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Can the centre hold? The recent release of the Australian Institute of Family Studies' Evaluation of the 2006 Family Law Reforms suggests that Australian law and policy makers have not fully learned the lessons of two decades of research into the operation of the Australian family law system as it applies to post-separation parenting disputes. This research shows that the family law system has become increasingly fragmented, often with unintended and undesirable consequences for those who pass through it. This article suggests that we need to embrace the complexities of the family law system in order to reconstitute a coherent and effective role for law and its processes in this troubled area.
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