Alison Loach

Alison Loach​

Senior Associate

Alison Loach joined the firm in 2008, having previously conducted her own general law practice for 15 years in New Zealand having a particular expertise in Family Law including disputes about children and property.

She has been a Member of the District Legal Services Board, a Member of the Women’s Consultative Group to New Zealand Law Society and the Vice-President of the Marlborough District Law Society Council. Alison has many years of experience in resolving parenting disputes and litigating successful outcomes in Family Law court proceedings involving children. She has conducted many successful International Child re-location cases and is an expert in the field.

Alison is a Member of the Family Law Section of the Law Institute of Victoria.

Alison Loach
Alison Loach

Alison Loach

Senior Associate

Giuseppe Rubino

Giuseppe Rubino

Senior Associate

Stephanie Hope


Senior Associate

Related Articles & Cases

post nuptial agreement | Melbourne Family Lawyers

What Is a Post Nuptial Agreement?

A post nuptial agreement is a legal contract created by spouses after getting married.

It outlines how assets and financial responsibilities will be divided in the event of a divorce or separation.

In Australia, these agreements are called “Binding Financial Agreements.”

Post nuptial agreements, colloquially known as “postnups,” are becoming increasingly popular in Australia.

These legal contracts are entered into by married couples who wish to define the financial terms of their relationship.

🔑 Key Takeaway: A post-nuptial agreement provides a legal framework for asset division, offering financial clarity and peace of mind.

Why Consider a Post Nuptial Agreement?

Protecting Family Wealth

One of the primary reasons couples opt for a post nuptial agreement is to protect family wealth.

This is especially relevant when one spouse comes from a wealthy background or expects a significant inheritance.

The agreement can specify that certain assets remain separate property, thereby protecting them from division in the event of a divorce.

Providing for Children from Previous Marriages

A post nuptial agreement can ensure that children from previous marriages are financially provided for in blended families.

The agreement can specify what assets will go to which children, offering a clear roadmap for asset distribution.

Resolving Recurring Arguments Over Finances

Money is a common source of tension in relationships.

A post nuptial agreement can help by setting clear financial boundaries and responsibilities, potentially reducing arguments related to finances.

Protecting Business Interests

If one or both spouses are business owners, a post nuptial agreement can protect the business from being divided as a marital asset.

The agreement can specify that the business is separate property or outline how its value will be divided in the event of a divorce.

🔑 Key Takeaway: Post-nuptial agreements offer a structured way to manage various financial aspects of a marriage, from protecting family wealth to resolving financial disputes.

Legal Requirements

Be Voluntary for Both Parties

Both spouses must enter into the post nuptial agreement willingly, without any form of coercion or pressure.

This ensures that the agreement is fair and mutually beneficial.

Include Full Financial Disclosure from Both Spouses

Both parties must fully disclose their financial assets and liabilities.

This transparency is essential for crafting a fair and equitable agreement.

Comply with the Family Law Act 1975

The agreement must comply with the Family Law Act 1975 to be considered legally binding in Australia.

This includes various stipulations, such as having the agreement in writing and signed by both parties.

Be Fair and Just

The agreement must be fair to both parties. The agreement may not hold up in court if the terms heavily favor one spouse.

🔑 Key Takeaway: For a post-nuptial agreement to be legally binding, it must meet specific legal requirements, including voluntariness, full financial disclosure, and fairness.

What’s Included in a Post-Nuptial Agreement?

Assets and Debts

The agreement typically outlines how both marital and separate assets and debts will be divided.

This can include real estate, bank accounts, and even personal belongings.

Income and Future Gains

The agreement can specify how future income and potential financial gains, like bonuses or profits from investments, will be handled.

Spousal Maintenance

Spousal maintenance, or alimony, can also be included in the agreement. This specifies if, how much, and for how long one spouse will financially support the other in case of a divorce.

Insurance Coverage

Some couples include clauses about maintaining life, health, or property insurance policies, specifying who will be the beneficiary and how the benefits will be divided.

🔑 Key Takeaway: A comprehensive post-nuptial agreement should cover various financial aspects, including assets, income, spousal maintenance, and insurance.

Limitations and Exclusions

Post-nuptial agreements cannot cover child custody or child support issues.

They also cannot regulate routine aspects of a marital relationship.

🔑 Key Takeaway: Post-nuptial agreements are powerful tools, but they have limitations and should not be seen as a one-size-fits-all solution.

Always Consult Legal Professionals

Post-nuptial agreements offer a structured way for couples to manage their financial affairs.

While they may not be the most romantic aspect of a marriage, they can provide a safety net that allows the relationship to flourish.

As with any legal contract, it’s advisable to consult legal professionals to ensure the agreement meets all requirements.

🔑 Key Takeaway: A well-crafted post-nuptial agreement can be a positive step towards a secure and harmonious marital life.

trial separation | Melbourne Family Lawyers

A trial separation is a period where a couple decides to live apart while still being legally married.

Unlike a legal separation, which involves lawyers and formal agreements, a trial separation is an informal arrangement made between the partners.

The goal is often to evaluate the relationship’s issues more objectively, understand the emotional and financial implications of a potential divorce, and decide whether reconciliation is possible.

It can serve as a cooling-off period, allowing couples to work on their issues without the emotional intensity they experience while living together.

Tips for a Trial Separation

  1. Seek Professional Help: Consult a couples’ counselor for objective advice on improving your relationship. This can help you set ground rules and avoid costly emotional and financial mistakes.
  2. Set Clear Expectations: Discuss what the separation will look like. Will you still go on dates? How will you divide finances? Being transparent can prevent misunderstandings.
  3. Communication is Key: Decide how often and through what means you will communicate. Whether it’s daily calls or weekly updates, ensure you’re on the same page.
  4. Financial Planning: Discuss how you’ll manage finances during this period. Who will pay the bills? Will you maintain a joint account?
  5. Temporary Parenting Plan: If kids are involved, establish a quick parenting plan that outlines custody arrangements and visitation schedules.

Trial Separation Benefits

  1. Personal Growth: The time apart allows you to work on personal issues, whether it’s improving your frustration tolerance or addressing a substance abuse problem.
  2. Improved Communication: Living apart can help you understand your triggers and communication patterns, offering a chance to improve them.
  3. Appreciation for Partner: Being apart might make you realise the value your partner adds to your life, which can be a catalyst for reconciliation.

Trial Separation Risks

  1. Growing Apart: The time apart might make you comfortable with a life more conducive to being single, making reconciliation difficult.
  2. Unresolved Issues: Problems related to trust, money, or other specific issues might not be resolved when you live apart.
  3. Impact on Children: If kids are involved, the separation can be confusing and emotionally taxing for them.

Trial Separation Checklist and Rules


  • Decide the duration of the trial separation.
  • Plan the financial aspects, including bill payments.
  • Discuss custody and visitation if children are involved.
  • Agree on communication methods and frequency.


  • Stick to the agreed-upon financial plans.
  • Adhere to the communication schedule.
  • Do not use the separation as a means to manipulate your partner.
  • Reevaluate the relationship at predetermined intervals.

Helping Our Clients: What is Trial Separation

We recently had the privilege of advising a mother of two who came to Melbourne Family Lawyers with questions about initiating a trial separation from her spouse.

Understanding the urgency and sensitivity of the situation, we promptly scheduled a confidential consultation.

During this session, we discussed her primary concerns, particularly focusing on child custody and asset division.

We conducted a thorough legal assessment, breaking down the complexities surrounding trial separations, including procedural steps and potential outcomes.

Armed with this knowledge, the client felt empowered to make well-informed decisions for her family’s future.

Our expertise enabled her to prioritise her children’s well-being while considering her financial stability.

It was a complex and emotionally charged period for the client, and we’re proud to say that our diligent and professional approach played a pivotal role in guiding her through it.

A trial separation can be a pivotal juncture in a relationship, offering both opportunities for growth and potential pitfalls.

While it can serve as a valuable period for self-reflection and reassessment, it’s crucial to approach it with a well-thought-out plan and open communication.

Given the complex emotional, financial, and legal aspects, seeking professional legal advice is highly recommended.

A legal expert can provide tailored guidance to navigate the intricacies of separation, ensuring that both parties are protected and well-informed.

With the proper support and preparation, a trial separation can be a constructive step toward reconciliation or a more amicable parting of ways.

prenup process | Melbourne Family Lawyers

Prenuptial agreements, commonly known as “prenups,” have gained significant popularity in safeguarding assets and protecting individuals’ financial interests during a divorce or separation. A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding contract entered into by a couple before they marry or enter into a de facto relationship.

Its primary purpose is to outline the division of assets and liabilities in case of a separation, divorce, or relationship breakdown. Prenuptial agreements can address various financial aspects, including property, investments, businesses, inheritances, and other assets.

In Australia, prenuptial agreements can be crucial in determining spousal maintenance and property division.

Let’s have a comprehensive overview of the prenup process in Australia, shedding light on its legal framework and key considerations.

Factors Affecting the Validity of Prenuptial Agreements

Here are the factors affecting the validity of prenuptial agreements:

1. The Legal Basis for Prenuptial Agreements in Australia

Prenuptial agreements derive their legal foundation from the Family Law Act 1975, which grants individuals the freedom to enter into financial agreements before, during, or after marriage or a de facto relationship. Section 90B covers agreements made before marriage, while Section 90C applies to agreements made during marriage or de facto relationships.

2. Key Requirements for a Valid Prenuptial Agreement

For a prenuptial agreement to be considered valid and enforceable in Australia, it must meet specific essential criteria:

a. Voluntary Nature: Both parties must agree with their free will without coercion or undue influence.

b. Independent Legal Advice: Each party must seek independent legal advice from a qualified prenup lawyer before signing the agreement, ensuring they fully understand its implications and consequences.

c. Full and Frank Disclosure: Both parties must provide each other with complete and accurate disclosure of their respective financial positions, including assets, liabilities, income, and financial resources.

d. Certification of Advice: Each party’s lawyer must provide a signed statement confirming that advice was given, including the advantages and disadvantages of the agreement.

e. Fairness and Equity: The agreement should be fair and reasonable at the time it is made and, if upheld, must continue to be honest and reasonable at the time of its enforcement.

3. Factors Affecting the Enforceability of Prenuptial Agreements

While prenuptial agreements are generally considered legally binding in Australia, certain circumstances may impact their enforceability:

a. Non-Compliance with Legal Requirements: If the essential requirements mentioned earlier are not met, the court may find the agreement invalid and unenforceable.

b. Unconscionable Conduct: If one party can demonstrate that the agreement was entered under duress, fraud, or unconscionable conduct, the court may set aside or alter the agreement.

c. Changed Circumstances: If the financial circumstances of either party change significantly, rendering the agreement unfair or impracticable, the court may refuse to enforce specific provisions.

d. Inadequate Provision for Future Needs: The court has the discretion to refuse to enforce a prenuptial agreement if it determines that it fails to make adequate provision for the future needs of one party, particularly in cases involving children or significant financial disparities.

4. Legal Advice and Expertise

Given the complexity and potential consequences of prenuptial agreements, individuals must seek professional legal advice when considering such agreements. An experienced family lawyer can provide guidance, assess the validity of prenuptial agreements and ensure compliance with legal requirements.

Independent Legal Advice

For a prenuptial agreement to be considered valid and as an essential part of prenup process, each party must seek independent legal advice from their respective family lawyers. Doing so ensures that both parties fully understand the implications of the agreement, their rights, and the potential consequences.

Financial Disclosure

Full financial disclosure is a critical aspect of the prenup process. Both parties must provide an accurate overview of their assets, debts, and financial resources. Please disclose all relevant information to ensure the agreement is valid.

Fairness and Reasonableness

To ensure the enforceability of a prenuptial agreement, it must be fair and reasonable at the time it was made and when it is being enforced. The court will assess whether the agreement meets both parties’ needs and considers any changes in circumstances since its creation.

Prenuptial Agreement Review and Amendment

This is another integral part of the prenup process. Prenuptial agreements should be reviewed periodically, mainly when significant life events occur, such as the birth of children, changes in financial circumstances, or the acquisition or disposal of assets. Amendments can be made to reflect the changing needs and circumstances of the parties involved.

Limitations of Prenuptial Agreements

While prenuptial agreements offer a degree of protection, they are subject to certain limitations in Australian family law. The court can set aside or modify the agreement if it is deemed unfair, impractical, or fails to provide for the reasonable needs of the parties or any children involved.

How We Assist Couples in Prenup Process

As a trusted law firm specialising in family law, we recently had the privilege of assisting a couple through the prenuptial agreement process. Meeting with them, I understood their desire to protect their assets and establish clear guidelines during a separation.

Our first step was to explain the prenup process and the legal framework surrounding prenuptial agreements in Australia, emphasising the importance of independent legal advice and complete financial disclosure.

With their interests in mind and as part of the prenup process, we crafted a comprehensive agreement encompassing their unique financial situation, including properties, investments, and inheritances. Our team ensured that the agreement met the criteria of fairness and reasonableness, considering their present circumstances and potential future changes.

Throughout the process, we provided support and guidance, ensuring that both parties were fully informed and comfortable with the terms of the agreement. Their commitment to transparency and cooperation greatly facilitated the smooth progression of the prenuptial agreement.

Ultimately, we aimed to provide them peace of mind, knowing that their assets and future were secure. Witnessing their satisfaction and confidence in the prenuptial agreement was gratifying, allowing them to enter their marriage with clarity and a solid legal foundation.

Protect Your Interests and Assets

Prenuptial agreements can be a valuable tool for individuals seeking to protect their assets and financial interests in Australia.

Understanding the legal framework and following the prescribed processes is essential to ensure the validity and enforceability of such agreements.

Seeking independent legal advice, providing full financial disclosure, and periodically reviewing the agreement are crucial steps in the prenup process.

While prenups offer a level of certainty, it is essential to consult with a family lawyer to assess individual circumstances and ensure compliance with Australia’s ever-evolving family law landscape.

parenting agreement | Melbourne Family Lawyers

Parenting Agreement: 5 Helpful Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Navigating the complexities of a parenting agreement can be overwhelming, especially during or after a separation or divorce.

To help you understand the ins and outs of creating a solid parenting agreement, let’s explore the critical distinctions between a parenting plan and a parenting order, grasp their legal implications in Australian law, and gain insights into the enforceability of a parenting agreement.

What Is a Parenting Plan?

A parenting plan is a written parenting agreement between parents that outlines the arrangements and responsibilities for the care and upbringing of their children.

It is a practical guide covering various aspects of parenting, such as custody, visitation schedules, decision-making authority, and communication protocols.

The plan promotes cooperation and prioritises the children’s best interests. While a parental plan agreement is not legally enforceable, it provides a framework for parents to follow and serves as a reference point for resolving disputes.

It offers flexibility and allows parents to tailor the arrangements to their unique circumstances and the needs of their children.

Is a Parenting Plan Legally Binding?

No, a parenting plan is not legally binding. It is a voluntary parenting agreement between parents that outlines the arrangements and responsibilities for the care of their children.

While it is a practical guide for co-parenting, a parenting plan does not carry the force of law. There are no legal consequences if one parent fails to adhere to the agreed-upon terms.

However, a court can still consider a parenting plan if a dispute arises, as the court finds the child’s best interests. Parents may seek a parenting order from the court for legally enforceable arrangements.

How To Write a Parenting Plan?

Writing a parenting plan requires careful consideration and collaboration between parents. Here are vital steps to follow:

1. Communication: Discuss important aspects like custody, visitation schedules, decision-making, and child support.

2. Child’s Best Interests: Prioritise their well-being and consider their needs, age, and development when making decisions.

3. Include Details: Outline specific arrangements for custody, visitation, holidays, and vacations. Specify how decisions will be made and how information will be shared.

4. Flexibility: Account for potential changes in circumstances and provide a mechanism for revisiting and modifying the plan if needed.

5. Seek Legal Advice: While not legally binding, consulting with a family law professional can provide guidance and ensure the plan aligns with legal requirements.

6. Review and Sign: Both parents should carefully review and agree to the plan’s terms, which both parties should sign.

Remember, a parenting plan is a cooperative agreement, and maintaining open communication and flexibility is essential for its success.

What Is a Parenting Order?

A parenting order is a legally binding decision made by a court regarding the arrangements and responsibilities for child care, thus making it a legal parenting agreement.

It details specific details about custody, visitation schedules, decision-making authority, and other essential aspects of the child’s upbringing.

A parenting order is obtained through a court process, typically when parents cannot reach a parenting agreement or when there are disputes about parenting matters.

Once issued, both parents must follow a parenting order, and failure to comply can result in legal consequences. The court’s primary consideration in making a parenting order is the child’s best interests.

How To Get a Parenting Order?

Obtaining a parenting order involves several steps. Here is a general overview:

1. Seek Legal Advice: Consult with a child custody lawyer who can provide guidance on the process and legal requirements specific to your situation.

2. Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution: In most cases, you must attempt mediation or family dispute resolution services to resolve disputes before applying for a parenting order.

3. File an Application: Prepare and submit an application to the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court outlining the parenting arrangements you seek.

4. Attend Court Hearings: Attend court hearings and present your case. The court will consider the child’s best interests when deciding.

5. Follow the Court’s Decision: If the court issues a parenting order, both parents must comply with its terms. Failure to comply with the family court order may result in legal consequences.

It’s crucial to consult with a legal professional to ensure you follow the correct process and meet the requirements when seeking a parenting order.

Helping Our Clients Establish Parenting Agreement

We assisted a client in obtaining a parenting order, prioritising their child’s best interests.

After understanding their unique situation and concerns, we guided them through the legal process.

We prepared the necessary documentation, including a robust application outlining proposed parenting arrangements.

Representing our clients in court, we emphasised their commitment to providing a nurturing environment.

The court recognised their dedication, ruling in their favor and issuing a court ordered parenting plan.

We ensured our client understood their obligations and the legal consequences of non-compliance.

Witnessing our client’s relief and empowerment was rewarding.

We remain committed to providing compassionate guidance and effective advocacy, prioritising the child’s well-being.

Seek Legal Advice

You can make informed decisions regarding your children’s care by understanding the distinctions between a parenting plan and a parenting order, the legal implications in Australia, and the enforceability of a parenting agreement.

Remember the significance of prioritising the child’s best interests, seeking legal advice when necessary, and considering mediation or family dispute resolution services to resolve disputes.

who do i talk to about getting custody of my child

Obtaining custody of your child is a significant concern for parents facing separation or divorce.

If you find yourself wondering, “Who do I talk to about getting custody of my child?” this article will guide you through the key aspects of Australian child custody laws and direct you to the relevant professionals who can assist you in this process.

Understanding Child Custody Laws in Australia

1. Best interests of the child: Australian family law focuses on the best interests of the child above all else. When deciding custody arrangements, the courts consider factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, their physical and emotional well-being, and their need for stability and continuity.

2. Parental Responsibility: In Australia, both parents have shared parental responsibility for their children, regardless of the parents’ marital status. This means that major decisions about the child’s upbringing, such as education, healthcare, and religion, should be made jointly by both parents.

3. Types of custody: Australian law recognises two types of child custody: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody involves making important decisions about the child’s life, while physical custody refers to where the child primarily resides.

4. Parenting arrangements: Courts encourage parents to reach mutually agreed-upon parenting arrangements through negotiation, mediation, or alternative dispute resolution methods. These options prioritise cooperation between parents and can lead to more satisfying outcomes for all parties involved.

5. Court intervention: If parents are unable to reach an agreement, they may need to seek court intervention. The Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court can assist in resolving disputes related to child custody, including granting parenting orders and determining custody arrangements.

Who Can Help You: Who Do I Talk to About Getting Custody of My Child

Seeking custody of your child can be a complex and emotional journey. If you find yourself asking, “Who do I talk to about getting custody of my child?” here are some professionals who can assist you in navigating the legal process and securing the best outcome for your family:

1. Family Lawyers: Consultation with a family lawyer specialising in child custody matters is highly recommended. They possess expert knowledge of Australian family law and can guide you through the legal processes involved in securing custody. They can provide advice on your rights, obligations, and potential outcomes based on your specific circumstances.

2. Family Relationship Centres: These centres offer information, advice, and mediation services to help separated or divorced parents resolve their disputes amicably. They can assist you in reaching agreements on parenting arrangements, including custody, and provide referrals to other relevant support services.

3. Legal Aid: If you have limited financial resources, you may be eligible for legal aid services, which provide free or subsidised legal assistance. Contact your local Legal Aid Commission to determine if you qualify for their support.

4. Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners: These professionals specialise in helping parents resolve disputes outside the court system. They facilitate open discussions, encourage effective communication, and assist in finding mutually acceptable solutions.

As a dedicated family law firm, we recently assisted a determined mother in her quest for child custody. Our team listened attentively to her concerns, explaining Australian custody laws and guiding her through the legal process.

We developed a strong strategy, considering her child’s best interests and her desired outcome. Through open communication, we addressed her questions and provided reassurance during this emotionally challenging time.

We skillfully represented her in negotiations and court, passionately advocating for her parental rights. In the end, she was granted custody, ensuring a stable and loving environment for her child’s future.

Witnessing her joy and relief reaffirmed our commitment to helping parents achieve the custody arrangements they deserve.

When seeking custody of your child in Australia, it’s essential to understand the legal framework and seek the right guidance. While the best interests of the child remain paramount, there are various professionals available to support you throughout the process.

Consulting with a child custody lawyer, utilising family relationship centres, seeking legal aid, and engaging family dispute resolution practitioners can help you navigate the complexities of Australian child custody laws and increase the chances of securing a favourable custody arrangement for your child.

Remember, seeking professional advice and attempting amicable resolutions should be prioritised for the well-being and happiness of your child.

increased risk reported in family court

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia has stated an increase of reported risk factors in parenting matters from 2021 to 2022.

Key Points:

  1. There has been a large uptake of parenting matters where parties are claiming either themselves or their children are at risk.
  2. The Courts initiatives to finalise matters faster has been working.
  3. Despite this, the influx of reported domestic violence is still on the incline.

The data provided is a shocking revelation showing that there has been a significant increase in the number of parties in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia who allege that there is at least one risk factor present in their case, from 2020-2021 to 2021-2022.

The risk factors present can include child abuse, family violence, drug, alcohol or substance misuse, mental health issues, risk of abduction, and recent threats to harm a child or other person relevant to the proceedings.

Figure A shows the increase of reported risks from 2021 to 2022. The data is extracted from the FCFCOA annual reports.

From 2020-2021, 79% of parties alleged that there is at least one risk factor present in their case, but in 2021-2022, the percentage of parties alleging the presence of risk factors has increased to 89%.

The percentage of parties alleging two or more risk factors present also increased from 67% in 2020-2021 to 84% in 2021-2022.

Even more concerning is that the percentage of parties alleging three or more risk factors present increased from 58% in 2020-2021 to 77% in 2021-2022 and the percentage of parties alleging four or more risk factors present increased from 44% in 2020-2021 to 66% in 2021-2022

This could be due to an increase in the awareness and reporting of risk factors or an actual increase in the number of cases that involve risk factors. This data is only reflective of the number of parties who allege the presence of risk factors, and not a confirmation of the actual presence of these risk factors.

Figure B shows the percentage of women that have reported experiencing physical or sexual violence by a current or former partner. Data is taken from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Figure C shows the percentage of men that have reported experiencing physical or sexual violence by a current or former partner. Data is taken from Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Domestic violence is a significant issue in Australia, affecting a large number of individuals every year. According to recent statistics, 1 in 6 women has experienced physical or sexual violence by a current or former partner. 1 in 16 men has experienced similar violence.

Additionally, most victims of domestic violence report the perpetrator as being male. 75% of victims report male perpetrators, while 25% report female perpetrators.

The issue of sexual violence is also prevalent in Australia. Overall, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men have reported experiencing sexual violence.

The severity of domestic violence in Australia is further highlighted by the fact that on average, 1 woman a week and 1 man a month is killed by a current or former partner. These numbers demonstrate the urgent need for action to address domestic violence in Australia and support those who have been affected by this issue.

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia have various initiatives in place that is assisting victims of domestic violence. The Court, which was notoriously slow in its process and releasing of judgments, is making progress in reducing its pending caseload and increasing efficiency.

In the past year, the number of final order applications has decreased by 17% or over 3,600 cases.

Judges in Division 2 have also seen a significant reduction in their workload, with docket sizes decreasing by more than 60% from an average of 330 cases in early 2021 to 135 cases at the end of June 2022.

Figure D shows the decrease in the number of cases Judges are managing from 2021 to 2022

This progress is thanks to increased support from registrars, who have taken on more responsibilities to help the judges focus on the most complex and serious cases.

As a result, judges are now able to spend more time on trials and writing judgments.

The immense focus on dispute resolution prior to a final hearing has been successful, and the numbers are impressive. Since September 2021, registrars have also successfully resolved more than 4,000 disputes through dispute resolution events, with a 55% settlement rate, including many long-pending and entrenched cases.

In 2020-2021, an impressive 80% of matters were resolved prior to trial, meaning that out of all the cases that came before the court, a majority were able to be resolved without the need for a trial. That’s a great result, showing that the court and parties involved were working hard to resolve disputes and get people out of the court system before expensive and time-consuming trials.

But that’s not all, the court has been able to improve even more in 2021-2022 with an even more impressive 84% of matters being resolved prior to trial.

This is a 4% increase from the previous year, which is a great indicator that the court and parties involved are finding even more effective ways to resolve disputes and avoid trials.

Figure E shows the increase of matters that have resolved prior to trial from 2021 to 2022

It’s an important achievement that helps to minimize the emotional, financial and time cost for the parties involved and helps to reduce the backlog of cases and the pressure on the court system.

Also read: Pros and Cons of Collaborative Family Law

The state of Divorce in Australia

In 2021, there were 56,244 divorces granted in Australia.

There were 89,164 marriages across Australia.

The median duration from marriage to divorce was 12.2 years, which means that half of the divorces granted in 2021 were for marriages that lasted less than 12.2 years.

The median duration to separation was 8.4 years, which means that half of the couples that divorced in 2021 separated after 8.4 years of marriage.

This suggests that, on average, couples in Australia are separating relatively soon after their marriages.

It’s important to note that the divorce rate, which is the number of divorces per 1,000 people, has been steadily falling over time. The average divorce rate in 2001 was 2.9 divorces per 1,000 people and it decreased to 1.9 in 2020. However, in 2021, the rate increased slightly to 2.2 divorces per 1,000 people. This could be due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated stress, financial strains and isolation, which could have had a negative impact on relationships and marriages.

It’s also worth noting that the data provided only reflects the number of divorces granted by the court and not the number of couples who are separated or living apart. The number of couples living separately without going through the formal process of divorce could be much higher, and it’s important to take that into consideration when analyzing the data.

While the divorce rate has been decreasing over time, it’s important to note that the data for 2021 suggests that the pandemic may have had an impact on the number of marriages that ended in divorce. It’s important to continue monitoring the data over time to understand the full impact of the pandemic on marriages and divorces in Australia.

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