On 6 October 2020 Scott Morrison released the national budget for the 2020 – 2021, and has made areas concerning Family Law, domestic violence and relationship services a significant area of focus.
In particular, the government confirmed that $220 million will be provided to frontline services for the support and protection of families who are involved in relationship breakdowns and Family Law proceedings.
This funding includes $133 million being directed towards family and child support programs, as well as $87.3 million towards support services for the Family Law system.
The budget also continues the Morrison Government’s commitment to supporting women and children safe, with additional funding being provided to the national counselling hotline ‘1800RESPECT’ as a further support for those affected by domestic violence. Additionally, $4.8 million is being provided to continue the ban on direct cross examinations of witnesses who have been subject to or allege to have been subject to domestic violence.
The Government has also provided more reassurance for families who have Court Orders in place by providing $1.8 million towards criminalising the breach of these Orders, as well as extending the funding towards advertising campaigns which both condemn family violence and provide information for support services for those affected by family violence (in particular, the “Help is Here” campaign).
Access to justice has also been at the forefront of the new National Budget, with $10.2 million being provided to the Family and Federal Circuit Courts for continued support throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic. Further, a total of $196.5 million will be provided towards Indigenous service delivery, ranging between the new National Agreement, Closing the Gap initiatives, an extension to the Indigenous Home Ownership program and further support to Indigenous organisations.
With the above funding in mind, it is clear that the Morrison Government has put serious thought into supporting those who are at risk and who need assistance and protection when navigating the Family Law systems.
Are you having issues dealing with your family law matter? Feel free to call our office on (02) 4626 5077 to speak with one of our friendly family lawyers who are always happy to assist with guiding you in the right direction.
The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.