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A DIVORCE LAWYER EXPLAINS SHUTTLE FAMILY LAW MEDIATION

Mediation is often an essential part of resolving a Family Law conflict. However, mediations can appear to be overwhelming, especially in the context of a relationship characterised by family or domestic violence or in high conflict relationships. Is there a way to go to mediation without having to come into contact with the other party? Depending on the individual situation, shuttle mediation may be a suitable option.

Shuttle Family Law Mediation

In shuttle family law mediations, each party is separated into different rooms or locations (this includes in online mediations where separate breakout rooms are offered). The mediator moves between the rooms and conveys the other party’s statement as to the issues, ideas for progressing the case and any offers to settle the case. This type of mediation is aimed at maximising both parties’ safety whilst providing a means to discuss, and hopefully resolve, the case in a confidential setting. READ MORE

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THE HYBRID COURT: SEPARATION LAWYER REVIEWS HOW FAMILY LAW CASES ARE MANAGED IN A POST-LOCKDOWN WORLD

In 2020, the Family Law Courts and Separation Lawyers were forced to completely shift their mode of operation from face-to-face hearings and paper files, to online hearings and electronic court files, all thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

2 years later, in 2022, the Court’s methods have begun to shift into a more hybrid approach to the management of Family Law cases. Many court listings are still being conducted by way of Microsoft Teams, particularly when dealing with more administrative issues. Other court listings are now in-person before the court. The court file remains electronic, requiring parties to upload their court documents by way of the Court’s electronic file management system. READ MORE

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FAMILY LAW LAWYER EXPLORES NEW FAMILY LAW HIGH COURT DECISION – BREAK UP OF DE FACTO COUPLE

In May 2022, the High Court of Australia made a decision in the case of Fairbairn v Radecki [2022] HCA 18. This case gives very important commentary on de facto relationships, in particular on the issue of whether a de facto relationship has broken down.

THE FACTS

The parties were in a de facto relationship from around 2005. They lived together, in a property owned by the de facto Wife, but kept their finances “separate”. The couple had even entered into some (non-binding or enforceable) “financial agreements” as to how they would maintain their separate property. They structured their financial affairs around the agreements and acted separately. READ MORE

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Divorce lawyer advice after separation and the operation of the ‘clean break’ Principle

Engaging a divorce lawyer when separating from your partner can be daunting. It is important that you understand your legal rights relating to your financial position both in your relationship and moving forward.

The Principle

It is in the Court’s view that it should seek “as far as practicable (to) make such orders as will finally determine the financial relationships between the parties…and to avoid further proceedings between them.” This is referred to as the ‘clean break’ principle under s 81 of the Family Law Act or s 90ST for de facto parties. Specifically, a divorce lawyer will tell you that the general approach of the Court is to avoid issuing long term spousal maintenance orders. In other words, spousal maintenance is not and should not be ordered with the intent that it be payable for life. Instead, it is designed as a temporary order to allow parties to restructure their finances and or living expenses. For example, a spousal maintenance order can be made to cover a period where the party is completing coursework or training which enables him or her to re-enter the workforce. READ MORE

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A prenuptial agreement lawyer explains how to change a binding financial agreement

It is best to seek out a prenuptial agreement lawyer if you want to dispute a binding financial agreement (‘BFA’). This type of agreement, like any other contract in law is subject to strict rules. However, s 90K (1) of the Family Law Act 1975 allows a court to set aside a binding financial agreement. There is a list of reasons outlined in this section including:

  • The agreement is obtained by fraud
  • The agreement is void, voidable or unenforceable
  • Arising circumstances make it impracticable for part of or the entire agreement to be carried out

A prenuptial agreement lawyer can advise you on what makes an act of “fraud”. Ordinarily it is involves using false representations to obtain an unjust advantage. However, to prove fraud, it must be shown that the false representation was made knowingly. This can be either without belief in its truth or in a reckless manner. READ MORE

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Changing Parenting Orders And The Principle Of Rice & Asplund

Under section 65D(2) of the Family Law Act 1975, a Court can make an order to discharge or vary a parenting order. A child custody lawyer will be able to inform you that despite this power, there was an important principle set out in the case of Rice & Asplund [1978] FamCA 84. This case ruled that a Court should avoid changing parenting arrangements unless there has been a significant change in circumstances or new material facts to justify such a “serious step”. Seeking advice from a child custody lawyer will help analyse the applicability of this test in the event that you may want to vary a prior parenting order. READ MORE

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How Do I Get Equal Child Custody of My Kids?

An equal time arrangement for children is typically called a “week about” arrangement. That arrangement involves the children spending one full week with one parent and then one full week with the other parent on an ongoing basis. Sometimes an equal time arrangement may take other forms across a fortnight or month arrangement such as the children spending Monday to Thursday with one parent and Friday to Sunday with the other.

When deciding on child custody arrangements, the primary consideration should be the best interests of the child. How will the children cope spending a week away from the other parent and the shifts in household over the school term? Is the arrangement reasonably practical and are both parents able to communicate with each other? READ MORE

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To Be or Not to Be – Our Family Law Lawyers Explain the Requirements of De Facto

Our Family Law Lawyers know the importance of obtaining instructions about the nature of your relationship and whether it meets the legal requirements of a defacto relationship.

In the recent case of Bava & Chaudry [2021], the parties had a relationship of about 2 and a half years. They were not married.

The Applicant’s family law lawyers filed an application seeking property orders on the basis that she believed the parties were in a de facto relationship. The Respondent, on the other hand, argued that the parties were never in a de facto relationship, despite the relationship spanning over 2 years. READ MORE