Family Law Amendment Act 2023 Update – What you need to know!

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The landscape of Family Law in Australia has undergone significant changes with the Family Law Amendment Act 2023 coming into effect on May 6, 2024. For parents dealing with court matters or establishing formal parenting arrangements, understanding these changes is crucial.

Here’s what will change:

Criteria for deciding what is in a Child’s Best Interests has been changed

When making decisions, the Court will consider a range of factors including the child’s safety, personal views, developmental needs, and cultural heritage. Special considerations will be given to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to maintain their cultural connections.

The s.60CC considerations have been updated and you can see the new considerations here.

Equal Shared Parental Responsibility is now gone.

The presumption of Equal Shared Parental responsibility is now gone.

The laws now state that each parent holds parental responsibility separately, unless an order is made to make then “jointly” share it, or the give it “solely” to one person.

Allocating Time with Each Parent

The amendments clarify misconceptions about equal parenting time. Instead, court decisions on time-sharing will strictly consider what is best for the child, there is no longer a starting point of equal time. There is also the removal of the words “substantial and significant time”.

Time will be determined on a case by case basis.

The case of Rice v Asplund is legislated

You must show that to change orders there has been a substantial and significant change. This is not new law, rather instead of being found in cases it is now written in the legislation.

Effective Date and Applicability

The changes took effect on May 6, 2024, and apply to all new and ongoing cases unless a final hearing has already started.


These legislative changes remove certainty in relation to arrangements and do not set some basic status quos to assist in reaching agreement, this means that we expect future cases to be harder to resolve and end up in higher levels of litigation.

We strongly recommend seeking immediate advice if you separate or have any issues relating to your children.

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