Terms of Reference

The Committee will inquire into and report on how the federal family law system should be improved to better protect people affected by family violence. The inquiry will consider:

  1. how the family law system can more quickly and effectively ensure the safety of people who are or may be affected by family violence, including by:
     a. facilitating the early identification of and response to family violence; and
     b. considering the legal and non-legal support services required to support the early identification of and response to family violence;
  2. the making of consent orders where there are allegations or findings of family violence, having regard to the legislative and regulatory frameworks, and whether these frameworks can be improved to better support the safety of family members, as well as other arrangements which may be put in place as alternative or complementary measures;
  3. the effectiveness of arrangements which are in place in the family courts, and the family law system more broadly, to support families before the courts where one or more party is self represented, and where there are allegations or findings of family violence;
  4. how the family law system can better support people who have been subjected to family violence recover financially, including the extent to which family violence should be taken into account in the making of property division orders;
  5. how the capacity of all family law professionals—including judges, lawyers, registrars, family dispute resolution practitioners and family report writers—can be strengthened in relation to matters concerning family violence; and
  6. the potential for a national approach for the administration and enforcement of intervention orders for personal protection, however described.


Given the sensitive nature of the inquiry, participants are asked to ensure that the names and identifying details of parties involved in family law matters, particularly children, are not disclosed when providing input to the inquiry.


Please be aware that the Committee is unable to intervene or provide advice or assistance in relation to individual circumstances. If you are in immediate danger, please contact 000. If you are experiencing distress or would like to speak with someone about your situation, the following support services are available:

  • 1800RESPECT National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service: 1800 737 732

  • Men's Referral Service: 1300 766 491

  • Lifeline: 131 114

  • Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277

  • Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800

Inquiry secretariat contact:

Inquiry into a better family law system
PO Box 6021
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 4230
Fax: +61 2 6277 8463