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Thursday, 19 November 1959

Sir GARFIELD BARWICK (Parramatta) (Attorney-General) . - I am sure the honorable gentleman realizes that it is an enormous task to catch up with a man in this country who is willing to change his name and, in effect, bury himself. I quite realize that a woman who has been deserted has very little in her hands with which to trace the deserting husband. It was mentioned to me, I think during this debate, and it has been brought to my attention before, that the police forces of the States are not allowed, or are unwilling, to assist, and that the sheriffs of the courts as a rule will not assist unless some payment is made. In response to a request by Senator Wright some time ago I have been looking into this question. I have been trying to devise some mechanism which will assist in such cases. The honorable member can rely on me to endeavour to discover a practicable means of benefiting these folk.

Amendment agreed to.

Clause, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 79- (1.) Subject to this section, the court may, in proceedings with respect to the settlement of property, being proceedings in relation to proceedings for a decree of dissolution or nullity of marriage or of judicial separation, make such order as it thinks proper with respect to the settlement of property to which the parties to the marriage are, or either of them is, entitled, whether in possession or reversion, or the application of the whole or part of the property dealt with by antenuptial or post-nuptial settlements on the parties or either of them, either for the benefit of the children of the marriage or any of them or of the parties or either of them. (2.) The power of the court to make orders of the kind referred to in the last preceding subsection may be exercised on the application of either party to the marriage. (3.) The power of the court to make orders of the kind referred to in sub-section (1.) of this section shall not be exercised for the benefit of a child who has attained the age of twenty-one years unless the court is of the opinion that there are special circumstances that justify the making of such an order for the benefit of that child.

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