Supporting women to recover financially after separation
Women and their families will benefit from a package of measures that provide expanded legal and social support to victims of family violence, and services to help families resolve family law disputes.
On 20 November 2018, the Australian Government announced a package of measures to improve women's economic security – the Women's Economic Security Package (WESP).
The WESP includes $98.4 million in new funding for family law services and initiatives, to commence in the 2019-2020 financial year.
These measures include:
- Ongoing funding, initially $7 million over three years, for the new Family Violence and Cross-examination of Parties Scheme.
- $31.8 million in ongoing funding to existing Commonwealth-funded specialist Domestic Violence Units and Health Justice Partnerships across Australia, with an expansion of these services to include financial advice, counselling and literacy services.
- $50.4 million in new funding for family law property mediation services, which includes:
- $13 million each year to the 65 Family Relationship Centres across Australia, on an ongoing basis, to help families reach agreement about splitting their property after separation, and
- $10.3 million to Legal Aid Commissions for a two year trial of lawyer-assisted mediation for property matters with asset pools of up to $500,000 (excluding debt), in each state and territory.
- $5.9 million in new funding to federal family courts to conduct a two year trial of simpler and faster court processes for resolving family law property cases with an asset pool of up to $500,000 (excluding debt).
- $3.3 million in new funding for the Australian Taxation Office to develop an electronic information-sharing system to give the family law court improved visibility of parties' superannuation assets when making property orders.
Further information about the WESP measures: