The key findings were:
- Court filings in children's matters in 2012/13 reflect a 25% decrease on the 2004/5 levels.
- In relation to property matters there has been a 17% increase in filings.
These figures are interesting as they potentially reflect two events that occurred between 2004/5 and 2012.
Firstly, in 2006 amendments were made to the Family Law Act designed to decrease the level of parenting litigation (covering children of both married and de facto couples) and instead to encourage parties to use services such as mediation to resolve disputes. This may explain the decrease in the children's matters filing levels.
Secondly, in 2009 further amendments were made to the Family Law Act which brought the property division of separating de facto couples under the Family Law Act for the first time. This may explain the increase in property matter filing levels.
The report can be found at: www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/resreport30/index.html