A CENTRAL Victorian family law expert has identified issues with a key recommendation for the system's reform.
The Australian Law Reform Commission tabled the results of its inquiry into the family law system this month, including 60 recommendations.
Key among them was that family law disputes be returned to the states and territories to stop children falling through the gaps between the federal family law courts, state and territory child protection systems, and state and territory responses to family violence.
Federal family courts would eventually be abolished.
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Marika McMahon, of Bendigo law firm O'Farrell Robertson McMahon, said it was difficult to see how that would happen.
"While it makes sense for family violence and child protection and family law to all be considered in the one court, it leads to some interesting jurisdictional issues, to say nothing of the establishment," she said.
She said the response to the recommendations would be influenced by the outcome of the federal election on May 18.
"Some of the recommendations are around virtually cleaning up the family law act - it has got a bit difficult over time," Ms McMahon said.
"Some of it is about changing some of the presumptions that are currently in the act."
The inquiry started in September 2017 and included more than 1200 written submissions and 179 consultations.
It has been considered the first comprehensive review into the family law system.
"These recommendations seek to ensure families have access to a dignified and efficient process that resolves disputes effectively and at the lowest cost financially, emotional and psychologically, while also giving primacy to the interests and safety of children affected by those disputes," Justice Sarah Derrington, the ALRC president, said.
The Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre welcomed a review of the family law act.
Principal lawyer Clare Sauro said the LCCLC's submission particularly highlighted the issues facing regional and rural families.
"However this was not greatly referenced in the final report, we hope that the Australian government when implementing any changes will give this significant consideration," she said.
"We also highlighted the impact of family violence in the family court system in our submission, and we welcomed the consideration given by the ALRC to this issue.
"Many of the final recommendations consider the imbalance of power and the trauma caused to victims survivors by perpetrators of family violence using the family law system."
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