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Family Law Amendment Act 2023

Ahead of the changes commencing on the 6th of May, Parenting Orders and FCFCOA forms have been updated.

The Family Law Amendment Act 2023 and Family Law Amendment (Information Sharing) Act 2023 were passed by the Australian Parliament on 19 October 2023, with the majority of changes coming into effect from the 6th of May. To ensure compliance, the automated Parenting Orders and the FCFCOA forms within Smarter Drafter have been updated and are available now for our customers to use. Why does this matter to you?

Parenting Orders

The amendments to the Act require major changes to the way in which parenting orders will be considered by the court. To ensure compliance with the new provisions, the Smarter Drafter team have extensively reviewed and updated the Parenting Orders precedent and guidance within the online Q+A form. This includes changes as to:

  • parental responsibility for major long-term issues
  • the criteria for assessing the best interests of the child
  • the role and responsibilities of an Independent Children’s Lawyer

Enhanced User Experience

While the Parenting Orders were being updated, the Smarter Drafter team took the opportunity to streamline the structure of the online Q+A form. Through analysis of usage patterns by the Smarter Drafter user community, the Parenting Orders have been enhanced to:

  • remove rarely or never selected options, such as varied arrangements for different children or multiple choices for equal living arrangements.
  • provide a menu for selecting more specific orders. Instead of answering yes or no for each order individually, all additional orders can be selected from a single list to expedite the process. Subsequent prompts for only the orders selected will follow.

Parenting Orders Update MAY24You can now select additional orders from a single list

Family Court Forms

In addition to the updated Parenting Orders, the latest version of court forms published by the FCFCOA have also been updated in Smarter Drafter. These include:

  • Application for Consent Orders
  • Subpoena – Family Law
  • Notice of child abuse, family violence or risk

More information

For more information on the upcoming changes please see this handy summary put together by the Federal Attorney General's Department (click here).