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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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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 Marriage Lawyer outlines spousal maintenance

The dynamic of family relationships is unique in every scenario. Yet you can almost guarantee that a marriage lawyer has been informed of many if not all types of household arrangements. Commonly, in relationships one party will inherit the role of being the ‘breadwinner’. In other words, one party is responsible for providing financial support to the other party and/or to their children.

A confronting reality will then be that despite the breakdown of a relationship, a financially dependent party may remain reluctant to leave. Financial dependency can be a compelling force convincing one party to remain in a relationship although it may not foster a safe environment. [...]  READ MORE →

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New family law Critical Incident List

Media Release: New family law Critical Incident List to help make arrangements for children during a time of crisis

The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia have issued a statement about a new process to helpmake arrangements for children where no parent is available as a result of death, critical injury, or incarceration relating to family violence:

Media Release: New family law Critical Incident List

Court orders are often needed during these times of crisis. The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia can make orders about where children live, as well as orders for parental responsibility which will enable non-parent carers to make appropriate arrangements for children, including enrolling children in school and organising and consenting to medical treatment. [...]  READ MORE →

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Asking a marriage lawyer if I can change my child’s surname

Moving forward from a separation can be arduous and filled with unexpected change. Not only do you have to re-evaluate your living circumstances but also your child’s. A marriage lawyer will be able to navigate you through a claim proposing a change to your child’s surname. A marriage lawyer will advise you of this unique area of family law and in this article we will consider if the court has allowed for this to occur in the past. If this is a claim you wish to pursue it is just as important that a marriage lawyer is able to provide you with some key points. [...]  READ MORE →

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A marriage lawyer explains time limitation for proceedings

Approaching any marriage lawyer when filing an application for a divorce order can be daunting and overshadowed by emotion. The breakdown of any relationship brings uncertainty and stress. It is important to consider any legal requirements that may apply when finalizing the arrangements for children and/or distributing assets. A marriage lawyer will consider the Family Law Act 1975 which provides time limitations for the bringing of property claims.

In the recent decision of Welland & Hawthorn [2021] FedFamC1A, the Full Court heard an appeal from the dismissal of an application for leave which sought to bring property settlement proceedings out of time. In determining the duration of the parties’ de facto relationship, the Court found that separation had occurred in February 2016. Since the de facto wife filed her application in November 2019, it was 20 months out of time. The de facto wife had two children who lived with her when the de facto husband was incarcerated. It was claimed that the de facto wife had relied on assurances from the de facto husband in 2017 and 2018 in the form of financial provisions. Although the applicant spouse engaged multiple marriage lawyers between 2017 and 2019 no proceedings were actually brought. [...]  READ MORE →

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Why you should try Family Law Mediation

Resolving a family law dispute is often complex as parties are usually dealing with emotional and psychological barriers that stem from the domestic relationship in addition to the legal issues. Additionally parties can be in different emotional stages when moving forward from the end of the relationship and this can cloud a party’s ability to interact constructively.

Family Law Mediation is an opportunity for parties to communicate their ideas, concerns and proposals to each other in a safe environment. Particularly in instances of high conflict, it is very common for family law mediation to take place in shuttle. This means parties remain in separate rooms and can still communicate their views through the mediator without having to worry about being met with confrontation from the other party. [...]  READ MORE →

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Divorce Lawyer Explains the Steps You Can Take if You are Unhappy with Your Final Orders

If you are not satisfied with your Final Orders made by the Court, your divorce lawyer can provide you with some advice about your options of an Appeal. Appeals must be filed within 28 days of the Orders being made.

However, the filing of an appeal does not automatically stop the obligations contained in the Final Orders. As such, your divorce lawyer may advise whether it is appropriate to file an application to stay the Final Orders. If the application for a stay is successful, the Final Orders will not operate until the appeal is decided. [...]  READ MORE →

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What You Need to Show the Court to Obtain a Divorce

In order to obtain a divorce, there are certain requirements depending on whether you have children under the age of 18 years. If you do have children under the age of 18 years, your divorce lawyer will need to demonstrate to the Court that:

  1. Proper arrangements in all the circumstances have been made for the care, welfare and development of the children, or
  2. That there are circumstances by reason of which the divorce order should take effect even though the court is not satisfied that such arrangements have been made.

There is a positive obligation on the Court not to allow divorce orders to take effect unless proper arrangements have been made for the children. Your divorce lawyer will consider the following factors when advising you: whether any child support is being paid, whether both parents are spending time with the children, the health of the children and whether they are attending and progressing in school. [...]  READ MORE →

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The Family Court Merger – Our Family Law Lawyers Outline What You Need to Know

By Chloe Elkerton, Family Law Solicitor

Last week the Morrison Government passed a Bill that will undoubtedly result in the biggest overhaul of Australia’s Family Court system since 1975.

Under our current Family Law structure, family law lawyers will tell you that matters proceed to hearing in one of either two Courts:

  1. The Family Court of Australia – which deals with complex family law matters, and
  2. The Federal Circuit Court of Australia – which deals with less complex family law matters and also other areas of law including migration, bankruptcy, human rights, industrial law and more.

The Family Court of Australia was established in 1976 as a stand-alone specialist Court. It recognised that many family law matters are complex and require specialised Judges and staff to support vulnerable Australian families. [...]  READ MORE →

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Prenuptial Agreements and the importance of complying with the Family Law Act

By Dylan Williams, Family Law Solicitor.

A prenuptial agreement, known as a ‘binding financial agreement’ under the the Family Law Act, is an agreement  with your partner to  predetermine how your assets will be distributed in the event of the breakdown of your relationship.

It is important that you speak with one of our prenuptial agreement lawyers to ensure the agreement complies with the Family Law Act so as to ensure that there can be no challenge to the enforceability of the agreement.

You and your partner can enter into a binding financial agreement prior to the commencement of the marriage / de facto relationship, throughout the marriage / de facto relationship, or after you have separated and or divorced.. [...]  READ MORE →

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Spousal Maintenance – Divorce Lawyers Explain How Much Is Reasonable

By Chloe Elkerton, Family Law Solicitor.

Divorce lawyers are often asked about rights to spouse maintenance. Spouse maintenance is financial support paid by a party to a marriage or de facto relationship to their former spouse after the relationship has broken down. The Court has the power to make an Oder for one party to pay spousal maintenance in circumstances where:

  1. One party is unable to support themselves and has an adequate reason for being unable to do so; and
  2. The other party is reasonably able to pay.

A question Divorce lawyers are often faced with, is, how much will I be required to pay?

In the recent case of Simpkin & Simpkin [2020], the trial Judge considered an application for spousal maintenance by a Wife who was in receipt of a disability support pension and was unable to work. On the other hand, the Husband was in a managerial position earning an annual salary of $240,000. [...]  READ MORE →