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A Bill for an Act creating a system of mandatory self-assessment of family law matters, and for other purposes
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Registered 13 Sep 2019
Introduced Senate 12 Sep 2019
Table of contents.



The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia







Presented and read a first time





Family Law (Self‑Assessment) Bill 2019


No.      , 2019


(Senator Hanson)




A Bill for an Act creating a system of mandatory self‑assessment of family law matters, and for other purposes





Part 1—Preliminary                                                                                                             1

1............ Short title............................................................................................. 1

2............ Commencement................................................................................... 2

3............ Application of this Act to Crown........................................................ 2

4............ Territorial application.......................................................................... 2

5............ Interpretation....................................................................................... 2

Part 2—Financial disputes                                                                                              13

6............ Objectives of this Part and overarching obligations.......................... 13

7............ Sharing of relationship wealth........................................................... 14

8............ Disclosure, verification and valuation obligations............................. 19

9............ Substantial liquidity event................................................................. 24

10.......... Special circumstances for buying out your spouse............................ 29

11.......... Self‑assessment................................................................................. 32

12.......... Joint control of assets where matters not resolved............................ 38

12A....... Interim allocations of relationship property....................................... 40

13.......... Obligations to mediate or try to arbitrate........................................... 43

14.......... Compliance obligations for financial disputes................................... 44

15.......... Enforcement and remedies................................................................ 50

Part 3—Parenting disputes                                                                                            52

16.......... Shared parenting obligations............................................................. 52

17.......... Self‑assessment of parenting matters................................................ 56

18.......... Anger management programmes....................................................... 59

19.......... A new compliance culture................................................................. 61

20.......... Regulation making powers................................................................ 64

Schedule 1—Standard Parenting Plan                                                  66


A Bill for an Act creating a system of mandatory self‑assessment of family law matters, and for other purposes

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

Part 1Preliminary


1  Short title

                   This Act is the Family Law (Self‑Assessment) Act 2019.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this Act specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.


Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3




1.  The whole of this Act

The day this Act receives the Royal Assent.


Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this Act as originally enacted. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this Act.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this Act. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this Act.

3  Application of this Act to Crown

             (1)  This Act binds the Crown in each of its capacities.

             (2)  This Act does not make the Crown liable to be prosecuted for an offence.

4  Territorial application

                   This Act extends to every External Territory.

5  Interpretation

             (1)  Unless the contrary intention is manifest, words used in this Act have the same meaning as they do in the Principal Act, and in addition the following words have these meanings:

accountant means a person who primarily carries on a professional services business and includes their business and any employee of that business, where that person is a member of any professional organisation regulated by the Professional Standards Council.

accredited family lawyer means a person who:

                     (a)  is specially designated as an accredited family lawyer by a legal professional body regulated by the Professional Standards Council and who primarily undertakes the practice of family law, and is designated by that organisation in an electronic notice filed with the portal as such; or

                     (b)  has been or is a practitioner in the fulltime employ of a legal aid organisation for a period exceeding 5 years and designated by that organisation in an electronic notice filed with the portal as such; or

                     (c)  has lectured in family law at an Australian university for a period exceeding 3 years and designated by that organisation in an electronic notice filed with the portal as such; or

                     (d)  is at that time a Senior Counsel or Queen’s Counsel who predominantly practises in family law courts; or

                     (e)  has been at any time a judge or magistrate of any court administering the Principal Act, other than a person who has been removed from office or cause; or

                      (f)  has at any time been a Registrar or Deputy Registrar of any court administering the Principal Act for a period exceeding 5 years and is approved by any acting Registrar in an electronic notice filed with the portal for these purposes; or

                     (g)  is entitled to carry on business and give advice under section 19 of this Act, approved by the Attorney‑General and notified by him or her to the portal.

asset means any individual item of property which could be the subject of a financial claim.

associate has the meaning given by section 318 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 and includes also a former and current relationship partner.

bank means a person regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority to carry on a banking business through branches located in Australia and permitted to take retail deposits from the public.

certificate means any certificate issued by the portal under this Act that an act has been done or that an outcome has been determined.

claimant means a person who initiates an application under Part 2 in respect of a financial dispute.

contingent debt means an obligation to pay a sum of money upon the happening of some future event or at some future date, and which is evidenced in writing by:

                     (a)  a guarantee, surety, indemnity, standby letter of credit or secured financing facility including a condition in a mortgage; and

                     (b)  a document prepared by a practitioner and signed by each spouse, or relating to real estate, and having an analogous economic effect to the instruments specified in paragraph (a) in respect of a financial loss, but excludes any sum due under a warranty or representation made in any contract of sale of goods, or services, or arising from the sale of a business or the indemnification of a person in relation to a latent construction or building defect; and

                     (c)  any future obligation to pay rent that is probable, and the amount of the liability can be reasonably estimated by an accountant taking into the right to break that obligation in the ordinary course; and

                     (d)  any obligation to pay or contribute to a sum of damages in relation to a filing made in relation to litigation by any person which has been quantified by any practitioner.

control means any form of control or significant influence in respect of a company:

                     (a)  arising by reason of the ownership of equity, the making of a guarantee, the ownership or power over a hybrid interest in the capital of the company, a debenture, or in any class of convertible securities, and whether by votes, legal rights, or arising by way of control of the making of distributions; and

                     (b)  management control, or through directorships or appointments to advisory boards or via control or influence over executives; and

                     (c)  the capacity to determine the outcome of decisions of a company financial and operating policy including any practice or pattern of behaviour, regarding investments or payments of expenditure or distributions; and

                     (d)  by means of associate‑inclusive control within the meaning of section 349 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936; and

                     (e)  any debt interest, which is not of the kind issued by a bank or regularly traded in a public debt market or is enlivened because the company is in a state of financial distress; and

                      (f)  any business in which a spouse directly or indirectly or in the name of their spouse has more than 25 per cent of the common shares and habitually acts in concert with other shareholders, including where they had at any time in the three years prior to lodgement a right to or did access the books and records of the same; and

                   the concept of control or controlling has like effect, and in relation to a trust or other entity has an analogous meaning, including rights as a protector or appointor or trustee.

direction means any matter determined by the Attorney‑General’s office under this Act made to the portal.

doctor means a person who:

                     (a)  currently carries on business as a provider of medical services and as such who may be disciplined by the Medical Board of Australia; and

                     (b)  whose primary role is to diagnose physical and mental illnesses, disorders and injuries and prescribe medications and treatments that promote or restore good health; and

                     (c)  obtained a medical degree from an Australian university; and

                     (d)  resides in Australia.

document has the same meaning as in the Corporations Law.

due diligence notice means a form signed by a legal practitioner to verify any factual assertion made and which is, to the best of the practitioner’s knowledge, information, and belief, formed after due inquiry reasonably undertaken in the circumstances and in respect of which to their knowledge:

                     (a)  matters are not be presented for any improper purpose, such as to harass, cause unnecessary delay, or needlessly increase the burden on the other spouse; and

                     (b)  the statements made are not misleading or deceptive; and

                     (c)  the statements made have evidentiary support or denials of factual contentions which would be warranted as material evidence in a court in respect of the matter the subject of the certificate; and

                     (d)  the legal position taken reflects the view a court most likely conclude with the information before it, as such information is disclosed on the portal.

engaging in conduct is defined in subsection (3) of this section.

family chattels means household furniture, appliances, effects, or equipment, articles of household or family use or amenity or of household ornament, including tools, garden effects and equipment, that are in the possession of either or both spouses or partners as owners or under a hire purchase or conditional sale agreement or an agreement for lease or hire and are situated or were situated in the family home ; but excludes items used principally for business purposes by the spouse who occupies that home, or heirlooms, or art works, or items or property or artefacts that are or were in the control or possession of a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage, are integral to the same, and which in the case of any dispute as to status or significance or memory an elder of their community certifies to be so in writing.

family home means a dwelling house the spouses use or have used habitually or from time to time in Australia, as the only or principal family residence for at least 90 days prior to the date of their separation, together with any land, buildings, or improvements related to that dwelling house and used wholly or principally for the purposes of the household.

financial claim means a claim to be paid or distributed money in relation to a financial dispute.

financial dispute means any dispute where any claim could be made under either section 79 or 90AA of the Principal Act, regardless of whether litigation has or may or may not ensue, but for the avoidance of doubt does not include a claim for or to the extent it relates to a request for payment of spousal maintenance or child maintenance or an obligation relating to the payment of school fees.

first spouse is a specialised term and shall be determined in accordance with subsection (8) of this section.

General Interest Charge means a rate specified in accordance with section 8AAD of the Taxation Administration Act 1953.

gift means property that a spouse acquired from a third person by gift, succession, survivorship, transfer under a will or testamentary disposition, or by inheritance.

homestead means a family home where the dwelling house that comprises the family residence is situated on the same parcel of land that is primarily used for the purposes of carrying on a farming business, that farming business giving rise to all or substantially all of the income of one or more of the spouses.

intergenerational wealth means the wealth of a relative as more fully described in section 8 and which may be relevant to determining the financial resources available to a person.

legal aid organisation means any organisation not carrying on a business for profit, which provides legal advice, or mediation services, or assistance or guidance in respect of or in relation to the Principal Act to persons who are indigent, of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage, or economically disadvantaged persons of below average wealth, and specially includes:

                     (a)  the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service; and

                     (b)  any organisation provided funding directly or indirectly in connection with the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services, or that is recognised in writing by the Attorney‑General’s Department of the Commonwealth as a legal aid organisation that may be the recipient of the same directly or indirectly in connection therewith; and

                     (c)  any organisation funded by a State or Territory Government for public purposes to enhance compliance with laws or their application, including the purpose of assisting with legal services to persons in connection with the Principal Act and/or this Act; and

                     (d)  any organisation being a member Women’s Legal Services Australia, a national network of community legal centres specialising in women’s legal issues, which work to support, represent and advocate for women; and

                     (e)  any solicitor in the course of providing pro bono services in connection with a programme approved by or undertaken in consultation with any law society or any other organisation identified in the above paragraphs and where the primary purpose is the provision of legal services to persons whose relationship property is believed by that person to be less than $500,000, but excludes any private sector law firm who seeks to secure an advantage for a fee paying client; and

                      (f)  a citizens’ advice bureau or community legal aid organisation; and

                     (g)  a non‑profit organisation which primarily provides housing and shelter to victims of domestic violence, even if that organisation does not provide legal advice but does habitually provide direction and guidance regarding the ambit of or compliance with the Principal Act, and recognised as a shelter by any organisation which itself meets the criteria set out in paragraphs (a) to (d) of this definition.

liability means an amount due to another person at law for a sum certain on a specified date, or which is treated as a liability pursuant to Australian accounting standards but excludes a contingent liability.

lodgement date means the date on which the portal first emails the claim to an email address provided by a recipient, or first posted on the portal, and not necessarily the date on which a claim is made by the claimant or addressed or received by the recipient.

motor vehicle means a car and includes also a, truck, boat, jet ski, boat, yacht, bus, private aeroplane or similar mode of transport which is required to be registered by any State or Territory government or is of a kind which is habitually so registered and includes any vehicle which has at any point been so registered.

portal means the electronic portal approved by the Attorney‑General of the Commonwealth for the purposes of making the lodgements and undertaking other tasks envisaged by this Act pursuant to a services contract with the Commonwealth.

Principal Act means the Family Law Act 1975.

recipient means the spouse who is not the claimant and includes any person who in good faith the portal alleges is such a person.

relationship debt means a debt that has been incurred, or to the extent that it has been incurred:

                     (a)  by the spouses jointly at law; or

                     (b)  is registered on the title of the family home; or

                     (c)  in the course of a business carried on by them jointly or jointly together with another person or persons and owed to a bank; or

                     (d)  is a contingent debt payable to a bank upon or triggered by the sale of the family home; or

                     (e)  the lender, not being a related party, advances the debt for the purpose of acquiring, improving, or maintaining the family home prior to lodgement; or

                      (f)  was incurred by one of them for making bringing up any child being unpaid school fees, or medical fees, or day care fees as at lodgement date; or

                     (g)  is owed to a relative or was originated by a relative, but in all circumstances under a loan document prepared by a practitioner and verified by them as having been entered into prior to the date of lodgement; or

                     (h)  is a personal property security interest registered in respect of a motor vehicle ownership of which motor vehicle is to be transferred under Part 2.

relationship property means the net wealth of the spouses, determined as a pool in the same manner as would be determined by a court administering the Principal Act to contextualise the fairness of orders made in respect of a couple’s financial matters, comprising all relevant assets that are legally and beneficially owned by either or both, or arising as from a power to control which is relevant for those purposes, after:

                     (a)  deducting relationship debt; and

                     (b)  deducting the accrued value of any other financial obligation to any unrelated person, the proceeds of which were used to:

                              (i)  maintain assets in which the other will share; or

                             (ii)  provide for the education or maintenance of care of any child of the relationship; or

                            (iii)  which, in the case of any dispute, any accredited family lawyer certifies a court would most likely include, exclude, or adjust, in making any consideration of overall fairness the Principal Act; and

                     (c)  as regarding any contingency or provision as certified by an accredited family lawyer as being made in a manner most commonly deployed by a court under the Principal Act; and

                     (d)  in the case of a dispute regarding assets excluding from this global approach any assets an accredited family lawyer certifies would most commonly be excluded from the pool, or adjusted for as a financial resource, by a court applying the Principal Act.

second spouse is a specialist term and shall be determined in accordance with subsection (8) of this section.

Standard Parenting Plan means the parenting plan set out in Schedule 1.

writing is further defined in subsection (6) of this section

             (2)  Reference to a day is a reference to the number of calendar days since lodgement save that the day count shall be suspended for the period from 10 December to 20 January of the next calendar year and shall recommence and have effect as from that 20th day.

             (3)  References to engaging in conduct have the same meaning as in subsection 4(2) of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, as amended from time to time.

             (4)  Where a reference is made to a spouse owning an asset that reference shall be taken to include references to both equitable and legal ownership and also to any entity, trust, person or company directly jointly or indirectly owned or controlled by either or both of them owning an interest in any asset that could be the subject of an order under the Principal Act.

             (5)  Where a spouse is obliged to do or to refrain from doing an act, that obligation shall also be taken to be an obligation imposed also on any trustee of any controlled trust or on any controlled company.

             (6)  A reference to a document or communication being in writing, or written form, means a written communication by way of letter, email or text messages, or as lodged electronically on the portal.

             (7)  Where a person seeks to argue that the making of a claim, response to it, or the lodging of or response to any claim, notice or other lodgement required by this Act or by the portal to give effect to it does not meet the strict requirements of form or otherwise objects to its lodgement, that person must establish that:

                     (a)  they were unable to understand in substance the information so provided having made due inquiry on the portal; and

                     (b)  a reasonable person would be confused as to the substance of the matter; and

                     (c)  they raised the issue within 21 days of lodgement; and

                     (d)  they suffered or would suffer substantial prejudice as a result of non‑compliance in the prevailing circumstances;

                   and if a document given under this Act does not meet the formal requirements required by or contains terminology that is different from that used in this Act or any regulations, a broad interpretation, and generous latitude, shall both be given, where the document provides sufficient information necessary to substantively achieve prompt justice.

             (8)  To determine which spouse is to be the first spouse and which is the second spouse under this Act the matter shall be determined as follows:

                     (a)  the female spouse shall be presumed to be the second spouse, or in the case of a non‑heterosexual couple the younger of them shall be so presumed, in all cases unless any other subsequent paragraph applies;

                     (b)  the male spouse or the older of them has a life‑threatening illness as certified by an Australian doctor; or

                     (c)  as the spouses agree in writing which of them is the financially stronger, by reason of the markedly superior income earning power of the spouses then that person shall be the first spouse; or

                     (d)  if the prior paragraphs do not apply an accredited family lawyer certifies that a court is more likely than not would award less than half the relevant net wealth of the spouses to that financially stronger spouse; or

                     (e)  if no such certificate is provided or two such certificates are provided each spouse shall be treated as the second spouse.

             (9)  An accredited family lawyer giving a certificate under this Act is liable only to their client, but may only give a certificate that reflects the most likely outcome a court would determine if the matter were decided under the Principal Act.

           (10)  The portal shall have the same privileges and immunities as a family law arbitrator.

Part 2Financial disputes


6  Objectives of this Part and overarching obligations

             (1)  The objects of this Part of this Act are to deliver a fair and prompt payment to each spouse as a consequence of a relationship breakdown such that:

                     (a)  couples divide their wealth in accordance with the principles of a just and equitable allocation of property, as set out in the Family Law Act 1975 (the Principal Act); and

                     (b)  the sharing of their wealth will arise as inexpensively, efficiently and promptly as is consistent with justice by requiring each spouse to lodge information on an electronic registry established under this Act; and

                     (c)  couples conclude their financial affairs on average within 90 days of lodgement.

             (2)  This Part achieves those objectives by requiring each spouse who is separating and receives a claim under this Act to:

                     (a)  lodge their claims, their variations, disclosures, notices and other matters on an electronic portal where a claim is made by their spouse; and

                     (b)  pay sums or transfer assets in kind that are not objectively in real dispute and otherwise narrow their dispute; and

                     (c)  lodge a notice of self‑assessment so as to isolate any residual differences; and

                     (d)  mediate or negotiate any residual gap between them.

             (3)  As a matter of guidance only and without creating definitive legal obligations the most common outcomes expected to be delivered by reason of the application of this Part are:

                     (a)  spouses will disclose all relevant financial information in a timely, inexpensive and comprehensive manner; and

                     (b)  one spouse will lodge a claim resulting in each spouse being due a minimum 35 per cent of the net value of the family home, and if the claim is not resolved at that point to place the residual sale proceeds or such other sum as agreed into a joint bank account; and

                     (c)  spouses will mediate their differences in most instances.

             (4)  This Part does not limit:

                     (a)  the right of any person to make a claim under section 79 or 90AA of the Principal Act, save that the initiation of litigation under that Act does not preclude compliance with this Act unless a court administering the Principal Act specifically directs otherwise to ensure justice in those specific and particular circumstances; nor

                     (b)  the rights of third persons, other than companies or trusts controlled by a relationship partner; nor

                     (c)  the right to halt or delay payments or transfers or conduct arising in connection with this Act if a court administering the Principal Act so directs in the interests of justice; nor

                     (d)  any matter relating to spousal maintenance.

             (5)  Every spouse involved in any financial dispute and any practitioner assisting them has an overarching obligation to comply with this Act and with the Principal Act in a manner that is prompt, just, and in accordance with law.

             (6)  Subsection (5) does not apply to any legal aid organisation and their client.

7  Sharing of relationship wealth

             (1)  This Part applies when a spouse lodges a financial claim on the portal.

             (2)  A financial claim may not be lodged under this Part, nor subject to subsection (3) be responded to, if any of the following circumstances apply:

                     (a)  the couple’s family house is:

                              (i)  a homestead property; or

                             (ii)  not registered in the name of either spouse nor in the name of any company or trust controlled by any such spouse; or

                            (iii)  owned together with any other person, other than the other spouse or the couple’s children, or any company or trust controlled by either spouse, and which that third person or other persons does not consent to this Part applying;

                     (b)  a recipient, or a dependent child of the recipient for whom they have day to day care, suffers from a life‑threatening illness or serious medical condition as that illness is identified as such by a doctor;

                     (c)  in the opinion of:

                              (i)  a doctor, a recipient is mentally or physically incapacitated at the time a claim is received such that they are unable to functionally engage under this Part, or hire a person nor appoint a person as an attorney to do so; or

                             (ii)  a legal aid organisation, the safety of any recipients are or may be compromised; or

                            (iii)  a police officer of any state or territory government states in writing he or she has good reason to believe that a person is at risk if they comply with this Part;

                     (d)  the spouses have already executed a binding financial agreement and certificates have been provided by solicitors for each of them;

                     (e)  the recipient is over the age of 72 years;

                      (f)  as at the date this Act comes into force a final hearing date has been set by a court in relation to a division of their property as certified by their solicitor or by a registrar;

                     (g)  at the date of lodgement, a consent order signed by both spouses is awaiting approval of any Registrar of any court;

                     (h)  one of the spouses has been declared bankrupt;

                      (i)  a recipient is excused by any officer of the armed services where they are on active overseas duty, or excused for special reasons by any state or federal Police Commissioner, or are excused by any emergency services officer or the Commissioner of Taxation, or the Attorney‑General certifies for any designated period, that their special public service then impedes their ability to comply with this Act;

                      (j)  a divorce certificate has been issued more than 364 days prior to lodgement or in the case of a de facto couple a due diligence certificate has been issued by an accredited family lawyer that:

                              (i)  that the spouses ceased to be a couple prior to 2005 and made a settlement of more than half their property to the disadvantaged spouse; or

                             (ii)  a court would, on the information provided, more likely than not decline to enable such an application to proceed;

                     (k)  either spouse is subject to a proceeds of crime order;

                      (l)  the recipient is incarcerated and a police officer or solicitor or prison officer verifies that the recipient is unable to access the portal;

                    (m)  the claimant is not a resident of Australia as at the date of lodgement;

                     (n)  either spouse has at any time been charged with fraud, money laundering, an offence related to terrorism, or the manufacture of prohibited drugs;

                     (o)  the claimant is not themselves a spouse of the recipient but is claiming because of the incapacity of a spouse, or acts as guardian ad litem or otherwise controls the financial affairs of an incapacitated person;

                     (p)  the claimant has ordinarily resided exclusively in the State of Western Australia during the 12 months prior to lodgement, or the family home is situated in that State;

                     (q)  the claimant was not a resident of Australia at the time of making the claim;

                      (r)  an accredited family lawyer certifies that a court would decline to make any order under the Principal Act in respect of the financial dispute and their client then promptly engages in all such conduct necessary to give effect to the same, such as paying periodic sums howsoever described and providing security for the same;

                      (s)  a judge of any court so directs because the matter is more efficiently and equitably dealt with only by applying the scarce resources of public courts;

                      (t)  the couple separated, then resided in separate houses, and prior to lodging the claim subsequently recommenced living together either:

                              (i)  with the primary purpose of reconciling, as evidenced in writing between them; or

                             (ii)  for one or more periods, totalling at least 90 days as evidenced by a due diligence certificate;

                     (u)  the person or the persons spouse has already lodged a claim under this Part, and the financial affairs of the couple remain unresolved under this Part;

                     (v)  both spouses have deceased or one of them has deceased;

                    (w)  the claim primarily relates to immovable property situated in a country other than Australia;

                     (x)  an accountant certifies that the relationship wealth of the parties exceeds $10 million, and the first spouse agrees that second spouse shall have sole occupancy of their family home, if any, and effects a pre‑payment of $12,000 a month until the matter is resolved;

save that:

                     (y)  none of these exclusions shall preclude a person from making an application under the Principal Act to determine their matter; and

                     (z)  a person or couple so excluded must engage in all such conduct as would otherwise promptly narrow and resolve their dispute in accordance with the Principal Act.

             (3)  Any person who seeks to rely upon an exemption provided by the preceding subsection must within 21 days of lodgement complete and lodge a notice verifying the same in the manner required by the portal and if no such claim is lodged the objection is of no force and effect and that person failing to verify remains obliged to comply with this Part.

             (4)  A person who receives a financial claim made on the portal under this Part must comply with and respond to the claim only on the portal in the manner prescribed by the portal or as or as required by regulations made; and no conduct other than as set out on the portal shall amount to a waiver, modification or have like effect at law unless and until any agreement it is recorded in a consent order signed by each of the spouses.

             (5)  Where spouses separate or agree to do so each must:

                     (a)  make an interim settlement promptly in connection with their separation including paying or transferring sums not in dispute; and

                     (b)  advise the other of an email address within 30 days of separation and where a family violence order applies only supply the same to a police officer or solicitor involved in the matter, or as requested by the portal.

             (6)  Where the portal sends an email to an email address which the spouse of the recipient certifies:

                     (a)  was the address so supplied under subsection (5); or

                     (b)  has been used by that spouse at any time 12 months prior to separation; or

                     (c)  is the email address of a solicitor who has acted for a person within the last 12 months in connection with a family law matter;

the sending of the email and a receipt of delivery, not opening, is sufficient notice for the purpose of notifying the other of service under this Act.

             (7)  A person who fails to provide an email address in accordance with subsection (5):

                     (a)  may be served by registered mail a notification that a claim has been made on this portal in such manner as the other spouse sees fit to either their last known place of employment or to the home of any person who is a sibling or parent of the same, which shall be sufficient notice of the claim for the purposes of this Act; and

                     (b)  commits an offence punishable, on conviction, by a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units.

             (8)  This Part does not apply:

                     (a)  to impede or reduce the rights of any or all secured and unsecured creditors of a spouse and those persons have the same rights against that spouse, and against property as if this Act had not been passed; and

                     (b)  to give effect to any transaction between spouses which has the effect of defeating the rights of any creditors during the period of 2 years after it is made, but only to the extent that it has that effect.

             (9)  Where a person is entitled to make a claim under this section that claim must be:

                     (a)  lodged only on the portal; and

                     (b)  only be varied altered or responded to on the portal; and

                     (c)  unless specified by the claimant shall apply to all property of the spouses to which an order could or may be made under the Principal Act; and

                     (d)  shall be determined by both spouses by way of the speedy, inexpensive and informal procedures; and

                     (e)  in a manner consistent with each spouse overarching obligation.

           (10)  No action lies against the Crown or the portal for anything:

                     (a)  done or omitted to be done; or

                     (b)  purported to be done or omitted to be done

in good faith in the exercise of any power or performance of any duty, power or conduct otherwise engaged in or not engaged in under this Act.

8  Disclosure, verification and valuation obligations

             (1)  A person who lodges a claim on the portal in accordance with this Part, and their spouse, must themselves lodge or cause to be lodged on their behalf:

                     (a)  a standard disclosure required by the portal within 25 days specifying:

                              (i)  assets, liabilities, and contingent debts that would be relevant if a court were to determine a financial dispute; and

                             (ii)  assessable income and earnings, including from personal exertion income for the 2 years prior to lodgement; and

                            (iii)  material transfers made by them in excess of $10,000 as a single transaction or as a series of transactions to or for the benefit of or under the control of an associate; and

                     (b)  a valuation of any business; and

                     (c)  in the case of a pension, or any superannuation fund, in the same manner that person would be obliged to value the same if immediately applying for a consent order to any court administering the Principal Act.

             (2)  Each spouse subject to this Part must disclose on the portal:

                     (a)  all other matters which a reasonable person would think material, whether asked or not, as if that person were a trusted a financial adviser of their spouse with the utmost good faith and candour, other than to the extent client legal privilege applies; and

                     (b)  where the associates of a spouse, or a family trust or an associate or new relationship partner of a person, or a person who habitually acts in concert with a spouse, owns or controls assets worth more than $2,000,000 other than that person’s family home, then by completing an intergenerational wealth compliance notice required by the portal but only if requested by a solicitor who certifies that any financial resources may be relevant to determining a matter; and

                     (c)  in a manner which is not misleading nor deceptive but is comprehensive and effusive; and

                     (d)  in a manner that is sufficiently detailed and omits no assets, liabilities or earnings or financial resources; and

                     (e)  disclose by lodging in an electronic form on the portal all information given to an accountant for the purposes of valuing any business or asset under this section; and

                      (f)  other than as specified each spouse must comply with their obligations in this section within 30 days;

so as to provide information promptly without any excuse or condition, including reciprocity of disclosure, other than where a person is precluded, such as by a family violence order to enter premises to provide the same.

             (3)  An accountant or practitioner who has reasonable cause to believe that disclosures are incomplete or that assets or transactions give rise to a reasonable cause to suspect non‑disclosure of assets, or serious malfeasance or misleading responses, may lodge a notice on the portal pursuant to this subsection with the effect that at their option any or all or a combination of the following may apply:

                     (a)  their client’s rights and obligations to make and receive payments under this Act shall be suspended, until a court administering the Principal Act orders otherwise; or

                     (b)  the right of the person in respect of whom the allegation is made is suspended until the matter is so determined; or

                     (c)  payments may be made to a joint bank account or if an asset in specie a security is given in respect of the asset to best protect the interests of the compliant spouse

but this subsection and the right to ask statutory interrogatories under subsection (2) are only to be used unless that solicitor or accountant certifies that they are:

                     (d)  used for a proper purpose, not a fishing expedition, and

                     (e)  where there is reasonable cause to believe that the outcome of discovery could materially alter the outcome in a manner that cannot reasonably be determined by provisioning; and

                      (f)  where sums so disputed are contextually material; and

                     (g)  until the matter is determined by a court.

             (4)  The Governor‑General may make regulations to give further effect to any matter contemplated in this section and in particular may regulate any and all of the following:

                     (a)  the matters that must be considered in determining value; and

                     (b)  Accounting Standards; and

                     (c)  more precise rules relating to specialised assets such as the valuation of the artworks of persons of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage, or assets which do not have a readily identifiable market value; and

                     (d)  further disclosures by any designated class of persons; and

                     (e)  providing less expensive but acceptable methods of valuations; and

                      (f)  requiring that a valuation be carried out by a person with particular qualifications, such as a forensic accountant, or specialised valuer; and

                     (g)  regulating maximum fees payable in connection with any such valuation.

             (5)  Each spouse must, upon request, verify any statement made or sought within 3 days of the request.

             (6)  If a company is owned or controlled by any or each spouse, the valuation shall be the responsibility of the spouse who is employed full time in the business and seeks to retain it ‑ or if both of them so do the first to file a complying valuation on the portal shall prevail in relation to the dispositive value and the right to acquire the interests of the other.

             (7)  A person may extend the date for completion of a valuation if they:

                     (a)  specify a revised completion date that is no longer than 180 days from the date of lodgement; and

                     (b)  have the valuer provide an indicative valuation range at the time; and

                     (c)  provide for an early payment and the release of all rationally uncontested monies to that other spouse, as is reasonable in the circumstances having regard to the bottom of the indicative range; and

                     (d)  prepay a monthly sum of $10,000 for each month of extension.

             (8)  A spouse may not contest a professional valuation lodged for the purposes of this Part, and where both spouses lodge competing valuations by the 30th day the higher valuation shall prevail; but nothing in this subsection precludes them from seeking any other sum from any court administering the Principal Act.

             (9)  No valuation is required under this section if:

                     (a)  the spouses agree in writing and each lodge a notice on the portal; or

                     (b)  the business earns less than $450,000 in gross income, employs less than 3 full‑time employees, discloses three years of tax returns, and values the business at not less than 4 times the combined value of assessable income of the spouse, profits, and value of fringe benefits provided; or

                     (c)  the business earns less than $180,000 in gross income, contracts personal services of a director as a self‑contractor and earns more than half its gross revenue from providing services to one client or its subsidiaries in any 12 month period, in which case, its value is zero and the company does not need to be independently valued; or

                     (d)  the business is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, or a similar exchange in another country, and is valued by reference to the closing price used on the day of lodgement of a claim under this Part; or

                     (e)  the spouse seeking to retain the interest does not control alone or together with associates more than 19.9 per cent of the equity of the business, and the chief financial officer of that enterprise discloses the last price at which that equity has sold privately, which benchmark that chief financial officers certifies is the value for these purposes and calculates accordingly; or

                      (f)  a spouse certifies that a company or trust does not carry on a business but owns equity in another business which itself is valued and to which these subparagraphs apply by the application of principles of accounting consolidation to show a fair value; or

                     (g)  in respect of a non‑business asset an accredited family lawyer certifies that a court administering the Principal Act would not ordinarily require valuation to be made of the particular asset for the purposes of a determination at a hearing; or

                     (h)  in circumstances where the asset may be excluded when a self‑assessment is made pursuant to section 11; or

                      (i)  an accountant certifies that a valuation is habitually made in a different manner for the purposes of selling the asset to a third party, given the negligible value of the asset, and records that value in writing, lodging the same on the portal; or

                      (j)  the valuation relates to family chattels, other than art work acquired for a sum of more than $10,000.

           (10)  A valuation must be undertaken at arm’s length by a suitably qualified person such as an accountant, or by a person certified by them as an expert in the case of a dispute, valued as at the date of lodgement, and may not be undertaken by any person who is:

                     (a)  a relative or relationship partner of any person seeking the valuation; or

                     (b)  any person or business controlled by a person who has shares or a profit share in that business; or

                     (c)  an accountant who has, or an associate or partner has, at any time been appointed as auditor of that company or any other company controlled by that spouse, other than a company with less than 20 employees and with a value less than $2 million.

9  Substantial liquidity event

If you have a family home, then ordinarily each of you must pay each other 35 per cent of the net equity value of that home

             (1)  If at the date of lodgement either or both spouses:

                     (a)  owns an interest in a family home; or

                     (b)  owns an interest in a bank account that primarily represents the proceeds of sale of a family home;

a claim may be made under this subsection and otherwise comply with section 11 and 12 of this Act.

Calculate value by the sales price of the house if you have to sell it

             (2)  Where subsection (1) applies, value for the purposes of this subsection is calculated as follows in accordance with this formula:


HV = A‑B‑C where


HV is the net house equity home value


“A” is:

                     (a)  in the case where the real estate is agreed to be auctioned or is subsequently within 90 days sold with the written agreement of both spouses, the sum that arises by as a consequence of that process; or

                     (b)  in the case of a spouse who buys out the other in accordance with the process specified in section 10 the sum determined by the valuer so selected; and

                     (c)  in the case of a spouse who seeks not to sell an existing family home or acquire the other spouse’s legal or equitable interest in it, using the same methodology as if paragraph (b) applied; and

                     (d)  in the case of cash at bank the sum shown as the deposit balance in the account or accounts provided by a bank on the last day of the month prior to lodgement of the claim whether or not that sum exceeds or is less than the net sales proceeds of the real estate to which it relates;


“B” is the face value of any registered mortgage the value of which is determined in the manner provided for in subsection 7(1); and


“C” is any other sums constituting a permitted variation undertaken strictly in accordance with subsection (3) and verified by a claimant at the time of lodgement or by a recipient before the 30th day, and which complies with the other requirements of this section.

In some material circumstances, you can adjust for other debt

             (3)  A permitted variation to the sum HV calculated in accordance with subsection (2) may be made in respect of any of the following sums:

                     (a)  the balance of any credit card debt due to a Bank by either spouse as at the end of the last card issuance statement prior to the lodgement of the Claim;

                     (b)  any HECS debt owed by any dependent child of the relationship or either spouse;

                     (c)  the quantum of any gift received by a spouse within five years prior to lodgement as specified in a letter from a solicitor as being the quantum or in a contemporaneous letter from the person paying that sum;

                     (d)  any sum a doctor certifies is, in their opinion, prudent for meeting the health needs of a spouse with a substantial injury or illness and to the extent that a doctor believes is not otherwise the subject of a likely payment under a policy of insurance;

                     (e)  a personal injury compensation payment as specified in a letter issued by an insurer or solicitor in relation to the same identifying the sum paid;

                      (f)  any specific reduction is made by an accredited family lawyer in accordance with subsection (6);

                     (g)  the face value of any relationship debt;

but only to the extent the person making the variation believes there are insufficient other residual current net assets (excluding in particular any pension or superannuation) such that defeasance of the liability so identified could not be satiated.

You cannot quibble with the minimum liquidity sum rules unless you have a lawyer or have special circumstances

             (4)  Where one or both spouses own a family home subject to this section and a claim has been lodged, they must pay sums arising from the valuation of that asset as follows:

                     (a)  35 per cent of “HV” to each spouse; and

                     (b)  so that all sums are payable in equal shares as a consequence of this section; and

                     (c)  for other sums as dealt with in accordance with this Part.

Short marriages or negative net equity are exceptions to the 35 per cent of core wealth each rule

             (5)  A calculation made pursuant to this section:

                     (a)  which results in HV being a negative sum shall not require payments to be made by either spouse; and

                     (b)  in respect of a couple whose relationship is of less than 4 years duration and there are no dependent children of the relationship, the spouses shall not pay each other under subsection (4) but instead shall:

                              (i)  calculate value by allocating all capital contributed by them at face value to the person who made the contribution; and

                             (ii)  split the gain or remaining sum so calculated equally;

except if one spouse will receive less than $60,000 then no sums are due hereunder, and the parties shall instead disclose in accordance with section 8 and lodge a self‑assessment notice in accordance with section 11 by the 21st day.

             (6)  An accredited family lawyer providing a due diligence certificate to vary the minimum sums otherwise calculated under this section may only issue such a certificate if all of the following conditions are met:

                     (a)  based on the information lodged on the portal by the 25th day it is more likely than not that a court would make a payment to one spouse less than the sum otherwise due, not more; and

                     (b)  the difference is material and cannot be addressed subsequently without financial loss; and

                     (c)  the solicitor suggests an alternative minimum payment that can in the circumstances provide adequate solvency for the spouses, most especially a disadvantaged person in our community, which sum their client agrees to make all best efforts to facilitate the payment with all due haste; and

                     (d)  their good faith verifications are consistent with their client’s overarching obligations to truncate the dispute.

Your adjustments must be specific and quantified

             (7)  The only acceptable responses to a claim made under this section are to:

                     (a)  comply with the sum so calculated by specifying how payment will be effected in a timely and compliant manner; or

                     (b)  vary the claim in accordance only with this section; or

                     (c)  specify how an application should be rejected by the portal, together with the requisite verification information in accordance with this Part; or

                     (d)  have a solicitor lodge a copy of any Torrens title deed with the portal certifying that an exclusion arises in accordance with section 7.

You must behave rationally

             (8)  A person must only engage in conduct which reflects a position reasonably available in law and in particular may not seek to propose other reasons for delay including that they:

                     (a)  would prefer delays to effect capital improvement or sell the family home at a different time of year, paint or make repairs, or to maximise price in another manner; or

                     (b)  may have a better case in subsequent litigation that might or result in a different outcome; or

                     (c)  seeks to impose a reserve price on real estate; or

                     (d)  prefers an alternative solution unless agreed in writing under a consent order entered into by the 30th day; or

                     (e)  disagrees with the Principal Act, including its core objectives or seek to espouse broader social policy concerns; or

                      (f)  is not prepared to act on a proper basis congruent with the Principal Act as it has been interpreted; or

                     (g)  makes claims such that their spouse incurs legal costs which are not reasonable or are disproportionate; or

                     (h)  does not, on the factual and legal material available to the person at the time of making the claim or responding to the claim, as the case requires, have a proper basis; or

                      (i)  makes payments or conduct conditional upon matters relating to children; or

                      (j)  seeks to engage in any conduct in connection with any claim or response unless the person reasonably believes that the step is necessary to facilitate the resolution or determination of it; and

                     (k)  otherwise refuses to act promptly to minimise delay in the processing of the claims made or obligations arising under this Part.

Equality Principle

             (9)  Neither spouse may:

                     (a)  reduce the 35 per cent claim to an extent that results in any higher sum being paid to only one of them; or

                     (b)  add additional assets or deduct any other liability other than in accordance with this section;

but nothing above shall preclude the spouses from agreeing in writing that a higher sum be paid directly to each of them rather than remaining in escrow by as long as that payment is in equal proportions and is jointly notified on the portal or by both of them entering into a consent order by the 30th day.

10  Special circumstances for buying out your spouse

You can buy your spouse out of the family home if you get a specific finance offer in place promptly

             (1)  Where one spouse wishes to purchase the family home, so as to make the payments due under this Act, the claimant must lodge all the following documents when the claim under this Part is first made or if not, the recipient may no later than the 28th day in a form specified by the portal provide:

                     (a)  the names of no fewer than three valuers, who the other spouse may choose one such valuer to set the market price of the property in accordance with section 9, or if no such selection is made by the 30th day the valuer who the acquiring spouse will use to do so; and

                     (b)  an undertaking that if payment of the sum due under this option is not received within 90 days of lodgement as a consequence of exercising this statutory buy out right that they will immediately place the property on the market for public auction at the direction of terms required by the other spouse; and

                     (c)  a representation that the acquirer has no intention to resell the property inside the next 2 years arising from the acquisition which shall bring to an end all of their spouse’s legal or beneficial interest in the real property; and

                     (d)  an undertaking to discharge at settlement all registered indebtedness to which the other spouse is liable or may be liable under a contingent debt claim triggered by the sale, or arising in connection with the sale and all relationship debt; and

                     (e)  a conditional letter of finance from a bank which references this section and is issued subject to such qualifications as the bank may see fit to make.

Some family homes are not subject to the buyout right, and if you are a residential parent with children you can obtain a grace period

             (2)  Subsection (1) does not apply where:

                     (a)  the spouses have been in a relationship of less than 5 years, and the family home was owned prior to the commencement of the relationship in whole or in part by only one of them; or

                     (b)  the dwelling was owned in whole or in part by a parent, sibling, former relationship partner, or grandparent of the other spouse at any time prior to the commencement of their relationship; or

                     (c)  the family home was at the lodgement date subject to a binding sales contract to a named bona fide purchaser for value without notice; or

                     (d)  a notice of deferred sale is given under paragraph 14(5)(b), in which case the buyout shall occur not more than 30 days thereafter and the right to acquire may be exercised by the other spouse at any time 60 days prior to that date by otherwise complying with the verification rules specified in this section; or

                     (e)  each spouse owns or controls an interest in any other residential real estate situated in any Australian state or territory (other than Western Australia).

Other situations

             (3)  Where a person seeks to make a payment to their spouse and notifies the portal that payment can be made other than by sale or purchase of the family home in compliance with section 9 or subsection (1) of this section that person must by the 30th day lodge a letter of credit or similar instrument issued by a bank for that sum and may not make payment conditional upon the sale or refinance of another asset, including the sale of other real estate.

Where children need stability

             (4)  Notwithstanding section 9 or subsection (1) or (2) the rights of a person to effect or deny the purchase, or to require a sale as a result of an obligation arising under section 9, may be suspended if:

                     (a)  a certificate is issued by an accredited family lawyer and lodged on the portal to the effect that a court would enable occupancy of a house for a designated period; and

                     (b)  the residential spouse, as between them, is obliged to make payment in respect of any mortgage registered on the property at the time of separation and settles thereafter, as long as that period does not exceed 12 months.

Loans from family members

             (5)  Where sale of a family home is to be undertaken and:

                     (a)  repayments of any debt are to be made to a relative or associate of one of the spouses as a consequence of sale; and

                     (b)  a solicitor certifies that they wish to contest the debt based on an application of prevailing law; and

                     (c)  uploads to the portal their letter explaining their basis in law for doing so;

the proceeds of sale to the extent quantified must not be repaid to that extent and must instead be deposited in a joint bank account of which each all affected persons agree in writing to a release or otherwise in accordance with a financial assessment issues, or as any federal or state court so directs.

You can communicate via the portal and not breach family violence orders

             (6)  A person who is the subject of a family violence order issued by a court of any State or Territory does not breach that order, and that order is not invalid, by reason that they comply with this Part where all such communications made are:

                     (a)  directly to the portal and not directly to their spouse; and

                     (b)  contain language which is at all times temperate; and

                     (c)  limited themselves to the resolution of their financial dispute and do not reference any parenting issues whether arising in accordance with Part 3 or otherwise.

11  Self‑assessment

You must self‑assess and pay up promptly to the extent you can

             (1)  Where a claim is lodged with the portal in compliance with this Act each spouse shall lodge a self‑assessment notice on the portal which notice shall comply with all of the following requirements:

                     (a)  it shall specify how that person proposes to discharge their overarching obligation under this Act in relation to each asset and liability that remains in contention and any contingent debt (other than and to the extent determined under sections 9 or 10) so as to ensure an outcome that is also just and equitable for each of them in respect of their relationship wealth, not making transfers of each asset or the proceeds thereof conditional or dependent on an overall resolution; and

                     (b)  does so in a manner which reflects, in that person’s honest view, the most likely outcome for that couple as if a court apprised of the matters so disclosed on the portal would reach under the Principal Act, not that particular spouse’s best case if the matter were to be so determined, nor necessarily what that spouse desires; and

                     (c)  specifies the conduct necessary to give effect to those payments, but may not require that the transfer of any asset, or the discharge of any liability be more complex than is necessary to achieve a payment or transfer; and

                     (d)  not require the surrender of legal rights to make a claim in accordance with the Principal Act in any court in a manner which would be obtained had a consent order been approved under the Principal Act or otherwise seeking to have the effect of raising legal issues not necessary to effect payment; and

                     (e)  while a claim has been made and not resolved under this Part, engage in conduct that is:

                              (i)  unconscionable; or

                             (ii)  misleading or deceptive; or

                            (iii)  unnecessary for the purpose of making a just and equitable distribution; and

                      (f)  be lodged after the 50th day; and

                     (g)  deal with the value of both current and non‑current assets in a manner which is just and equitable as two separate pools; and

                     (h)  should a spouse assert that no significant division of the wealth of spouses be made by reason that a court administering the Principal Act would refrain from making any substantive alteration of property interests or not order a settlement because, it would not be just and equitable to do so, lodge a certificate from an accredited family lawyer to that effect and engage in all conduct necessary to give effect to payments therein contemplated, such as initiating periodic payments, within 30 days; and

                      (i)  value assets and liabilities as at the date of the claim lodged under this Part; and

                      (j)  comply with information requests and complete other assessment tasks and forms to give effect to this Part; and

                     (k)  at all times seek to reduces the burdens on our courts to resolve or narrow disputes to sums and issues in real contention to which no reasonable interim solution has been proposed; and

                      (l)  address and determine the status of at least each of the following assets and liabilities:

                              (i)  the family home whenever acquired other than to the extent allocated under section 9 or 10; and

                             (ii)  any family chattels; and

                            (iii)  deal with all relationship property including pets, wedding rings and items that should not consume the scarce resources of public courts for their resolution; and

                            (iv)  superannuation, pension and trust accounts whenever established or contributed to directly or indirectly by the spouse or any employer of the same; and

                             (v)  all bank accounts and shares held by or on behalf of or for the behalf of that person.

Minimum conditions of self‑assessment that the male spouse should ordinarily pay attention to

             (2)  A self‑assessment notice lodged by the first spouse, as determined pursuant to subsection 5(8) must, as a minimum, result in the other spouse owning or being paid a sum not less than half the value of their relationship property, unless the self‑assessment notice annexes a certificate from either:

                     (a)  a legal aid organisation or accredited family lawyer to the effect that the self‑assessment specified reflects the most likely outcome a court applying the Principal Act should determine; or

                     (b)  a doctor who certifies that they have a substantial illness or injury and has been or is unlikely to be unemployed for a period exceeding 6 months and makes financial provision for the effects of the same; or

                     (c)  that spouse certifies that that they do not have the financial resources nor ability to obtain any relevant advice or assistance having made reasonable efforts to do so in which case this minimum payment rule does not apply; or

                     (d)  an accredited family lawyer who certifies that a court administering the Principal Act is more likely than not to order a reduced outcome and adjusting the self‑assessment otherwise to be made to reflect outcome so certified by that practitioner; or

                     (e)  an accredited family lawyer certifies that a court would exclude the item of property in question or otherwise deal with the couple’s relationship property in a materially different manner; or

                      (f)  from that spouse to the effect that the reduction below that minimum the value arises by reason that an asset or assets with a value of less $10,000 such as a motor car is being retained and not being sold and that the payments to the other spouse exceed $100,000 in any event; or

                     (g)  the spouse does not seek to allocate debts in any manner specified in or equivalent to the powers contained in either of section 106B or Part VIIIAA of the Principal Act.

Minimum conditions of self‑assessment that the female spouse should ordinarily pay attention to

             (3)  The self‑assessment notice lodged by the second spouse must, as a minimum, result in the other spouse owning not less than 40 per cent of the value of their relationship wealth unless the self‑assessment notice annexes a certificate from either:

                     (a)  a legal aid organisation to the effect that that the self‑assessment better reflects the likely outcome a court applying the Principal Act should determine; or

                     (b)  from that spouse to the effect that the first spouse has failed to pay child support to them or to any other relationship partner for a sum exceeding $3,000 at any time; or

                     (c)  from a doctor who certifies that the second spouse has a substantial illness or injury and has been or is unlikely to be unemployed for a period exceeding 6 months and makes financial provision for effects of the same; or

                     (d)  from that spouse to the effect that they do not have the financial resources or ability to obtain any relevant advice or assistance having made reasonable efforts to do so, in which case this minimum payment rule does not apply; or

                     (e)  an accredited family lawyer certifies that a court administering the Principal Act is more likely than not to order a different outcome and adjusting the assessment to reflect outcome so certified by that practitioner; or

                      (f)  the spouse to the effect that the reduction below the requisite percentage threshold arises by reason that an asset or assets with a value of less than $10,000 such as a motor car is being retained and not being sold and that the payments to the other spouse exceed $100,000 in any event; or

                     (g)  a spouse does not seek to allocate debts in any manner specified in or equivalent to the powers contained in either of section 106B or Part VIIIAA of the Principal Act.

You must focus on the matters at hand

             (4)  Each spouse must:

                     (a)  focus only upon the substantive issues in dispute; and

                     (b)  complete forms required by the portal by the 60th day specifying their next step and best efforts to resolve their dispute, or that the matter has been agreed between them or any mutually agreed course of action.

Items that can be excluded from self‑assessment

             (5)  For the purposes of enabling a prompt self‑assessment either spouse may elect to exclude from their self‑assessment notice any of the following matters which are the subject of a due diligence certificate by any practitioner:

                     (a)  property, other than a matrimonial home, that was acquired by way of gift and or inheritance from a relative in an amount less than $150,000;

                     (b)  rights or expectancies arising as a beneficiary under a trust settled by a parent, grandparent or controlled entity of the same, other than a trust;

                     (c)  the proceeds of a disposition of property acquired out of property to which paragraph (a) or (b) applies;

                     (d)  post‑separation gains from any form of gambling;

                     (e)  proceeds or a right to proceeds of a policy of life insurance, that are payable on the death of the life insured and are separately retained;

                      (f)  any land the subject of a native title claim by a person who is entitled to make such a claim, including any right or interest in any customary land or Crown land by such a person;

                     (g)  any artworks to which a claim may be made by reason of that person’s status as a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage;

                     (h)  sums representing compensation or damages or a right to the same arising in relation to personal injury, nervous shock, or mental distress;

                      (i)  sums paid or payable under any pension or superannuation policy or insurance policy or otherwise, but only to the extent that a qualified actuary opines represents in economic substance amounts to be reasonably used for the rehabilitation of a person from injuries sustained by them arising from personal injury, nervous shock or metal distress;

                      (j)  the capital value of real estate, other than the matrimonial home as determined by section 9 or extended by this Part, owned by a spouse prior to commencement of the relationship and where the relationship commenced when both of them were over the age of 50 years;

                     (k)  sums in an Australian superannuation fund representing a balance prior to commencement of the relationship in excess of $100,000, and where the relevant spouse offers to divide the residual quantum of both spouses’ superannuation so each of them has an equal sum;

                      (l)  gains arising or losses incurred in the value of shares or a business after a notice is first given under this Act;

                    (m)  any property which an accredited family lawyer certifies habitually would be excluded in a manner by a court administering the Principal Act.

             (6)  The self‑assessment made under this section is not an offer capable of withdrawal but is an assessment that must be complied with by the person making it save to the extent that:

                     (a)  the spouses subsequently enter into a consent order or binding financial agreement or lodge a notice of agreed payment with the portal; or

                     (b)  an arbitration of their dispute is made; or

                     (c)  it is impossible to make the payments or transfer the assets to the extent that each self‑assessment contradicts the other, and all transfers have been made and conduct engaged in that is not in dispute as between them, and the sums or items in dispute are jointly escrowed; or

                     (d)  the other spouse fails to lodge any self‑assessment notice by the 50th day or, in the case of a dispute, a self‑assessment notice then promptly relodged by a solicitor within 14 days of the matter being raised on the portal; or

                     (e)  if a notice has been given by a solicitor or forensic accountant under section 8, until the matter is resolved by an accredited family lawyer or is before a court; or

                      (f)  a court so directs under the Principal Act.

             (7)  Each spouse must lodge a revised self‑assessment not less than every 90 days specifying in the form provided:

                     (a)  the property that remains in dispute and to quantify the consequential effect of reasons given as if the matter were determined in accordance with the Principal Act; and

                     (b)  any conditions sought and in particular no conditions which are arduous or unconscionable, unduly complex, uncertain, irrational, frivolous, or are not reasonably connected with the purposes effecting a financial settlement or are akin to conditions more usual in a consent order unless and to the extent required so as to give effect to making the payments, and which do not preclude either party from making a financial claim under the Principal Act.

             (8)  A self‑assessment may propose any of the following conduct by a spouse:

                     (a)  pay a sum of money or transfer of any property without undue condition; or

                     (b)  set aside in a joint bank account of a sum of money until any factual matter or related parenting matters are resolved; or

                     (c)  if an accredited family lawyer believes there is a material lack of evidence, order the production of further documents or ensure the property; or

                     (d)  direct the payment of a sum directly to a creditor of a spouse or of both spouses or to remove any contingent debt obligation.

12  Joint control of assets where matters not resolved

             (1)  If the spouses are unable to agree their financial claim within 7 days of the lodgement of the first notice of self‑assessment, they must:

                     (a)  where the family home is sold under section 9 place the net proceeds of sale, less ordinary sale expenses and sums paid under or payable under section 9, into an account at an Australian bank at which each spouse or a nominee of the same is, or if a person is belligerent, offered as a joint signatory of the same; or

                     (b)  where a right is exercised under section 10 the purchaser must allow the other spouse to caveat the title in respect of a sum outstanding up to but not more than 10 per cent of the net value of the home; or

                     (c)  where the couple do not own a family home, the spouse must create a security interest over other property for the amount of the sum claimed and not resolved.

             (2)  The only payments which may be made, or caveat or security released to effect the same may be made if and only if:

                     (a)  a consent order is approved by a court administering the Principal Act and so directs; or

                     (b)  a court administering the Principal Act orders otherwise; or

                     (c)  the spouses otherwise agree in writing.

             (3)  Where a spouse fails to register on the portal or effect their obligations under sections 8 or 11 the other spouse may request the portal to issue a non‑compliance certificate.

             (4)  Where a non‑compliance certificate has been issued a spouse is not, in any proceedings for an interim order, entitled to:

                     (a)  bring any cross‑claim against the other spouse in respect of the sum provided for in the other spouse’s assessment for any matter to negate payment including any to effect any netting, set off, withholding if any kind; or

                     (b)  raise any counter claim for any sum or obligation whatsoever, other than providing compelling evidence of compliance by way of partial payment or transfer in specie, showing cause why a penalty under this section should also not apply; or

                     (c)  seek to argue the case on its merits as if the hearing were a full hearing but rather a hearing as to any egregious error that would cause undue hardship and that cannot be rectified at a final hearing of the matter; or

                     (d)  raise matters related to parenting; or

                     (e)  seek to determine the matter on the balance of convenience.

12A  Interim allocations of relationship property

Those who don’t bother to try

             (1)  If a spouse:

                     (a)  fails to respond to a claim made under this Part on the portal; or

                     (b)  fails to lodge a self‑assessment notice regardless of its content

that person must pay a sum not less than the net equity value of the couple’s family home to their spouse by the 90th day together with a sum of $50,000.

Non‑resident couples to share equally

             (2)  If neither of the spouses have been ordinarily resident in Australia during the last income tax year their relationship property shall be shared equally, unless one of them gives a notice of intention to lawfully reside in this country within 30 days of the making of the claim.

Financial differences less than the cost of dispute resolution

             (3)  If, following compliance with section 11, the relationship property remaining in dispute between them represents an amount of $20,000 or less, the residual sums or property in dispute shall be allocated to the second spouse as an interim deemed assessment.

Consequences of failing to participate

             (4)  If a person:

                     (a)  receives either:

                              (i)  a Notice of Participation in a Mediation from a family dispute resolution practitioner on the portal; or

                             (ii)  Notice of Suitable Arbitration from a family dispute resolution practitioner on the portal; and

                     (b)  fails to respond by filing an Alternative Dispute Resolution Due Effort or Exception Notice on the portal within 30 days

that person shall effect transfer of a sum of $30,000 from the joint account to their spouse as a deemed interim assessment.

Interim order to become a final order

             (5)  Where:

                     (a)  an interim allocation of property is made under this section; and

                     (b)  the sum or property is paid; and

                     (c)  neither spouse commences proceedings in respect of the final determination of their financial dispute within 90 days of that payment;

a person may apply to court to:

                     (d)  make orders necessary for the transfer to title to property; or

                     (e)  to give effect to the deemed final order as if an order of the court had been made directing the spouses to do all such things as are necessary or reasonable or habitual in the relevant circumstances; and

                      (f)  to require that person to pay a sum of $20,000 to their spouse unless a court considers that in the particular case it is not just and equitable to do so.

Disclosure obligations of service providers

             (6)  A person entitled to provide legal advice under this Act and who does so in relation to residual sums in dispute not otherwise specifically allocated in compliance with this section must disclose to their client in writing:

                     (a)  that person’s most likely financial result if the matter were heard by a court, net of reasonably anticipated fees and expenses; and

                     (b)  that person’s worst financial result in the same manner; and

                     (c)  the names and contact details of not less than two persons who can arbitrate and two persons who can mediate the matter; and

                     (d)  an explanation of the overarching obligation.

Ambit of interim transfers

             (7)  The payments made under this section:

                     (a)  are interim payments which may be reversed at a final hearing of a matter by any court administering this Act; and

                     (b)  only have effect in respect of property which is capable of allocation pursuant to a notice of self‑assessment under section 11; and

                     (c)  are to be made by first discharging liabilities secured over those assets; and

                     (d)  may not be made in circumstances that would otherwise render a spouse insolvent; and

                     (e)  remain in the joint bank account if the person to whom they are otherwise to be made is or has been a bankrupt or there a bankruptcy petition filed against them other than by a spouse or related party; and

                      (f)  must otherwise remain in or be placed in the joint bank account or subject to security arrangements having the same economic effect.

             (8)  A court may make an order in respect of any person in dispute about their relationship property requiring that the person engage in any conduct including effecting any interim transfer of any sums or property in specie as an interim order if a court believes that:

                     (a)  a person has failed to comply with their overarching obligation; or

                     (b)  a person takes a position unsupported by law; or

                     (c)  a litigant or solicitor has failed to identify the law or precedent on which they rely prior to a hearing; or

                     (d)  it is efficient to deal with a matter by truncating a financial dispute assists a spouse who is in financial distress; or

                     (e)  the docket management priorities of the court are best served by terming and narrowing financial issues promptly in a heuristic manner so that the scarce resources of the court can better prioritise matters relating to domestic violence.

13  Obligations to mediate or try to arbitrate

             (1)  Where spouses have financial issues remaining between them under this Part each of them must each make genuine efforts to resolve their dispute.

             (2)  A genuine effort to resolve a dispute includes, at the very least engaging in one of the courses of conduct specified in subsection (3) within 30 days of the first lodgement of the assessment and if that method fails to undertake the same at least every 90 days thereafter until the parties reach agreement or a court decides otherwise.

             (3)  A genuine effort is made by either:

                     (a)  negotiating directly or with the assistance of an adviser within 30 days of the lodgement of the first assessment notice; or

                     (b)  if a family violence order applies, or a legal aid organisation so directs, using the services of a family dispute resolution practitioner who keeps the parties physically separate and safe; or

                     (c)  offering for the matter to be resolved by a family law arbitrator; or

                     (d)  making of written offers on the portal or otherwise on any other electronic dispute resolution system approved by the Attorney‑General where the sums in contention are less than $120,000.

             (4)  A spouse need not mediate their financial dispute in the following circumstances:

                     (a)  had the matter related to parenting a spouse would not be obliged to attend mediation under by Part VII of the Principal Act because of matters relating to domestic violence; or

                     (b)  a legal aid organisation or family dispute resolution practitioner certifies that mediation in the form proffered is not safe notwithstanding formal compliance with the protections of the kind envisaged by Part VII of the Principal Act were offered or that it would not be appropriate to conduct the proposed family dispute resolution, or one of the spouses engaged in conduct that gave them reasonable cause to believe that a genuine effort to resolve the issue or issues would be improbable.

             (5)  A spouse who is subject to a final family violence order may only seek to discharge their obligations by lodging a bid on the portal in the form so specified by it from time to time and engaging in such moderated conversations as permitted by the portal unless a person protected by such an order is amenable to mediation in a form agreed with a family dispute resolution practitioner or by separate dialogues with each by telephone, video, or email.

             (6)  A spouse need not comply with this section if:

                     (a)  their spouse fails to lodge a notice of self‑assessment or to respond to a claim made under section 7; or

                     (b)  the spouse seeking the exemption lodges on the portal a certificate from an accredited family lawyer that the matter raises unique points of law, the resolution of which is not suitable for an arbitrated outcome having not issued more than two or more such certificates in any 12 month period; or

                     (c)  a court orders otherwise because the matter is more likely than not to be efficiently to be determined by way of litigation, having regard to the docket management priorities of the court and the need for courts to give priorities to first resolving matters involving family violence.

14  Compliance obligations for financial disputes

             (1)  Each spouse unless otherwise agreed in writing shall:

                     (a)  pay all sums or transfer all assets in kind and discharge all relevant liabilities, when required by this Act or agreed by the spouses as promptly as possible, in relation to each asset or as otherwise required by their own notice of self‑assessment to the extent it does not contradict that of their spouse; and

                     (b)  where real estate is to be sold ensure that unless agreed otherwise or permitted in accordance with this section the real estate is listed for sale no later than 60 days with a view to auction; and

                     (c)  where payments arise in relation to the sale of real estate under paragraph (b), or arise in relation to the sale of real estate or a spouse so requires it in relation to a payment of more than $50,000 procure a solicitor to act for both parties and coordinate the sale and payment of proceeds; and

                     (d)  ensure their spouse and any child of the same is not rendered insolvent prior to substantive settlement and in particular where:

                              (i)  the claimant earns less than $50,000 per annum from personal exertion income, and has less than $15,000 of cash at bank in their own name at lodgement; and

                             (ii)  the second spouse earns more than $50,000 per annum from personal exertion income, and has cash or liquid assists in excess of $25,000 or that person either alone or together with the claimant can draw down on a home loan from a bank without breaching the same or otherwise putting them in position in which they are unable to meet their debts as they fall due; and

                            (iii)  sums due to the first spouse under this Act exceed $30,000 but remain unpaid,

                            the second spouse must pay the first spouse the sum of $25,000 within 30 days and the sum of $25,000 shall be netted against sums otherwise due on settlement of the sale of the family home or if not being sold when subsequent payments made under this Act are paid; and

                     (e)  not engage in conduct to frustrate payments due by law under this Part including by way of engaging in any of the following conduct or conduct having similar effect once agreement is reached or an assessment made, and without having to go to court must not:

                              (i)  seek a new assessment or lodge a new claim; or

                             (ii)  sell assets without notice and consent other than in the ordinary course of a business, or engaging in any value shifting transaction or otherwise defeating payments agreed or assessed or contested or payable under this Part; or

                            (iii)  refuse to sign documents relating to discharge of indebtedness without the advice of a solicitor; or

                            (iv)  refuse to appoint real estate agents or auctioneers; or

                             (v)  roll over a cash deposits or financial instrument repayment dates beyond 30 days; or

                            (vi)  refuse to execute a superannuation flagging order or transfer a significant sum of superannuation into a new account or any amount to a self‑managed superannuation fund; or

                           (vii)  make any drawing on any joint debt facility for which both spouses are liable without the written consent of both spouses save as provided in this section or as an ordinary consequence of an offset facility; or

                      (f)  where a payment is being met other than arising from sale of the family home at auction, or payments are to be made in excess of $100,000 then unless agreed in writing settlement can be postponed until a solicitor is appointed by one of the spouses to co‑ordinate the same.

             (2)  Where the family home or other real estate is to be sold to effect payments agreed to or self‑assessed under this Part the spouses must:

                     (a)  engage in all conduct reasonable or necessary to give effect to the same; and

                     (b)  ensure that payments under the contract of sale require payments on or before the 90th day; and

                     (c)  appoint a solicitor who acts for both spouses and who is obliged to make payment of settlement of sums in accordance this Act, without set off, netting or counterclaim to each spouse or for reasons not related to their relationship or not provided for on terms agreed or self‑assessed under this Act; or

                     (d)  in the absence of written agreement effect the sale by way of public auction unless a binding sales contract to a bona fide purchaser for value had been entered into, which contract:

                              (i)  has been disclosed to the other spouse; and

                             (ii)  payment is due no later than 90 days from the date it was entered; and

                            (iii)  that contract was entered into prior to lodgement; and

                     (e)  not engage in conduct to thwart the sale including:

                              (i)  not insisting upon a reserve price; and

                             (ii)  not delaying listing with an agent; and

                            (iii)  not insisting upon repairs or prior improvements; and

                            (iv)  where other liquid assets were purchased and secured against the house, such as listed shares, those assets are to be sold or transferred as if they were also the proceeds of the sale of the home made under section 9; and

                      (f)  do all such things as are necessary to effect transfer of title and discharge indebtedness secured against the family home in relation to the sale of real estate that needs to be sold as is reasonable to effect the same in a timely manner; and

                     (g)  deferring their obligation to pay if the sale is not concluded for reasons outside that person’s control, such as having no bids on or in respect of the real estate in question, having made all due effort;

unless otherwise agreed between the spouses in writing and lodged on the portal in such manner as it sees fit.

             (3)  As part of their overarching obligation each spouse must engage in all such conduct as a reasonable person would take to transfer assets and discharge any personal property security or other encumbrance within 90 days or otherwise do such things as reasonable to giving effect to the substance and purpose of any agreement or self‑assessment made.

             (4)  Payments under this Part are not, unless specified otherwise in this Act, conditional upon entry into a consent order, binding financial agreement or any other legal agreement, other than a legal agreement:

                     (a)  required by a bank; or

                     (b)  under a standard form sale and purchase contract approved by any law society relating to the sale of real estate in that state or territory; or

                     (c)  to transfer shares in an electronic registry or under a standard share transfer form; or

                     (d)  as agreed in writing between the spouses by the 90th day.

             (5)  If a spouse resides in the former matrimonial home with children of the relationship at the time the claim is lodged, and that spouse will either:

                     (a)  receive less than $200,000 from the sale of the family home they may defer compliance with this section until all matters, including valuations and assessments are also to be settled at the same time, but otherwise a delay in the making of an assessment does not preclude the making of other payments in accordance with this Part; or

                     (b)  otherwise will cease to reside in the family home but wishes to defer the house being placed on the market for a period not exceeding 12 months or so as to enable a child to complete their year’s schooling shall give notice under this paragraph of the date selected and:

                              (i)  the amounts determined under this Part shall be adjusted by a sum equal to two percent of the government value of the family home as prorated by the number of days between the nominated listing date and the date of lodgement, unless the exercise of this option renders; and

                             (ii)  undertakes to pay the mortgage for that period; or

                     (c)  be obliged to make a payment under section 9 in circumstances in which the spouses each owned a family home prior to their relationship or sold his or her home in contemplation of the relationship either spouse may nominate that the value of both be treated as one family home for the purposes of calculating the minimum sums due under section 9 and adjusted for depletion of monies if a cash sum and these rights, when exercised, shall suspend the legal and equitable rights of a person or trust but may not be exercised if an accountant certifies that the other spouse is, or is thereby likely to be unable, to meet their bona fide debts as they fall due.

             (6)  Spouses must also transfer to each other within 30 days other assets of a minor nature including:

                     (a)  any personal items of clothing; and

                     (b)  personal jewellery owned prior to the relationship; and

                     (c)  any motor vehicle primarily used by a spouse to the exclusion of the other spouse unless a secured financer seeks delay in the transfer, or the matter involves a vintage car or other collectable; and

                     (d)  where the matter involves works of art to the person who owned the same prior to commencement of the relationship or if purchased during the relationship by each sequentially, starting with the female spouse; and

                     (e)  any family chattels and in the case of any dispute with each of them choosing sequentially, starting with the older of them; and

                      (f)  where artworks or artefacts of cultural value are or were in the control or possession of a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage, they shall be excluded from joint sharing.

             (7)  If a person is the subject of a family violence order and is not incarcerated their spouse must coordinate with any regulated security company and any moving company engaged by the same to enter the family home or if no such premises otherwise collect the items specified in subsection (6) and the conduct engaged in is not a breach of any family violence order.

             (8)  Where a person receives all payments due under this Act and does not file for litigation within 6 months of the same that person shall be liable to pay their spouse the sum of $10,000 unless they:

                     (a)  engage in all such conduct as is reasonable to divest themselves of any residual equitable or legal interest; and

                     (b)  effect transfer of any relevant asset or effect the discharge of any security or indebtedness

within 30 days of being asked to do so by a practitioner acting in accordance with this section to the email address specified on the portal and shall thereupon be deemed to appoint their spouse as their attorney to effect the conduct which should have been engaged in pursuant to this section.

             (9)  Any person who breaches this section, or is knowingly involved in a breach, shall pay the other spouse:

                     (a)  a sum of 100 penalty units; and

                     (b)  a sum for loss or delay calculated by reference to the General Interest Charge;

unless a court reduces that sum in the interests of justice or because a spouse shows good cause relating to an impediment for compliance.

15  Enforcement and remedies

             (1)  A person must promptly pay the sums and transfer the assets in specie and engage in such conduct as is required by any:

                     (a)  self‑assessment made to the extent required by section 14; and

                     (b)  section 9 or 10

without set off, counterclaim, withholding, re‑argument of the application of the Principal Act, or delay until and unless ordered otherwise by a court administering the Principal Act in the interests of justice.

             (2)  Each spouse has an equitable interest in the family home equal to the sum calculable in accordance with section 9, and if sold the proceeds of sale of the family home, as from the date a claim is made in relation to the family home and the family home may not be sold or transferred or further encumbered by the legal owner, any solicitor or real estate agent with notice of the same, other than at the behest of the spouses as agreed jointly in writing.

             (3)  A spouse who fails to disclose any material asset that person owns, or controls, or benefits from, and whether that property may be distributed under this Act or which would have been considered by a court making an order under the Principal Act, shall:

                     (a)  forfeit the property in question and hold all sums arising from the same for the benefit of the other person with effect from the day notice was first given under section 9; and

                     (b)  pay interest from that date at the General Interest Charge until the date the property is registered in the name of their spouse; and

                     (c)  pay actual legal costs incurred by their spouse in relation to the discovery and recovery of amounts due; and

                     (d)  pay the Commonwealth 100 penalty units; and

                     (e)  pay the actual costs of any forensic accountant and debt collector or investigator;

unless and until those payments or obligations are reduced by a court within 30 days of notice being given by any person to the person who failed to make adequate disclosure.

             (4)  A person who suffers loss or damage by conduct of another person that was misleading or deceptive, or unconscionable, or breaches this Part:

                     (a)  on the portal; or

                     (b)  while a claim has been made in connection with a dispute subject to this Part but has not been given effect;

may recover any material loss or damage as against the other person or against any person knowingly involved in the contravention and in that instance the actual costs of enforcement.

             (5)  A person who performs a professional valuation in accordance with section 8 or 10 shall not be liable for loss in excess of two times the fees paid to them.

             (6)  A person who fails to lodge a self‑assessment notice which is not a bona fide and reasonable analysis of their obligations of their most likely outcome shall be liable to pay their spouse a sum not exceeding 100 penalty units.

Part 3Parenting disputes


16  Shared parenting obligations

             (1)  The public policy objectives of this Part of this Act are:

                     (a)  to encourage parents to ordinarily share the rights and responsibilities, the joys and the burdens of raising their children; and

                     (b)  to avoid a propensity to inflict family violence upon a caregiver or place a child at risk; and

                     (c)  to encourage parents themselves firstly to co‑operate and specify the time that the child will spend with each parent, with recourse to litigation being used as a last resort only; and

                     (d)  to reduce the conflict between parents that arises as a consequence of spousal confrontation when post‑separation parallel parenting is tenable;

in recognition that while relationships between parents have come to an end, parenthood itself is largely insoluble.

             (2)  Each spouse has an obligation to provide financial support for:

                     (a)  the other spouse, in accordance with need prior to the making of a payment in accordance with section 9 or 10, or where those sections do not apply until payment of at least the minimum presumptive sums required by a notice of self‑assessment; and

                     (b)  any child under the age of 18 years, or with special needs or by reason of illness, disability.

             (3)  It is the obligation of each parent upon separation to:

                     (a)  optimise their child’s short‑term and medium‑term welfare; and

                     (b)  ensure the child and each parent’s safety and well‑being is not affected and that the spouses treat each other with respect in front of that child and actively seek to reduce conflict between them; and

                     (c)  use the Principal Act and this Act only for a proper purpose; and

                     (d)  if they cannot resolve the matters themselves make a good faith effort to solve their differences without state resources, from the moneys arising from the prompt financial settlement regime set out in Part 2 of this Act, and if so able to engage in mediation by a third person, if safe; and

                     (e)  ensure that each child is engaged with each of the parents with a view to maximising the child’s long‑term welfare; and

                      (f)  make good faith efforts to enter into a written non‑binding parenting plan, and failing that a consent order that records the expected times of contact prior to making an application under this Part; and

                     (g)  co‑operate with each other; and

                     (h)  give effect to the shared parenting objectives of the Principal Act, in a manner in which that person makes best efforts to minimise the scarce public resources of our courts.

             (4)  Nothing in paragraphs (3)(e) to (h) applies where:

                     (a)  a legal aid organisation acts for the residential parent; or

                     (b)  a parent is incarcerated or has at any time been incarcerated for an act of violence or fraud; or

                     (c)  the child was conceived as a consequence of a relationship of short duration; or

                     (d)  a parent is over the age of 72 years; or

                     (e)  a parent is under the age of 18 years; or

                      (f)  a dependent child suffers from a life‑threatening illness or serious medical condition and in the case of dispute a doctor who provides a certificate that use of this process is not suitable in the prevailing circumstances; or

                     (g)  in the opinion of a doctor a person is physically incapacitated and unable to communicate or properly participate for the purposes of this Part; or

                     (h)  an employee of any domestic violence shelter or refuge believes that the safety of any person is or may be compromised or that compliance by a person with this Part should be excused for good reason relating to the safety of that person or any child and whether or not a family violence order has issued; or

                      (i)  a person has been diagnosed by a doctor with schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease, Asperger’s syndrome, bipolar disorder or any other similar mental health impairment which that doctor certifies materially impairs that person’s ability to function in a stable manner or affects their health to an appreciable extent; or

                      (j)  as at the date this Act comes into force one of the spouses has filed an application with any court seeking a hearing under the Principal Act in relation to matters covered in this Part and a final hearing date for the matter has been given in writing by a judge or Registrar; or

                     (k)  at the date of lodgement, a consent order has been approved or is signed by each parent, lodged and awaiting approval by any court in relation to matters arising under this Part; or

                      (l)  a consent order has already issued in relation to a child; or

                    (m)  a child has not had contact with one of their parents for more than 2 years; or

                     (n)  a person is excused by any officer of the armed services, any state or federal Police Commissioner, any emergency services officer, or by the Attorney‑General, for any designated period by reason that their service impedes their ability to comply with this Part; or

                     (o)  the child is a person:

                              (i)  with special difficulties or a specially impaired person; or

                             (ii)  has been admitted to any specialised care facility for the treatment of mental health, drugs or alcohol; or

                            (iii)  who ordinarily resides in Western Australia or does not reside in Australia; or

                     (p)  an applicant failed to pay their spouse or any former relationship partner a sum exceeding $12,000 under an order of any court or as assessed for child support and who have outstanding monies due at time of application; or

                     (q)  an applicant been admitted to any specialised care facility for the treatment of mental health, drugs or alcohol within the last ten years; or

                      (r)  an applicant been the subject of any adverse finding by any child welfare officer of any state or territory government at any time relating to the welfare or safety of any child; or

                      (s)  an applicant been given notice under the law of any state or territory that regulates or proscribes contact with, or restricts habitually consorting with a recognised offender or gang of offenders; or

                      (t)  an applicant been engaged in the sale of sexual services or the provision of entertainment of a sexual nature in the last three years or owns an interest in or manages a business which sells such services; or

                     (u)  at the time the application is made or within 12 months thereof been a relationship partner or associate of any person to whom any of the preceding subparagraphs apply; or

                     (v)  an accredited family lawyer certifies that it is more likely than not that a court would not order the measures sought, and the spouse seeking the exemption undertakes to comply complies with the alternative arrangements specified in the certificate.

             (5)  Where an application has been made under this Part, a person who believes they or their spouse is exempted or affected by other subsections of this section must complete and lodge an exemption and verification notice with the portal in the form it specifies.

             (6)  Lodgement with the portal and conduct engaged in with an accredited family lawyer under this Part is not a breach of any family violence order and no family violence order shall be invalid by reason that could be construed to otherwise regulate conduct generally in relation to communications where those communications prohibit or communicate or chill communications under this Act.

             (7)  Nothing in this Part, and no parental assessment made under this Part, affects:

                     (a)  the jurisdiction of a court, or the power of an authority, under a child welfare law to make an order, or to take any other action, by which a child is placed under the care (however described) of a person under a child welfare law; or

                     (b)  any such order made or action taken; or

                     (c)  the operation of a child welfare law in relation to a child.

             (8)  Each person who applies under this Part if called upon to do so by their spouse and other than subject to the terms of any family violence order, must provide evidence that they live by themselves and not with any other person or person in shared accommodation, save only with:

                     (a)  a new relationship partner and any child of the same; or

                     (b)  their parents; or

                     (c)  a sibling.

             (9)  A person who does not comply with this section commits an offence punishable, on conviction, by a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units.

           (10)  A person who makes an application under this Part must disclose to the extent the person is aware:

                     (a) of the existence and terms of any family violence order issued against the person or any person with whom the child will spend time, and in relation to the person’s relationship partner or any former relationship partner and even if that order has lapsed; and

                     (b)  that the child, or another child who is a member of the child’s family, is under the care (however described) of a person under a child welfare law; and

                     (c)  that the child, or another child who is a member of the child’s family, is or has been the subject of:

                              (i)  a notification or report (however described) to a prescribed State or Territory agency; or

                             (ii)  an investigation, inquiry or assessment (however described) by a prescribed State or Territory agency.

17  Self‑assessment of parenting matters

             (1)  A non‑residential parent to whom section 16 applies may make an application under this Part with the portal by lodging a parenting plan substantially in the form of the Standard Parenting Plan, with alterations made in mark up, together with a notice of parenting self‑assessment, save that if that person:

                     (a)  lives more than 100 kilometres distant from the residential parent only seeks access during long weekends and school holidays; and

                     (b)  agrees to effect all transport and collections required in accordance with the Standard Plan themselves or by a relationship partner, sibling or parent; and

                     (c)  agrees themselves to engage in the parenting, not devolving the same to any other person for any material period of time; and

                     (d)  has unpaid child support at the time the application is made or has previously failed to pay the same in a sum larger than $10,000 in which case no application may be made under this Part.

             (2)  A residential parent, other than where an exclusion applies in accordance with subsection 16(4), must:

                     (a)  comply with their overarching obligation which is to enable shared parenting time in a prompt manner, or where refusing to effect the same, do so only in accordance with this Part; and

                     (b)  lodge their parenting self‑assessment in the same manner as the non‑residential parent; and

                     (c)  provide written reasons why the time sought by the non‑residential parent is rejected or if less than the time set out in the Standard Plan, reduced; and

                     (d)  to the extent the two plans are compatible engage in such conduct as will enable the non‑residential parent to spend time with their children without the need to go to court; and

                     (e)  engage in mediation in the manner contemplated by Part VIII of the Principal Act whether or not litigation is or is not likely; and

                      (f)  engage in parenting mediation of not less than four hours with a family dispute resolution practitioner where an application has been made under this Part, and that person has received a payment of more than $50,000 under Part 2 of this Act; and

                     (g)  lodge a certificate of compliance with the portal.

             (3)  A parenting self‑assessment must not:

                     (a)  contain language which is inflammatory; or

                     (b)  raise issues relating to matters dealt with under Part 2 of this Act; or

                     (c)  use the forum or dialogue to debate the Principal Act, including its core objectives or seek to espouse broader social policy concerns; or

                     (d)  suggest conduct which is not congruent with the Principal Act as it has been interpreted; or

                     (e)  seek that a person may engage in any conduct connection with any claim or response unless the person reasonably believes that the step is necessary to facilitate the resolution or determination of it; and

                      (f)  makes contact conditional upon the payment of money; or

                     (g)  impose requirements related to

                              (i)  cooking or dietary requirements of the children other than as specified in a letter from a doctor; or

                             (ii)  contact hours with their spouse’s new relationship partner or that person’s family unless that person has been convicted of a criminal offence and spent a term of more than 12 months in jail at any time; or

                            (iii)  the mental health of their partner, other than requiring attendance pursuant to section 18; or

                            (iv)  any matter which is not related to the parenting issues which are capable of being dealt with under this Part.

             (4)  While a parenting plan does not have the force of law each parent shall make best efforts to comply with their self‑assessment save to the extent that it:

                     (a)  is altered or terminated by a court; or

                     (b)  where material non‑compliance with its terms are suspected.

             (5)  A parenting application made pursuant to this section may not be made more than yearly unless there is a material change of circumstances, but may not be made so frequently as to harass their spouse but may be made at any time where:

                     (a)  a final family violence order issues or a person is charged with an offence for which police seek a term of imprisonment of 90 days or more in relation to a parent; or

                     (b)  a parent change of employment status or hours renders them unable to provide care for the child substantially in the manner originally envisaged; or

                     (c)  within 6 months of a spouse living with a new partner on a permanent basis; or

                     (d)  a parent seeks to move to a dwelling which is more than 100 kilometres distant from their prior dwelling; or

                     (e)  a parent has expressed a threat in writing to abandon or not comply with a parenting assessment.

             (6)  A person who fails to respond to a parenting application lodged under this Part commits an offence punishable, on conviction, by a fine not exceeding 200 penalty units.

18  Anger management programmes

             (1)  A residential parent may require as part of a self‑assessment that their former partner attend a programme approved by the Attorney‑General under this section if they lodge with their notice of parenting self‑assessment:

                     (a)  a family violence order; or

                     (b)  a statutory affidavit from a person, not being a blood relative or relationship partner, recommending attendance by reason of the conduct of the non‑residential spouse that the person has witnessed, having known the applicant for a period not less than 3 months; or

                     (c)  a notice from a legal aid organisation requesting that the non‑residential spouse complies with this section.

             (2)  Where a notice is lodged under subsection (1) a non‑residential parent involved must participate in an anger management programme approved by the Attorney‑General of the Commonwealth or his or her delegates.

             (3)  If a non‑residential parent fails to attend such a course within 60 days of the lodgement their parenting assessment shall be of no further effect.

             (4)  A non‑residential parent who does not participate in such a course and receive a certificate of comprehension from a programme manager shall not until that time have parental access they request.

             (5)  The service provider who provides the anger management programme must record in an email sent to the portal:

                     (a)  the terms of attendance, including the number of sessions that must be attended; and

                     (b)  details and arrangements about the programme venue, sessions, and attendance requirements; and

                     (c)  in due course a certificate of satisfactory participation.

             (6)  If a designated service provider considers that:

                     (a)  it is no longer appropriate or practicable for the service provider to provide the programme in respect of a particular person; or

                     (b)  the person is not participating fully in the programme, and that this is significantly affecting that person’s ability to benefit fully from the programme; or

                     (c)  the final examination for comprehension of any programme is not passed; or

                     (d)  the person exhibits behaviour which does not strongly indicate there will be behavioural change

then in each such case the service provider must notify the person and the portal.

             (7)  When a person has completed an anger management programme the service provider must, without delay, provide to the portal a report that:

                     (a)  states whether, in the opinion of the service provider, the person has met the objectives of the programme and the engagement with the service provider; and

                     (b)  advises of any concerns that the service provider has about the safety of any protected person or otherwise.

             (8)  If the report advises that the person has failed to meet the objectives of the programme or of the engagement or advises of any concerns that the service provider has about safety, the application is deemed to have been withdrawn and not be capable of representation for a period of 180 days.

19  A new compliance culture

             (1)  A person may provide legal services in connection with this Act and pursuant to the Principal Act, and whether or not they are a member of any professional services body, if that person:

                     (a)  has either:

                              (i)  been conferred a bachelor or law degree, with honours or otherwise, by an Australian university; or

                             (ii)  practised for more than two years as a barrister or solicitor in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom or as an attorney in the United States of America and has been a member of a law society or analogous association in those jurisdictions for that period; or

                            (iii)  carried on business as a conveyancer licensed by any State or Territory government for a period exceeding 5 years; or

                            (iv)  worked as a paralegal for a legal aid organisation for a period exceeding three years under the supervision of a legal practitioner principally in the area of family law ; or

                             (v)  has taught family law at an Australian university for a period exceeding 3 years; and

                            (vi)  has not been declined membership of any law society or analogous self‑regulatory body, nor been sanctioned by the same or any government regulatory body or court for misconduct; and

                     (b)  acts only for clients who are either:

                              (i)  the sole owner of assets less than $2 million; or

                             (ii)  a person who earns less than $80,000 per annum from personal exertion income.

             (2)  A person providing services pursuant to this section must:

                     (a)  advise their clients in writing, and any court upon making an appearance, that they are not a member of a regulated law society; and

                     (b)  if they have not previously been a member of a relevant law society maintain a policy of insurance for professional liability issued by an Australian insurer for a sum not less than $1 million, and disclose the same on a substantive website maintained by them primarily for the purposes of promoting their business; and

                     (c)  not provide, or cease providing, legal services where that person has either:

                              (i)  at any time charged with an offence for which police seek a term of imprisonment exceeding 2 years; or

                             (ii)  are found by any court to have engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct; or

                            (iii)  more than three written complaints are made against them by clients or former clients or by any judicial officer; or

                            (iv)  A court administering the Principal Act so directs for such reason as that a court sees fit

                     (d)  disclose in a redacted form which omits the name or identity of the complainant the nature and number of complaints against them on the website which they are required to maintain under this section; and

                     (e)  register their details with the portal, which register shall be disclosed to the public; and

                      (f)  enter into a cost agreement with a client for sums expected to be greater than $3,000; and

                     (g)  have the same fiduciary obligation to clients and the court and gives rise to the same privileges as if they were legal practitioners.

             (3)  A person who breaches this section shall be liable for:

                     (a)  the loss or damage caused by them in contravention of this section in the amount of that loss or damage; and

                     (b)  the sum of $15,000 payable to any person enforcing this section; and

                     (c)  a pecuniary penalty not exceeding 200 penalty units.

             (4)  A corporation may provide services under this section if it:

                     (a)  is incorporated in Australia; and

                     (b)  ensures that at all times more than half the voting shares of that corporation are owned by persons entitled to provide advice under this section; and

                     (c)  the business of the corporation is primarily carried on by those persons.

             (5)  A court administering this Act shall make best efforts to:

                     (a)  schedule specific times for each hearing or mention in order that citizens’ legal bills are much reduced; and

                     (b)  schedule interim matters to be heard by phone or video conferencing if that is feasible and reported prior by email, or otherwise dealt with on the papers; and

                     (c)  reduce formality to ensure that the processes of court, including its Rules, are:

                              (i)  less adversarial and bring parents together to solve their children’s needs—save in the case of a person who has been charged with an act of violence; and

                             (ii)  informal and guide the earnest self‑represented litigant; and

                            (iii)  designed, in the case of a person who is belligerent and non‑compliant, or who engages in violence, to be both swift and efficient so as to promote a new robust compliance culture; and

                     (d)  optimise the proper purpose of Parliament in enabling discretionary justice by preferring an outcome that will best:

                              (i)  sweep away the procedures of the past so as provide a new era of calmness and rationality that will enable prompt, inexpensive and less formal procedures to prevail; and

                             (ii)  protect, and prioritise the interests of, children and disadvantaged persons so that the Principal Act is always a shield for the weak and never a sword for the powerful or the well‑funded; and

                            (iii)  prioritise matters involving spouses or children at risk of physical harm;

                            (iv)  provide guidance, optimise certainty and deliver clear and controlling legal precedent for the benefit of the society which it serves, so as to truncate disputes and generally reduce the need for and scope of litigation; and

                             (v)  ensure that public courts do not themselves become a system for payment delay or to otherwise engage in any form of financial violence; and

                            (vi)  ensure adversarial contests involve equal adversaries wherever and whenever possible in an especially prompt manner.

20  Regulation making powers

             (1)  The Governor‑General may make regulations, not inconsistent with this Act, prescribing all matters that are required or permitted by this Act or are necessary or convenient for carrying out or giving effect to this Act including more especially for:

                     (a)  detailing matters in relation to the self‑assessment or fees that may be charged by them generally and in relation to refunds; and

                     (b)  setting compliance deadlines for or in relation to designated classes of persons and specifying in regulations dispensations of the kind required; and

                     (c)  requiring that extra information be made available to spouses; and

                     (d)  regulating the activity of any person, including any professional person providing services in relation to this Act; and

                     (e)  dealing with a spouse whose whereabouts are unknown; and

                      (f)  regulating the portal; and

                     (g)  doing anything necessary or desirable or efficient to ensure a robust compliance culture arises in relation to this Act; and

                     (h)  ensuring that the intention of this Act prevails being that government incurs no cost in relation to matters required to be created to give effect to this Act and in particular that funding of the portal is limited to from monies only arising from the imposition or appropriation of fines or other pecuniary penalties, or for the demand or payment or appropriation of fees for licences, or fees for services under this Act.

             (2)  A consent order given under the Principal Act may:

                     (a)  deal with one or more assets, not all assets, for example only deal with a superannuation policy or policies and

                     (b)  deal with one or more liabilities or contingent debt obligations; and

                     (c)  only conclude matters in relation to the property so disclosed or dealt and need not simultaneously surrender all future claims capable of being made under the Principal Act.

Schedule 1Standard Parenting Plan












Parenting Plan









in respect of the childhood of








You must at all times, regardless of what is in this Standard Parenting Plan:

             (a)  regard the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration; and

             (b)  act on the basis that the child’s best interests are best met:

                      (i)  by the child having a meaningful relationship with both of the child’s parents; and

                     (ii)  by the child being protected from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence; and

                            if in conflict by giving greater weight to the consideration set out in subparagraph (ii).


Names of Parent


Names of Each Child


             (1)  The parents shall continue to have equal shared parental responsibility for the child. For the avoidance of doubt joint decision making includes decisions regarding each child’s:

                     (a)  legal names;

                     (b)  education (both current and future);

                     (c)  religious affiliations and cultural upbringings;

                     (d)  major dental and medical procedures, save in the event of a critical life event;

                     (e)  sporting activities; and

                      (f)  living arrangements or changes to living arrangements that make it materially more difficult for the children to spend time with either parent as envisaged.

             (2)  Each parent will be responsible for day to day decisions concerning the care of the child when the child is living with them or spending time with them.

             (3)  The children will reside during the ordinary school term with their mother and shall spend time with their father as follows:

                     (a)  collected at 9 am each second Friday at 3.15 pm from her school and returned to their school the next Monday morning no earlier than 8.00 am and no later than 8.30 am;

                     (b)  every second Tuesday the father shall collect the children from their school at 3.15 pm and care for them until 7.30 pm, whereupon the children shall be returned to the mother’s residence by 7.30 pm that night;

                     (c)  if the Monday following is a public holiday then the Father shall return them to school the following day the school is open;

                     (d)  if the Monday following is a pupil‑free day, or the children or either of them are ill, then the father shall return the children to their mother’s residence at 8.00 am that day; and

                     (e)  on school holidays, the children shall spend time with their non‑residential parent as follows:

                              (i)  summer holidays—for a three‑week period commencing 2nd January; and

                             (ii)  for all other school holidays, the first week commencing on the first day of the holiday.

             (4)  Whichever parent has the children will ensure all items required for the children will be given to the next caregiver, such as school bags, computers, medicines and sports equipment.

             (5)  Neither parent shall consume alcohol, drugs or any illicit substances in the presence of the children nor be in any way affected by them whilst the child is in that person’s care or control, nor in any period beginning 6 hours before the children arrive.

             (6)  The parties will encourage and foster the children’s relationship with teachers, each parent, their extended family and their grandparents, and neither party will denigrate the other or members of the other’s family to the children.

             (7)  The children may be in the care of their respective grandparents as determined by the parent with whom they live, or are then spending time with, or by mutual written agreement by email or text of both of the parents.

             (8)  If the children travel with a parent interstate or overseas at any time either during school term or during school holidays, there will be no requirement for makeup time for the other parent in the subsequent school holidays unless otherwise agreed.

             (9)  Notwithstanding the arrangements specified in paragraph (3) and modified in subsequent paragraphs, the children spend time with the parents as follows:

                     (a)  on the children’s birthdays, as they fall in each parent’s respective weeks, and at such times as agreed between the mother and the father from time to time, and if failure to agree, with the other parent that evening;

                     (b)  when Mother’s Day or Father’s Day occurs, then respectively the mother or the father is given fair and reasonable opportunity that evening to spend time with the children on this day if they choose to;

                     (c)  on the mother’s or father’s birthday at such times as agreed by the parents from time to time and if not agreed in writing then the children shall stay over with that parent that evening;

                     (d)  on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day in an even year with the residential parent, and in the following year with the non‑residential parent, and in each such year the chid shall spend all of Easter period with that other parent; and

                     (e)  such further and other times as may be agreed between the parties.

           (10)  Each parent shall deliver the children to school at the conclusion of their time with the children or if not a school day to the other parent’s residence.

           (11)  In the event either party is unable to care for the children for an overnight period during their respective periods, then the other parent is to be informed that an alternate carer will have responsibility for the children during this time. The residing parent will decide who that carer will be and will assign that carer in accordance with maintaining their duty of care for the children. The residing parent is not required to provide specific information regarding their whereabouts during this time but must advise details of the children’s location and the names and contact details of that alternate carer.

           (12)  Sleep‑overs with other children and their families is permitted by the respective residential parent. If that period crosses into time with the other parent written consent must first be obtained.

           (13)  Should either parent decease or suffer from a permanent injury illness or other medical condition, then it is the non‑legally binding intention of each of them that the children shall live full time with the other parent, maintaining such contact as the then residential parent believes is desirable in the prevailing circumstances.

           (14)  Each parent encourages and facilitates telephone communication between the children and the other parent whilst the children are in their care. If the children request to speak to the non‑residential parent, the parent who has the care of the children will facilitate the call taking place where practicable at ___ pm each night.

           (15)  Each parent will keep the other informed of their current residential address and mobile numbers and any available email addresses and will advise the other parent of any change thereto within 7 days of such change, in compliance also with any family violence order.

           (16)  In the event of childhood illness or emergency the parent with whom the children are with shall contact the other parent (or assigned contact person in the non‑residing parent’s absence) as soon as is practicable. Both parents shall be nominated as equal emergency contacts at school or other events.

           (17)  Neither parent shall:

                     (a)  denigrate the other partner in front or within hearing distance of the child;

                     (b)  discuss divorce‑related disputes with the children or within hearing distance of the children, nor inquire about the other’s personal lives, other than as relates principally and substantially to the health or welfare or care of the children;

                     (c)  escort the child to any functions or parties involving the other spouse’s family members without written agreement from the other partner; or

                     (d)  communicate in an uncivil manner with their former relationship partner.

           (18)  The parent with care of the children that day will ensure that the children attend all organised agreed extra‑curricular activities, sporting and/or social events.

           (19)  Both parents may liaise directly with the children’s school and sporting bodies to receive school notices, information, newsletters, school reports, school photographs and any other necessary information about the children’s progress.

           (20)  Each parent may attend at the children’s respective schools for the purposes of any function or activity normally attended by parents.

           (21)  Each parent shall inform the other parent of the date and time of the children’s appointments with any and all treating medical practitioners, specialists, dentists and therapists, prior to or in the circumstances of an urgent matter immediately following the event taking place.

           (22)  Each parent shall give authority to any medical practitioner, dentist, specialist or other therapist who provides treatment or diagnosis to the child to provide any and all information requested by the other parent.

           (23)  Each parent shall be at liberty to contact any medical practitioner, dentist, specialist or other therapist who provides treatment or diagnosis to the children to obtain any and all information relating to the children.

           (24)  Each parent will not remove the children from the Commonwealth of Australia without first obtaining the written consent of the other parent, unless the travel is to New Zealand.

           (25)  Neither parent shall unreasonably withhold consent, for the children to travel overseas and such holidays will not be unreasonable if they:

                     (a)  occur during school holidays; and

                     (b)  do not exceed 3 weeks in duration; and

                     (c)  involve travel only directly to New Zealand.

           (26)  If a parent wishes to travel with the child outside of the Commonwealth of Australia during the times as envisaged by this plan, that parent will provide to the other parent the following:

                     (a)  a proposed travel itinerary, including accommodation details, departure and arrival dates and airline details no less than 14 days prior to the proposed departure;

                     (b)  no less than 10 days prior to departure copies of the children’s fully paid return airfares;

                     (c)  a copy of the travel insurance for the proposed holidays, which insurance shall be mandatory;

                     (d)  a copy of any relevant visas obtained on behalf of the child for the purpose of overseas travel if so required;

                     (e)  a copy of any medical certificate evidencing travel immunisations or other medical treatment required for the child to facilitate overseas travel; and

                      (f)  telephone contact details where the other parent can contact the children at all reasonable times while they are overseas.

           (27)  The child will continue to attend their existing school and the parties are prohibited from changing the child’s school unless both parties consent in writing. A decision about other education attendance shall be made jointly.

           (28)  The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Parenting Plan:

children means both and either of:

                     (a)  name, date of birth of first child;

                     (b)  name, date of birth of second child;

                     (c)  etc.

and a reference to a child means a reference to all of them or to any of them; and a reference to children is equally to have the same intent and effect.

father or husband means

mother or wife means

parties means the husband and wife.

writing includes exchanges of emails, texts or other electronic forms of communications, in any relevant cases containing the words “I agree”.





We agree with the terms of this Standard Parenting Plan, or it is determined as effective by an accredited family lawyer



____________________________    _____________________________



Dated: ___/___/20                               Dated: ___/___/20