In an earlier article on the subject of family law reform in Australia,1 I commented that “...family law is an unrewarding area for the reformer, for it is rarely (if ever) possible to provide solutions which are acceptable to all parties or bodies of opinion.” To that may properly be added the difficulties of prediction both on a personal and institutional basis which seem inherent in the very process of family law reform. This is the situation to which Nygh referred when commenting on the Family Law Reform Act 1995, “[n]o doubt what will happen is that which follows reform. The danger we feared will not eventuate and the provisions which we thought would create no problems will become nightmares!” Perhaps because of the inevitable imperfection of family law reform, the Family Law Act 1975 has been amended no less than 61 times, 4 with some recent significant amendments. In fact, the Family Law Act is the most amended piece of Australian Federal legislation apart from the Income Tax Assessment and the Social Security Acts. It also represents a continuum, at least in the sense that the process of change and amendment has been perceptively continual over a 30 year period. The next and immediate question is how conceptually correct that process of reform has been. In an attempt to answer that question, it is necessary to return to the expressed aims of the original legislation in 1975.