Family Law Act provides the court with a wide discretion as to the manner in which the proceedings are to be conducted and power to conduct the proceedings as an inquiry.
Family Law Act sets out 5 principles for conducting child-related proceedings:
- The needs of the child and the impact of the proceedings on the child must be considered.
- The court is to actively direct, control and manage the conduct of the proceedings.
- The proceedings are to be conducted in a way that will safeguard the child from family violence, child abuse and child neglect; and the parties from family violence.
- As far as possible the proceedings are to be conducted in a way that will promote cooperative and child-focussed parenting by the parties.
- The proceedings are to be conducted without undue delay and with as little formality and legal technicality and form as possible. The principles underpin the court’s wide discretion to conduct the proceedings as it sees fit to bring about a result that is in the child’s best interests.