Recent legislative developments in Family Law: Australian Citizenship Amendment (Intercountry Adoption) Bill 2014

The Australia Citizenship Amendment (Intercountry Adoption) Bill 2014 amends the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 to extend citizenship to children adopted directly from a country that is not a signatory to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. These include South Korea, Taiwan and Ethiopia. The proposed changes in the Bill will mean that children adopted in accordance with a bilateral arrangement (the South

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Victorian initiatives to combat rising family violence

This month’s edition of the Victorian Law Institute Journal includes a cover story on recent initiatives to deal with what is a disturbing trend: a rise in incidents of family violence. Among the initiatives is the establishment of a Royal Commission into Family Violence (to be led by former Supreme Court Justice, Marcia Neave). The Victorian legal profession has also established a Family Violence Taskforce (which includes Chief Magistrate Peter

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Interim Order for supervision of father’s time with child set aside

In the case of Garraghan & Westerfield (No 2) FamCAFC 96 ( 6 June 2014). Ryan J, exercising appellate jurisdiction allowed the father’s appeal against an interim order for supervision of his time with his young child. The parties had never married.  They commenced cohabitation in 2006 and separated in May 2011.  The child was an infant when they separated.  The parties separated after the father assaulted the mother. The child

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Magistrates to receive family violence training in Victoria

An interesting article that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald written by Jamie Lee: Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen said all magistrates would attend a two-day training course at the Judicial College of Victoria next year. Magistrates are often at the coalface of disputes between family violence victims and their partners. The Magistrates Court finalised 50,208 applications for family violence intervention orders in the last financial year, up 49 per cent

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Australia not a `clearly inappropriate forum’ even though divorce order may not be recognised in India

In the case of Jasmit & Jasmit [2014] FCCA (12 June 2014) the issue revolved around whether Australia had jurisdiction to hear a divorce application.  The parties’ had been married in India. The wife had returned to India after the parties moved to Australia. The husband filed a divorce application on 9 May 2013 under the Family Law Act 1975. Judge Riethmuller heard the application that was opposed by the

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Long distance defacto relationship held to exist – separation by email

In the case of Cadman & Hallett [2014] (11 August 2014) the Full Court of the Family Court dismissed an appeal by Mr Cadman against a decision made by the original trial judge as to the length of a defacto relationship between himself and Mr Hallett.  Mr Cadman had argued that the relationship had ended in 2000 whereas Mr Hallett believed it had ended in 2010.  Between 2000 and 2009

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Wife’s savings relevant when considering all the children’s expenses – interim order set aside

In the case of Padnall & Padnall [2014] FamCAFC 145 (14 August) Strickland J, exercising appellate jurisdiction, permitted the husband’s appeal against an order made by Simpson FM (as his Honour then was) that he be required to pay the wife (who had three children in her care) interim spousal maintenance of $1462 per week.  Simpson FM accepted at [16] the wife’s evidence that her $87,000 savings were to be

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Settlements following a relationship breakdown

The sorting out of parenting arrangements and the distribution of property following the breakdown in a relationship is inevitably a stressful time, but can also end up being a time- consuming (and costly) process. Over the past decade or so, the law has required disputes over parenting arrangements to be dealt with at mediation as a first step, before court proceedings can be commenced. There are some situations (such as

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New Tax ruling could add costs to divorce financial settlements

Divorce and the associated financial settlements can be a difficult time both emotionally and economically at the best of times. Now under a new Australian Taxation Office (ATO) taxation ruling the process can be even more taxing in some cases. With the issue of its tax ruling TR 2014/5 in July 2014,  the Australian Tax Office (ATO)  has reversed its view on payments and transfers of property made to shareholders and

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WHY FINANCIAL AGREEMENTS UPON A RELATIONSHIP BREAKDOWN MUST BE DONE PROPERLY

When a marriage or de facto relationship breaks down irretrievably, one thing that needs to be done to enable the parties to move on with their lives is to divide up their assets. Certainly there is the possibility that a dispute between parties over the division of property can end up in court, with the inevitable stress, time, and cost that this entails. Hence, parties will usually be advised to

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