Blog

24 04, 2019

The 2019 Federal Election and the Family Court

April 2019 | Les Stubbs What will be important to you when you vote in the upcoming federal election on 18 May 2019 – tax cuts and/or reform, infrastructure spending, skills development, guaranteeing essential services, reform of capital gains tax and/or superannuation, a carpark construction fund, a budget surplus? As a family lawyer, there is no more important issue in Australia today than the huge deficit in justice spending in our country – and specifically in the family law

24 04, 2019

Can A Child Have More Than Two Parents?

April 2019 | Helen Freidman - Legal Consultant With the passing of the 2017 amendments to Australia’s Marriage Act, marriage in Australia is no longer confined to a “union between a man and a woman”, but allows marriage between “two people” regardless of their gender. Despite the equality and certainty this affords same-sex couples who wish to marry, there remain many uncertainties about the parentage of children born into these unions. Increasingly, same-sex couples (whether married or de facto)

24 04, 2019

Should My Lawyer Look Over My Lease?

April 2019 | Scott Freidman A lease is a legal document that governs the relationship between a landlord and a tenant for the occupation of premises. Leases are important commitments for both landlords and tenants because of the substantial cost of rent and outgoings, the duration of the lease term and the risk of financial penalties if a party breaches their obligations under the lease. Too often we deal with situations where parties default under a lease because they

25 03, 2019

Will I Be Put in Gaol for Not Paying Child Support?

March 2019 | Ariza Arif The American R&B singer, R. Kelly, was recently taken into custody in Chicago for failing to pay outstanding child support of more than US$160,000. Fortunately for this high-profile celebrity, he was released when payment was made on his behalf by a third party. In Australia, parents are not imprisoned for failing to pay child support. However, it raises the question, how seriously do courts in this country view this type of conduct? It’s an

25 03, 2019

Genuine Redundancy vs Unfair Dismissal. It Pays to Know the Difference! 

March 2019 | Scott Freidman The recent case of Ken McShane v Port of Newcastle [2019] FWC 177 has restated the general principles applied in determining whether an employee has been let go as a result of a genuine redundancy, or if they were, in fact, unfairly dismissed. This matter was brought to the Fair Work Commission by Mr McShane against the Port of Newcastle (PON) on the 10th of August 2018. Mr McShane alleged the decision of the

18 03, 2019

Tax, What Tax?!

March 2019 | Les Stubbs One of the most important benefits and advantages of consulting a specialist family lawyer is to be properly advised on your legal rights and obligations before a potential problem arises from the breakdown of your relationship. A significant concern for many separating or separated people is the tax consequence of their separation. In our complicated taxation system in Australia, tax arises in so many circumstances – for example on your income, however that may

25 02, 2019

How Watertight is Your Will? Family Provision 101

February 2019 | Jonathan Harris You have worked long and hard to accumulate the assets that will comprise your estate. So it’s your choice who inherits under your will, right? Not necessarily. As a will-maker, you may not be able to prevent family members and dependants excluded under your will from ultimately making a claim for a share (or a greater share) of your estate after your death. A will-maker’s freedom of disposition is curtailed by the Succession Act

24 02, 2019

Can You Change a Child’s Name After Separation?

January 2019 | Georgia Dight Family lawyers are often asked by parents whether they are able to change their child’s surname after separation or divorce. This generally occurs when a parent has reverted to their maiden name or is marrying a new partner with a different name to their own. In New South Wales, a name change includes amending any part of a name (even a hyphenation). So when a parent comes to us and raises the issue of

18 02, 2019

New Community-Based Sentences for Criminal Offences in NSW

February 2019 | Scott Freidman Over the years we have become accustomed to hearing media references to court sentences meted out for criminal offences. Terminology such as “suspended sentences”, “good behaviour bonds” and “home detention” are often not unfamiliar to us. Our experience with these sentences may have been more direct, particularly for young adults whose social activities place them at higher risk of running up against law enforcement authorities. In more recent times there has been a movement

18 02, 2019

Risks Posed by Departing Employees: Is Your Business Protected?

February 2019 | Kieran Kelly We have recently been asked to advise several clients in relation to the protections they have in place from former employees who have joined a competitor. The scenario often takes a common form: a trusted senior employee hands in their notice of resignation; the employer discovers or is informed that the former employee is joining a market competitor; and the employer seeks advice in relation to whether they have any protections in place to

31 01, 2019

Insolvency Practitioners, Trading Trusts and Priorities: Uncertain Times

January 2019 | Kieran Kelly Insolvency practitioners have been faced with uncertainty as to whether the priority regime in the Corporations Act should apply when companies that have conducted their business through a trading trust enter into receivership or liquidation. Subject to certain “priority” creditor provisions, the Corporations Act seeks to provide for the equal treatment of unsecured creditors. Secured creditors are given priority to recover their claims in full. Expenses properly incurred by a liquidator or receiver and

31 01, 2019

New Year, New You – Tackle Your Estate Plan

January 2019 | Jonathan Harris Estate planning is something most of us put off “until next year” – it’s just too difficult. We promise it’s not! Sure, it can involve some difficult decisions, but that’s because it is one of the most important plans of your life and you should think hard about it.  Consider that an estate plan isn’t so much for your own benefit but rather for the benefit and protection of your loved ones.  Would you