Family & Defacto Law

18 03, 2020

Financial/Economic Abuse in Family Law: What Can I Do?

January 2019 | Ariza Arif The Family Law Act recognises financial abuse as a form of domestic and family violence. It is defined as: "unreasonably withholding financial support needed to meet the reasonable living expenses of the family member, or his or her child/ren, at a time when the family member is entirely or predominantly dependent on the person for financial support”. Financial/economic abuse, similar to emotional and psychological abuse, can be difficult to recognise and it can affect

29 11, 2019

I Want to See My Grandchildren, What Can I Do?

November 2019 | Ariza Arif Are you a grandparent who wants to spend time with your grandchildren? Did you know that grandparents can apply to a court under the Family Law Act for orders their grandchildren live with or spend time with them? It is often important for children to have a relationship with their grandparents. However, this does not mean grandparents have an automatic right to have contact with their grandchildren. It will always depend on what is

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

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

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

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

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

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)

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

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

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