The toll that litigation takes on a person cannot always be
measured in financial terms. Justice Kirby (formerly of The High
Court of Australia) discussed in Queensland v J L
Holdings, the burden placed upon judges to free litigants from
the anxiety, distraction and disruption that litigation causes
individuals which, for the most part, can't necessarily be
quantified in monetary terms. Family law proceedings are
emotionally draining and there is an unquantifiable emotional cost,
but what is the financial cost of divorce to the individual and
society in the context of family law proceedings and family
It is hard to leave an abusive relationship at the best of
times. The task increases in complexity if a sufferer of domestic
violence doesn't have an income. It will often be the case that
the difference between escaping or remaining trapped in a violent
relationship will be whether or not you can maintain your job (or
obtain employment) and support yourself. On the other hand, it can
be difficult to maintain a job when you require time from work to
move house, settle children into new schools, meet with lawyers and
attend court hearings.
the Department of Social Services reported that violence
against women and their children would cost the Australian economy
an estimated $13.6 billion that year. Without appropriate action to
address violence against women and their children, an estimated
three-quarters of a million Australian women will experience and
report violence in the period of 2012-2022, costing the Australian
economy an estimated $15.6 billion.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) on Monday 14
November, 2016 commenced its case in the Fair Work Commission, for
a modern award that would entitle those that suffer from family and
domestic violence 10 days of paid leave. The Labor Party has
proposed that employment standards would include five days paid
domestic and family violence leave. This would see employees
suffering from family violence, retaining their jobs and income in
their time of need and giving them time to obtain alternative
accommodation without the fear of losing their job.
Some have argued that family violence leave would be too great a
cost to the economy (costing up to $2 billion a year). However, new
reports challenge these forecasts and estimate that the cost would
be between $80 million to $120 million across the entire economy.
That would seem a reasonable cost for society to assume, given the
depth of the problem of family violence and the universal
acceptance that we, as a society, should do all that we can to
alleviate, and hopefully eradicate it.
Beside the costs to society as a whole, research has shown that
divorce is an expensive life event for the individual. Divorce, for
the most part, occurs during parties prime wealth accumulation
ages. On average, divorced parents aged between 45 and 64 have 25%
less in assets then those who remained married and it takes
divorced parties up to five years to recover from the financial
impact of divorce. This costs society up to $14 billion in
government assistances and, importantly, court costs.
Divorce is not pretty and not preferable in any circumstance
(and the understatement of this is readily acknowledged), however
it would seem that, if brought in, family violence leave will be
instrumental in assisting sufferers of family violence to
re-establish their lives and ultimately reducing the cost of
divorce to society.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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The person named as an executor in the deceased's will has the right to arrange for the burial of the deceased's body.
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