The legal system in Australia is constantly going through change reform. The fundamentals of family law are no different. Both domestically and globally there has been evolving understanding of what a family is, changing understanding of child rights and parental responsibilities and changing notions of the role of the State with respect to the resolution of disputes. Important legal questions arise with respect to equity and access: are all family types recognised and accepted under the law? Are all couples validated? Are there legal impediments to equality that create injustices and unfair outcomes? These are important questions that form the basis of law reform and progressing change. There have been extremely important changes to family law over time and these have been to the benefit of the most vulnerable parties to relationship break up: children and those who are financially dependent (largely women). Important issues still face the law with respect to the status of same-sex couples and issues created by advancing birth technologies.
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