Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland said: 

“In family law, a great deal of work has already been done to ensure disputes are resolved at the most appropriate level through the use of family dispute resolution services.

The Government now proposes to extend that requirement to property and spousal maintenance matters, with much the same exceptions.

The Government will also introduce amendments giving parties more options for resolving their issues outside of the courts.

Parties will be able to choose mediation, conciliation or arbitration or some combination of these rather than being limited to mediation or the family courts.

This means families can choose the process which meets their needs and gives them the best possible opportunity to make arrangements in low-cost, informal and non-adversarial environments.”

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