Current Issues in Family Law

Subject LAWS70014 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

October, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available




Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

The Melbourne Law Masters welcomes applications from students with disabilities. The inherent academic requirements for study in the Melbourne Law Masters are:

  • The ability to attend a minimum of 75% of classes and actively engage in the analysis of complex materials and debate;
  • The ability to read, analyse and comprehend complex written legal materials and complex interdisciplinary materials;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate in writing a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to clearly and independently communicate orally a knowledge and application of legal principles and interdisciplinary materials and critically evaluate these;
  • The ability to work independently and as a part of a group;
  • The ability to present orally and in writing legal analysis to a professional standard.

Students who feel their disability will inhibit them from meeting these inherent academic requirements are encouraged to contact the Disability Liaison Unit:


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Email or phone +61 3 8344 6190.

Alternatively, visit our website:

Subject Overview:

Few areas of law have changed as rapidly and controversially as Australian family law since 2006, when major changes took places in relation to the law and process for resolving parenting disputes. This subject aims to encourage students to develop an understanding of key changes in the area by drawing on legislative, case law, research and policy developments across a range of topics, including relationship recognition, parenting disputes, family dispute resolution, family violence, child support and financial disputes.

This subject draws on recent family law debate, research, and legal and policy developments in family law in relation to both children and property disputes. Specific areas of emphasis throughout the subject will be influenced by 2012 developments.

Principal topics will include:

  • Relationship recognition and flow-on impacts of this in family law
  • Post-separation parenting law and process: Content, interpretation and impact of 2006 changes aimed at encouraging shared post-separation parenting time and resolution of parenting disputes without court involvement
  • Family violence and family law: The relevance of family violence to both process and the substantive law (parenting and financial disputes)
  • Child support: 2006–2008 changes to the Child Support Scheme and their impact on family members
  • Property division on marriage and de facto relationship breakdown: Recent developments in relation to contributions assessment, superannuation splitting, binding financial agreements, third parties and FLA property disputes and bankruptcy and family law.
  • Have developed a detailed understanding of significant current family law issues in Australia
  • Have developed a detailed understanding of policy issues and debates surrounding those issues
  • Be able to critically and analytically consider and assess legal and policy issues and arguments surrounding those issues.

10,000 word research paper (100%) (4 February 2013) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator)

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Visit the Melbourne Law Masters website for more information about this subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

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