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The Bank of Mum & Dad

With interest rate pressures and strong property prices the path to become a first home owner can be difficult to achieve without family support.

Parents are more than ever needed to financially help their child to acquire the first home.

But where their child has a partner, parents are likely to be looking for some certainty – either that in time they can have their advance returned to them; or if their child’s relationship encounters any problems, that their contribution is repayable in full. Family Law can create troubles for the bank of mum and dad. [...]  READ MORE →

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How to Prepare for an Initial Consultation with a Family Lawyer


Before your attendance at an initial consultation with a family lawyer you can take steps to prepare to ensure you get the most out of your conference.  Think about these key steps that you might consider  before the conference.

Understand Your Goals

Before the initial consultation, take some time to understand your priorities and clarify your own goals. What are the outcomes you are looking to achieve? By understanding your objectives, it will help your family lawyer to tailor their advice to consider your expectations and needs. [...]  READ MORE →

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Family law lawyers across Australia have been reminded of the need to consider the application of equitable principles when providing legal advice concerning property management. The recent decision in Bosanac v Commissioner of Taxation & Anor brought this consideration to the attention of many legal experts, including family law lawyers.

The Case:

The High Court referred to two equitable principles. The first was the presumption of a resulting trust. This basically states that in a court of equity it is presumed that people do not intend to gift someone real property. Instead, the recipient of the property is said to hold it on trust for the donor unless the presumption is rebutted on the facts. [...]  READ MORE →

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The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (the Court) are evaluating how to help vulnerable families that need protection in family law proceedings. The Court are initiating a new model for families who are faced with domestic violence or family violence. Family lawyer advises that lighthouse project will play an important role in Court’s way of assessing which cases may involve risk relating to mental health, family violence, child abuse/neglect, drug, and alcohol misuse. The project will take into consideration the funding required and urgency in such cases. [...]  READ MORE →

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Our Family Law Lawyers are always pleased to hear when parties who have separated have reached an agreement themselves or with the assistance of a mediator.

However, once the agreement has been reached parties should seriously consider formalising the agreement to ensure it is legally enforceable.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • To ensure the agreement is secured as a party can withdraw consent at any time if the agreement is not legally formalised.

Yes, this means that a party can agree, sign and commence actioning the terms agreed upon, but they could change their mind at any point. Most agreements, if not formalised properly are not legally binding. [...]  READ MORE →

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Consent Orders are generally the best way to formalise an agreement reached about property and or parenting matters.

To do this an Application for Consent Orders is to be filed with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. The Application should contain or have attached proposed Orders detailing the agreement reached, generally with time frames to comply with the agreement.

The application seeks:

  • General information about each party;
  • Details about the relationship;
  • Details about other court matters;
  • Details about any children;
  • Details about the orders sought;
  • Details of all income, assets, liabilities, debt, superannuation and financial resources of the parties; and
  • Details about the financial effect of the proposed division (for property orders only).

Due to the nature of the document and the precise drafting of the Orders sought we encourage you to seek assistance from our separation lawyer. [...]  READ MORE →

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Case Management Pathway for Family Law Evatt List matters

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (“the FCFCOA”) was created in 2021 amalgamating the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

The FCFCOA places emphasis on efficiency, responsiveness, resolution, and a more simplified Court procedure. Prioritisation of Court resources to cases involving children and parties more vulnerable to risk of harm led the FCFCOA to establish the new case management pathway. The case management pathway involves an Australia wide (except WA) consistent series of steps that separating parties progress through. The new case management pathway aims to resolve up to 90% of cases within 12 months of the date of filing with the Court. [...]  READ MORE →

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Property Settlement – A Marriage Lawyer explains the steps and significance of the decision in Stanford v Stanford

It is difficult for a couple to determine how they will distribute joint assets if they are separating. A marriage lawyer generally is familiar with clients who are involved in voluntary separations where as a result there is a need to distribute the parties’ assets to allow for each person to move on. However, what about situations where the parties have not been involved in a voluntary separation? Maybe it occurred by reasons outside of the parties’ control. The facts in the High Court case of Stanford v Stanford gave an example of such a situation. It also adjusted the legal test for courts to apply when making a property order (s 79 Family Law Act 1975). [...]  READ MORE →

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A revamp to the Family Law system? How a Child Custody Lawyer’s role may change because of proposed reform

The family law system has been a subject of scrutiny over the years. The legal framework is made up of specialists (e.g., child custody lawyers) who continue to work within a unique area of law that has a substantial effect on an individual’s family structure. With the recent merger of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia in 2021, the now Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (‘FCFCOA’) was formed to reduce the complex legal processes arising from the dissolution of a relationship. [...]  READ MORE →

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Music to any separation lawyer’s ears is the prospect of parties successfully participating in alternative dispute resolution. There are many forms of conflict resolution that can take place with some including:

  1. Family Dispute Resolution (FDR)
  2. Conciliation
  3. Mediation; and
  4. Arbitration

Family Dispute Resolution

The first process a separation lawyer will advise of (when the main issue is parenting) is Family Dispute Resolution (FDR). This form of mediation is conducted by a FDR practitioner rather than a mediator, arbitrator, or Judge. However, the role of an FDR practitioner is not to provide legal advice (as would a separation lawyer) but instead to ensure all parties’ concerns are voiced and in parenting matters that there is consideration of the child’s best interest. In fact, FDR is mandatory before parties can apply to the court for a ‘Part VII order’ which deals with parental responsibility and provisions relating to parenting orders. It is important to note there are a few exceptions to this rule in operation such as s 60I(9) which addresses instances of family violence. [...]  READ MORE →

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Family Law Lawyer discusses filing and listing of family law proceedings in circuit locations

A long sigh of relief and joy comes from family law lawyers across New South Wales in the wake of new processes entering the profession in 2023.

Commencing in January 2023, parties that wish to commence family law proceedings in circuit locations will be granted the opportunity to choose their first return dates. This can be conducted entirely remotely through accessing the Commonwealth Courts Portal.

Family law lawyers will advise that Circuit lists service rural and regional areas of states in Australia. In other words, they provide legal services and access to the justice system to client’s living remotely. Such a change will bring the same access to the Courts and benefit of the case management pathway like those residing in larger cities. [...]  READ MORE →

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Engaging a family law lawyer in a dispute can be critical to ensuring you fulfil your obligations to the court and its procedures. This will ensure that your matter does not experience significant delays.

What happens if you do not provide a response to the other party?

Negotiating and corresponding with your ex-partner in a dispute can be both tiresome and challenging. Often each party to the relationship will seek legal representation from a family law lawyer so that correspondence can occur efficiently. [...]  READ MORE →