Family Court: Interim Spousal Maintenance

Introduction Interim spousal maintenance may be obtained where one party to a former marriage has financial capacity to maintain the other party and that other party has unable to support himself or herself adequately. The other party may not be able to support himself or herself by reason of having the care and control of a child of the relationship; by reason of age or physical or mental incapacity for

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Family Law Court: Bias of a Judge

Introduction Bias of a judge against a party is a serious concern where a party perceives that bias is at play. A party may perceive that there is bias, sometimes referred to as “apprehended bias”, resulting from a trial judge’s conduct throughout proceedings. It is fairly uncommon that bias in fact is shown to have existed in a court matter. If you are in court and have concerns about bias

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Parenting Cases and Contravention Applications

Introduction A contravention application made by a party in a family court matter arises where one party is claiming that the other party is in breach of final Orders. When parties agree final consent orders setting down arrangements for the care of their children or instead go to trial asking the family court to make orders, it can often be very difficult to predict what will or will not work

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Family Court Application & The Court’s Role

Introduction In family court applications, parties sometimes believe that the Court will make a decision based upon the application of the party that the Court prefers. It is important however to understand the role of the Court in reaching a final decision whether for parenting arrangements or property settlement. Relevant Case Law The Full Court of the Family Court of Australia in Bradford & Donnellan [2019] considered the decision of

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Separation: Changing Child’s Name

Introduction Family Lawyers are often asked by parents (usually, the primary caregiver for a child) about their ability to change their child’s surname, after separation or divorce.   As with matters relating to the child’s education, religious upbringing and health, a child’s surname (and any change made to it) is considered a significant issue affecting the child’s long-term care, welfare and development.  Effectively, therefore, one parent cannot determine for themselves

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Impact of Family Violence on Property Settlement

Many factors are taken into consideration when making orders for property division, but can a history of domestic violence towards your partner or children impact the final outcome? If the Court is convinced of Domestic Violence  in the marriage, it is likely to consider it while determining the settlement ratio or amount. But to what extent can it affect the decision cannot be determined. There can be various aspects that

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Parenting Proceedings: Allegations of Sexual Abuse

Introduction Sexual abuse in parenting proceedings and related allegations must be addressed on the evidence before the Court. In appropriate cases, a Court may determine that compelling inferences are open on the evidence before it. Where allegations of sexual abuse in parenting proceedings are made in relation to a child, any finding made by the trial judge regarding those allegations will stand on any appeal unless they are contrary to

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Parenting Proceedings and Drug Use

Introduction Drug use by a parent is a matter that is considered by the family courts when determining what living arrangements are in the best interests of children. A parent’s struggle with drug use can have a hugely detrimental impact on their relationship with their children. There are varying risks posed by parents under the influence of drugs whilst children are in their care. Parental capacity can be severely impaired

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Mother’s Application To Change Child’s Name Dismissed

Background In the recent case of Lysons & Lysons and Anor [2019] Fam CAFC 29, the Full Court of the Family Court found that the primary judge had not erred in refusing a Mother’s application to change her child’s name. The child, X, was born in 2016 to parents who commenced their relationship in 2014. Upon separation, the child’s mother indicated that she intended to revert to her maiden name,

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Family Law Property Settlement: Assessing Contributions

Introduction A property settlement is an arrangement made between parties to divide assets, liabilities, and financial resources when a couple separate. Assessing contributions for property settlement is a significant element in working out what is an appropriate way to divide assets following separation. Generally, in a long-term relationship, the court takes into consideration the contributions made by both parties and the totality of assets. Relevant Case Law In the recent case

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