find the latest legal job
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Legal Inhouse / Lawyer / Company Secretary
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Fantastic Company · Potential to be Part Time / Flexible Work Pattern
View details
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Lawyer slams ‘misguided’ One Nation pre-nup policy

Lawyer slams ‘misguided’ One Nation pre-nup policy

A family lawyer from Toowoomba has responded to Senator Pauline Hanson’s ‘blueprint for Australia’, describing her so-called solutions for family law as impractical.

One Nation senator Pauline Hanson has shared her vision for a “better Australia”, just in time for the first parliamentary sitting week of 2017.

The exclusive interview, published in Sunday’s Courier Mail with the headline ‘Pauline Hanson’s blueprint for Australia under One Nation’, suggested that the controversial politician planned to meet with judges over the coming weeks to discuss how the family law system could be reformed.

“Family law is high on my agenda. I just think it needs a complete overhaul. It needs court-approved premarital agreements on finance and parental issues. So before someone goes into a relationship or a marriage, you must have a premarital agreement. It would be confidential [and lodged with courts],” Ms Hanson told AAP.

“We’ve got to free up our court system. It’s overloaded. A lot of judgments aren’t being handed down for years,” she said.

The senator’s remarks follow her earlier criticisms of the courts’ management of family law matters, levelled during her maiden speech to the Upper House last year. The views of the One Nation leader were met with vocal opposition from legal practitioners, decrying Ms Hanson’s portrayal of family lawyers as money-grabbers.

This week’s new policy offering from Ms Hanson, as it relates to family law, has again stoked discomfort within the legal fraternity.

Accredited family law specialist Andrew McCormack said the family law overhaul proposed by Ms Hanson is “misguided at best” and that her “solution” is neither practical nor appropriate.

While provisions already exist for couples to enter into the kind of premarital agreements that the senator proposed, they cannot anticipate the range of future problems a couple might face. Mr McCormack added that processing these agreements through the courts, in the volume proposed by Ms Hanson, is infeasible.

“When a person enters this type of agreement, they are basically signing their rights away to have a court determine a future situation. Trying to bind someone to an agreement like what Ms Hanson is suggesting isn’t the answer to family law in this country,” Mr McCormack said.  

“Unless you have a crystal ball that can tell you the future, you are never going to know what might happen in a relationship […] Problems arise, circumstances change, and unfortunately, on the statistics that I [have] seen, violence occurs. 

The agreements that she is suggesting won’t fix the situation,” he said.

Mr McCormack, who works for specialist family law firm Best Wilson Buckley, explained the complexity involved in seeking court approval for how financial and parenting matters will be handled if a couple later separates.

“These types of agreements exist but they are very technical documents that require all parties to have independent legal advice to make them effective,” Mr McCormack said.  

“Trying to have couples agree on what is to happen if they separate in the future is not going to assist the chronically underfunded legal and court system that administers family law in Australia,” he said.  

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Lawyer slams ‘misguided’ One Nation pre-nup policy
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Nov 23 2017
Education a passion for YL president
Promoted by University of Melbourne. Melbourne Law Masters student Phoebe Blank is successfully j...
Nov 23 2017
Anti-radicalisation programs playing ‘second fiddle’ to terrorism laws
Several academics have questioned the balance between Australia’s counterterrorism legislation and...
 William Ah Ket
Nov 23 2017
‘Bamboo ceiling’ thought piece wins inaugural law prize
A paper that explores the idea of affirmative action to achieve greater diversity among members of A...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...