Family and the Law
In todays society there are many various types of alternative family arrangements. The old concept of the nuclear family with two heterosexual parents and two to three children is slowly becoming a thing of the past. As same sex marriages, single parent families, De’facto relationships and blended families are starting to become more mainstream.
A same sex relationship can either be two men (gay) or two women (lesbian) in a meaningful relationship. The Australian legal system dose not regard this type of relationship as conforming to the definition of ‘family’. The legal system may not accept a same sex relationship as a family, but in todays society there are many same sex couples with children of their own. Our current society has become more tolerant of Gay and Lesbian parents therefore challenging the ideas of the current legal system.
Single parent families would have to be one of the most common types of family arrangements in todays society. A single parent family is simply a single parent raising and caring for the wellbeing of their children. It has not been until fairly recently that the Australian Government has formally acknowledged the single parent family. In the 1970’s the Whitlam Government introduced the single parent pension to help support the parent through the upbringing of the child/children. In 1998 the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that there where 516800 single parent families with a dependent child. This figure has grown significantly and society has become more aware and accepting of this situation. Children and parents in a single parent family have the same rights as all other members of society.
De’facto relationships are also becoming more common in society. A De’facto relationship is when two people live together in a bona fide (in good faith) relationship without being married. A De’facto relationship must last for a least two years for it to be acknowledged unless there...