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Family law issues and schools : guidance for Australian educators

Cooper, Donna Maree, Perkins, Kylie, & Couper, Gary (2012) Family law issues and schools : guidance for Australian educators. International Journal of Law and Education, 17(1), pp. 23-38.

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Abstract

A substantial number of Australian children are now living in separated families, with many moving between their parents’ homes. This has led to educators being confronted with an increasing number of family law issues. This article discusses the key aspects of family law that involve children. It highlights the need for schools to be aware of all family law orders that relate to children in their care, including family court, domestic violence and child protection orders. It also provides guidance in relation to how schools can adopt child focused approaches in some common scenarios, where parents are in dispute. In particular, we will recommend that educators take a child-focused approach, consistent with the principal provision of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) that ‘the best interests of the child’ be the paramount consideration. We will highlight how this contrasts starkly with what can be described as a ‘parental rights’ interpretation, which has unfortunately been taken by some since the 2006 amendments to the Family Law Act, and is, in our view, directly at odds with the intention of the legislation.

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ID Code: 53043
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Family law and schools, Teachers and family law, Education and family law, Parenting law and schools, Family Law Act and schools
ISSN: 1836-9030
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100) > Family Law (180113)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Authors
Copyright Statement: Copyright © 2009 ANZELA, except where otherwise stated. The author(s) retain copyright in the article. The author(s) will be asked to grant a non-exclusive licence to ANZELA to authorise the reproduction of the article for further research, teaching, publication and other academic purposes.
Deposited On: 10 Aug 2012 08:35
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2012 11:03

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