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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

08 SEP 2011

Resolving relocation disputes: the 'interventionist' approach in Australia [2011] CFLQ 203


This article considers the recent development of Australian family court decision making in the area of relocation. It is argued that an increasingly 'interventionist' approach to resolving parenting disputes is being adopted, which is supported by recent statutory shared parenting reforms. This interventionist approach, it is suggested, encourages decision makers to explore all optimal parenting solutions rather than just those proposed by the parties. Such a shift may appear to treat both parents in a dispute more equitably, by looking more closely at the location of parents who do not have primary care of their children. However, it is argued that in fact this new interventionist approach has the potential to exacerbate the adverse consequences of relocation decision making for primary carer parents, who are predominantly women.

'A style of thinking, it seems, cannot be straightforwardly wrong, once it has achieved a status by which it fixes the sense of what it investigates.'

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