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Wednesday, 27 November 1974
Page: 2874

Senator MISSEN (Victoria) - It is the intention that that should be so. The situation under the Bill as it stands is that if somebody wants a settlement of property there is a dispute but they may not want divorce proceedings. The Bill would require them to start divorce proceedings just to get a settlement of property. It may well be that parties separate and do not intend to proceed with divorce at that stage. They may desire to split up the matrimonial property and make their own arrangements. Later they may proceed with divorce. As the Bill stands it is almost an encouragement of divorce. It almost forces people into divorce proceedings when they may not have made up their minds to do so. The Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee thought that this should not be forced on them. They should have the opportunity to obtain a settlement of property just as they can obtain custody or maintenance orders before starting divorce proceedings. The intention of the Committee with this amendment is that they should not be forced into divorce proceedings to achieve these results.

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