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Thursday, 21 November 1974
Page: 2680

Senator MISSEN (Victoria) -There is one further reason, too. If members of the Committee look at the list of amendments which have been circulated by 6 senators they will see that amendment No. 6 seeks to add the words 'or a party has filed in the court a notice' to clause 58 (3). That should now read, if this proposed clause is amended, 'under section 14a of this Act'. The situation is that clause 58 deals with the making of settlements of property. As it is presently phrased it requires the parties to have instituted proceedings for divorce before they can come before a court for settlement of property.

It is desired by the members of the Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs to extend that so that people do not necessarily have to institute divorce proceedings to secure a settlement of property. In the view of the Senate Standing Committee, one of the incidental benefits of having proposed new clause 14a ( 1) in the Bill is that there will be taken a legal step which will bring matters before the jurisdiction of the Family Court. So it will probably have greater constitutional validity than if the proposed clause were not there. In other words, a step is taken and a person is before the court, and then a settlement of property can be applied for without the person having to take divorce proceedings. That is another possible benefit derived from including clause 14a.

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