Issue of Compliance and Non Compliance in the Law

  • Up to 95% of all parties to dissolution do not proceed to the adversarial aspect of the dispute through the family court.


  • Majority accept & believe in the law
  • More issues due to emotional attachment
  • Unrealistic expectations result in anger and disappointment
  • Compliance is greater than noncompliance which is essential to achieve justice for all


  • ADVO: people don’t comply as they think the law can’t change. Death of Jean Lennon 1996, using her case to get state gov to review laws on domestic violence to ensure protection and increase compliance.
  • Counselling & mediation: used to heighten compliance by allowing parties to generate their own solutions. 95% don’t need to go higher in the system to come to an agreement. Ensues children are the main focus.
  • Parenting plans: enforces greater contact with both parents, instead of a breakdown. But with this presumption encourages parents to abduct children and flea overseas.
  • Maintenance responsibilities: parents have to maintain children so the burden doesn’t fall onto welfare payments. Child support, lone fathers criticise the agency saying it isn’t fair due to lack of equal access.


Still many issues, but with changing families comes the need for changing laws. Assess the issues of compliance and non-compliance in regard to responses to problems in family relationships. The majority of society accepts and believes in the law, therefore complies with it. In terms of family law, there are more issues to deal with as there are more emotional attachments. Many of the unrealistic expectations of family law push some to not comply with it, which can result to anger and disappointment.

Even though there may not always be harmonious outcomes, it should be noted that compliance is much greater then non-compliance in the majority of law disputes. This is essential in order to achieve justice for all. The law ensures that offenders of domestic violence comply with the law through the use of ADVO’s. The law has provided immediate protection to victims though the process in place, it has also reformed in regard to bail laws and laws in respect to firearms.

The strategy of making ADVO’s public has increased the compliance of the offenders, as breaching an ADVO is regarded as a criminal offence. Then again, people still don’t’ comply with the law due to deeply held beliefs that the law cannot, and will not change. This has been exhibited by the death of Jean Lennon in 1996; she was shot by her husband outside Parramatta court. During this time she was waiting for a custody hearing. Numerous times in the past she had been threatened by her husband to kill her and she went through the process of acquiring an ADVO, as a way of protecting herself.

Due to the ADVO his gun licence had been revoked, but he still possessed a gun. Through a traumatic time of continuously running away and hiding from her husband, the police knew of her situation and yet despite their efforts she was murdered. As a consequence of this her murder was used to encourage state government to review the laws on domestic violence with the aim of providing an effective protection for those in domestic violence issues. Counselling and mediation processes are used repeatedly throughout the family law system, this process is to ensure greater compliance.

This is done by encouraging the parties to generate their own solutions to their own problems. Up to 95% of all parties that use this process do not continue to higher levels of mediation, they come to an agreement and file this at the Family Law court. New laws have made it mandatory for parties to attend a Family Relationship Centre before a parenting order is put it place.

By doing this the law can ensure a greater compliance, as these mediation services are provided. Also, as the attendance is compulsory the focus has been moved to the children, which ensures that the child is cared for and sustains a healthy relationship with both parties. The increased focus of children has been enabled by the Family Law Reform Act 1996 (Cth), it again ensures that contact with both parents are fulfilled. This act creates greater compliance as it sees both sides of the parties, and generates a respective and equal parenting order overall.

The Family Law Amendment Act 200 (Cth) provides a greater compliance again, as they ensure that parents comply with their responsibilities to care for and maintain their children, instead of a breakdown of the relationship. However, with the assumption of a shared parental responsibility can create an issue. More recently there has been an increased phenomenon of abducting their children and fleeing overseas. Finally, the issue of maintenance responsibilities. It is important for parents to adequately maintain their children, where it is necessary.

This is done so the burden does not fall upon the whole community from welfare payments. Due to the creation of the Child Support Agency in 1989 improved the compliance of these payments. But in 2006 several ‘lone fathers’ support groups criticised the system, saying it has unfairly places large financial burdens on fathers who don’t have equal access to their children. But again, due to self-employed people whose incomes fluctuate make it difficult for the agency to accurately assess the amount of maintenance they need to provide. Consequently there still withstands numerous issues with compliance and noncompliance to the law. At present the government has resisted changing the system, yet with the continuous changes of family relationships, more law reforms will occur.