetent family law professionals. 

The Australian Law Reform Commission recommended amendments to family law that allow compensation for the harm caused by family violence by removing barriers to providing evidence.

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said the reforms would send an important message about the long-term harm of violence.

"This program of reform demonstrates the Albanese government's commitment to making the family law system safer for families, especially children," he said in a statement.

The new laws would enhance the court's ability to manage family violence evidence, clarify when a court can order someone to pay for an independent children's lawyer and strengthen access to information about children who could be at risk of violence.

Submissions on the draft legislation close on November 10.


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