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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2661

Senator MURPHY (New South WalesAttorneyGeneral) - I move:

In Part III, alter heading to-

Part III- Counselling and Reconciliation.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Heading, as amended, agreed to.

Clause 14.

(1)   Where proceedings for a dissolution of marriage have been instituted, or financial or custodial proceedings have been instituted by a party to a subsisting marriage, it is the duty of the Judge or magistrate constituting the court and of every legal practitioner representing a party to give consideration, from time to time, to the possibility of a reconciliation of the parties.

(2)   If, in such proceedings, it appears at any time to the Judge or magistrate from the evidence in the proceedings or the attitude of the parties, or of either of them, or of a legal practitioner representing a party, that there is a reasonable possibility of such a reconciliation, the Judge or magistrate may-

(a)   adjourn the proceedings to afford the parties an opportunity to consider a reconciliation; and

(b)   if he thinks it desirable to do so, nominate-

(i)   a marriage counsellor or an approved marriage counselling organization; or

(ii)   in special circumstances, some other suitable person or organization, to assist those parties in considering a reconciliation.

(3)   If, after an adjournment under sub-section (2) has taken place, either of the parties requests that the hearing be proceeded with, the Judge or magistrate shall resume the hearing as soon as practicable.

(4)   Where the court makes an order or grants an injunction under section 90 which has the effect, either directly or indirectly, of requiring the parties to a marriage to live separately and apart, the court shall, if it is of opinion that it is in the interests of the parties or of the children of the marriage to do so, direct either or both of the parties to attend upon a marriage counsellor, but failure to comply with such a direction does not constitute a contempt of the court.

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