Blog

31 10, 2019

We’ve Reached a Family Law Agreement – What Should We Do?

October 2019 | Ariza Arif In the family law context, two people may come to an agreement in relation to property or parenting matters without speaking to a lawyer. They may also think it is sufficient for them to write the agreement down on a piece of paper and sign it. Does that make their agreement enforceable? The answer is “no”. This will be called a parenting plan or agreement and may be taken into account by a court, but

30 09, 2019

How to Avoid an Opal/Mascot Towers Debacle!

September 2019 | Margaret Rouen An Erskineville apartment block that was completed in April of 2018 is sitting empty following revelations that the developer didn’t properly clean up toxic land beneath the building. This is now the fourth block of units in Sydney that stand empty following structural safety concerns. NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge has described the properties currently in the news as “the tip of the iceberg.” As such, it remains high time for us to provide

26 09, 2019

I Want More Money, I Contributed More!

September 2019 | Ariza Arif “How do we work out our property split? What will I get? I put in [x] amount and I want it back!” “I have to look after the kids, I should get more money!” The above sentiments are very common when seeking an adjustment in a property settlement. The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) sets out how a Court assesses and determines a result that is “just and equitable” – that is, fair. In

27 08, 2019

The Future of Your Family Trust

August 2019 | Jonathan Harris In New South Wales, a family trust can exist for a period of 80 years before the trust fund must be distributed to the beneficiaries and the trust wound up.  This is referred to by lawyers as the ‘perpetuity period’. Although we all hope to live longer than the perpetuity period most of us do not establish a family trust in our 20s. So unless your trust is wound up during your lifetime it

27 08, 2019

Who Is a Parent?

August 2019 | Ariza Arif The nuclear family structure has changed, shifted and diversified over recent years with the use of sperm donation and in vitro fertilisation (“IVF treatment”). In a previous article: “Can a child have more than two parents”, we discussed the decision in a recent case of Masson & Parsons & Ors [2018]. That case has now been considered further by the High Court of Australia (“the High Court”). Recap In 2006, Mr Parsons agreed to

1 08, 2019

How Might the Israel Folau Saga Affect Your Workplace?

July 2019 | Kieran Kelly Israel Folau’s Instagram comments have reverberated well beyond the confines of Australia’s rugby union community. Rugby Australia was stuck in an invidious position. Its biggest star and arguably best player had once again made comments that clashed with, many would say, established standards of respectful public discourse. Rugby Australia’s hastily convened panel that included John West QC, Kate Eastman SC and John Boultbee AM, decided to terminate Folau’s contract, reportedly on the basis that his

31 07, 2019

Was That Unpaid Internship a ‘Fair Go’ or Exploitation?

July 2019 | James Freidman In January of 2013, the Fair Work Ombudsman report entitled Experience or Exploitation: The Nature, Prevalence and Regulation of Unpaid Work Experience, Internships and Trial Periods in Australia, found that ‘unpaid work exists on a scale substantial enough to warrant attention as a serious legal, practical and policy challenge in Australia.’ Since 2013, unpaid working arrangements and ‘internships’ have continued to rise in Australia. What does the law say? Under the Fair Work Act 2009

17 06, 2019

Quick! What Would Grandma Have Wanted Us to Do with Her House?

June 2019 | James Freidman Welcome to Statutory Wills 101. A few important estate planning terms to be aware of before we start: Capacity: The term ‘capacity’ has no single legal definition. A person may have capacity to make certain decisions and not others. For example, the Supreme Court found that a person was incapable of managing their financial affairs but was mentally capable of making a will. Testator: A ‘testator’ is a person who has made a valid will.

17 06, 2019

There Are Pirates Everywhere, Not Just in the Caribbean!

June 2019 | Les Stubbs Family violence is a very serious issue in Australia, and is treated as such in family law matters. But the making of false allegations is also treated seriously. The issue of family violence should not be demeaned or degraded by a false allegation. There is no more important issue than to protect the welfare and safety of parents and children. If a false allegation is made, it may be dealt with by a court, perhaps

27 05, 2019

So I Am Owed Money: Who’s Buying?

May 2019 | Kieran Kelly What is the common thread through each of the following scenarios? a business that wants to sell an outstanding debt; a business that is being sold inclusive of debts owed to it; and a liquidator that wants to sell its right to an insolvent trading claim ie a claim against directors of the insolvent company for trading whilst insolvent. The answer is the application of the law of assignment. The law of assignment involves three

20 05, 2019

One Too Many? – Alcohol and Domestic Violence

May 2019 | Les Stubbs Your family lawyer may have advised you, or you may have read that the most important issue in parenting proceedings in family law cases is “the best interests of the child”. It is a critical duty of the family law system to protect children. Sometimes children may need greater means of protection because of a parent's neglectful or abusive behaviour. Alcohol and drug abuse are becoming a leading cause of marital breakdown, and the long

19 05, 2019

Company Officers, Professional Advisors and Liquidators – a Heads Up!

May 2019 | James Freidman Employee entitlements and the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) In a liquidation situation, employees of a business are particularly vulnerable as ‘unsecured creditors’. Through the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) scheme, the Australian Government provides financial assistance to cover certain unpaid employee entitlements to eligible employees who lose their job due to the liquidation or bankruptcy of their employer. The cost of the FEG scheme rose from $70.7 million between 2005 to 2009, to $243.6 million between