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Women Should Say 'I Don't' Before It's Too Late

Opposition Women's Affairs spokesperson Anne Tolley is encouraging women to say 'I don't' to the select committee considering changes to matrimonial property legislation before the Government says 'I do' for them.

"Margaret Wilson has been hiding behind the submissions to the two original property bills as an excuse to shorten the select committee process. This is ridiculous. The complex issues that arise from combining matrimonial and de facto property legislation weren't even touched on in the original bills.

"In the submissions to the two original bills, only 7% of the 273, mentioned giving support for combining matrimonial and de facto property legislation. The submissions of two women's legal associations emphatically opposed such a move.

"This legislation completely blurs the rules on the split of property. We should be making the rules more clear - not giving judges increased discretion to work it out on a case by case basis.

"Family courts are logjammed now with the flood of domestic violence cases. A deluge of matrimonial property cases will only add to this. A protracted wait for a court hearing is the last thing a women needs when she is trying to get on with her life and care for her children.

"The Women's Access to Justice Report recommends encouraging estranged couples to resolve their separation outside of the courtroom. This legislation will simply force more in," Mrs Tolley said.

Ends

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