The Family Violence Act is part of the Australian Government's agenda to improve the family law system's response to family violence and abuse.
The Act has introduced several changes to the family law.
The Family Violence Act is supported by a strong evidence base. It responds to several research reports into the Family Law Amendment (Shared Parental Responsibility) Act 2006 (Cwlth) and how the family law system deals with family violence.
The reports indicated that more could be done to protect children and other family members from family violence and child abuse within the family law system.
Legislative history and commencement
An Exposure Draft Bill was developed which was released for public consultation in November 2010.
The Family Violence Act was introduced to the Parliament on 24 March 2011 and passed on 24 November 2011.
After being introduced into Parliament, the Family Violence Act was referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry. The committee tabled its report in the Senate on 22 August 2011 making eight recommendations, of which the former Australian Government accepted six.
The Act received the Royal Assent on 7 December 2011, and the family violence measures (Schedule 1) of the Act commenced on 7 June 2012.
For more information download the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document and the Family Violence Fact sheet:
If you have difficulty downloading or accessing any downloads on this page please contact the Family Law Branch on 02 6141 6666.