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Thursday, 19 November 1959


Sir GARFIELD BARWICK (Parramatta) (Attorney-General) .- I move -

Omit the clause, insert the following clause: - " 63. - (1.) Subject to the next succeeding subsection, a matrimonial cause of a kind referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) of the definition of matrimonial cause ' in sub-section ( 1 . ) of section five of this Act shall be instituted by petition. " (2.) A respondent may, in the answer to the petition, seek any decree or declaration that the respondent could have sought in a petition. " (3.) Proceedings of a kind referred to in paragraph (c) of the definition of 1 matrimonial cause ' in sub-section (1.) of section five of this Act that are in relation to proceedings under this Act for a decree or declaration of a kind referred to in paragraph (a) or (b) of that definition -

(a)   may be instituted by the same petition as that by which the proceedings for that decree or declaration are instituted; and

(b)   except as permitted by the rules or by leave of the court, shall not be instituted in any other manner. " (4.) The court shall, so far as is practicable, hear and determine at the same time all proceedings instituted by the one petition.".

The clause sought to be inserted does several things which are mainly procedural. It enables a respondent to seek, in answer to a petition, any relief that could have been obtained in a separate petition. It is designed to require a party to set out all the relief claimed in the first document - the petition - and it is designed to require a court, so far as may be practicable, to hear the whole cause at the one time. This is designed to develop a practice, if it is at all practicable, of parties having one hearing to decide the divorce and questions of maintenance, custody and settlement. If that can be achieved, as I think it can, it will make for a great deal of saving of expense and a quick resolution of problems. In country areas, it will be particularly useful.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 64 -

Subject to this Act, the court, upon being satisfied of the existence of any ground in respect of which relief is sought, shall make the appropriate decree.







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