Australia news live: violence to be considered in family law property disputes; dating apps given ultimatum on safety | Australia news

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Daniel Hurst

Daniel Hurst

Family violence to be considered in property disputes under family law reforms

Family violence will be considered as an important factor in property disputes under proposed new family law reforms.

The federal government will today release draft legislation for further changes to the Family Law Act “so that it is accessible, safer, simpler to use, and delivers justice and fairness for all Australian families”.

The attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, said in a statement:

For the first time this draft legislation proposes that family violence be considered as an important factor in property disputes.

This sends a clear signal that the government understands the long-term harm caused by family violence, and the need for its consequences to be taken into account in property settlements.

Dreyfus said the draft legislation would simplify key principles for property settlement in the Family Law Act to assist separating parties, legal representatives and the courts.

He said new measures include:

  • Enhancing the court’s discretion to manage evidence where family violence is alleged or present between separating couples.

  • Inserting a specific duty of disclosure in property and financial matters in the Family Law Act which would apply during court proceedings or when a party is preparing to start a proceeding.

  • Clarifying the circumstances in which a court can order a party to contribute towards the cost of an independent children’s lawyer.

  • Strengthening commonwealth information orders to ensure the court has access to critical information about the risk of violence to a child.

  • Providing a framework for the future regulation of children’s contact services.

The government is seeking feedback on the draft legislation by 10 November.

Government requests online dating industry develop code of practice

Dating apps have been issued with an ultimatum in order to address sexual assault on their platforms – be better or face regulation, reports AAP.

The government has requested that the online dating industry develop a new voluntary code of practice to protect Australians using their services. The communications minister, Michelle Rowland, says she will take action if nothing improves.

Online dating platforms must do their part to end violence against women.

I have made it crystal clear that if the industry fails to improve safety outcomes for Australians, we will not hesitate to develop legislative options.

The government wants the code in place by mid-2024 and have it include commitments to better engage with police, support users, improve safety measures and be more transparent about the potential harms.

The Australian Institute of Criminology found three in four people using online dating experienced some form of sexual violence facilitated by the app. This included sexual harassment, abusive or threatening language, image-based sexual abuse and stalking.

Good morning

Emily Wind

Emily Wind

And happy Monday. Welcome back to the Australia news liveblog, I’m Emily Wind and I’ll be with you throughout the day bringing you the latest.

Before we get started, here’s what’s making headlines this morning.

AAP is reporting that dating apps have been given an ultimatum to better address sexual assault on their platforms or face regulation.

Family violence will be considered an important factor in property disputes under proposed new family law reforms. My colleague Daniel Hurst will bring you the latest on this shortly.

Today is the last day to enrol to vote, or update your details with the electoral commission, before the Indigenous voice to parliament referendum on October 14.

If you see anything that needs attention on the blog, feel free to send me an email at: [email protected].

And with that, let’s get started.

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