The year 2012 was not a significant year for legislative change, in the area of Family Law. There were not even any changes to the requirements for a Financial Agreement to be binding.
As if to compensate, the Government decided that budgetary considerations should result in a greater application of the “user pays” principle to customers of the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court. The Family Law (Fees) Regulation 2012 came into effect on 1 January 2013, and now, for example, introduces a levy for each Subpoena issued, and (for the Applicant) an impost whenever a settlement conference is held.
Due to the dearth of legislative news, this paper is mainly concerned with a review of a select number of interesting and newsworthy cases that were decided in 2012.