Court Refuses To Split Property After Breakdown of 5 Year Marriage

Background The case of Newbury & Perril [2017] FCCA 1490 examined how property should be divided following a short marriage. The issue was whether the Federal Circuit Court should make orders for property adjustment following the breakdown of the marriage. The parties were married in 2007 and had one child together. Although the wife stated the parties separated on 15 August 2010, the financial interdependence between the parties continued until

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Domestic Violence: Mother Loses Access Rights

In the recent case of Corwin & Corwin [2018] FamCA (26 April 2018), the Federal Circuit Court heard the mother’s appeal involving allegations of domestic violence, heavy marital conflict, emotional abuse and substance abuse. The mother lost her appeal against orders that gave the father of her children sole parental responsibility. The former partners, known as Mr and Ms Corwin, began an on-again, off-again relationship in 1996 and married in

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Family Court Declares Stage 3 Treatment For Gender Dysphoria Deemed Therapeutic Background

Following the case of Re Kelvin children with gender dysphoria wishing to commence Stage 2 hormonal treatment no longer require Court authorisation to commence treatment. The case of Re Kelvin, however, was largely silent on whether Court approval was still required for Stage 3 treatment for those under the age of 18. The case of Re Matthew [2018] FamCA 161 (16 March 2018) recently dealt with this issue. In this

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Court Finds No Parentage for Sperm Donors

Background In the recent case of Parsons and Anor & Masson [2018] FamCAFC 115, the Full Court of the Family Court held that sperm donors are not legal parents of children born via artificial technology using their sperm, regardless of the mother’s relationship status at the time of conception. The judgment overrides the authority of Groth & Banks, which recognised a parentage order could be made in the appropriate case

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Court Allows Girlfiend to Use Deceased Partner’s Sperm for Assisted Reproduction

Background In the recent case of Re Cresswell [2018] QSC 142 (20 June 2018), Justice Brown made orders allowing Ms Cresswell to use her deceased former partner, Mr Davies’ sperm and undergo IVF treatment. Ms Cresswell and the deceased Mr Davies had enjoyed a relationship for approximately three years when Mr Davies, without any apparent warning signs or any obvious trigger, took his own life on 23 August 2016. The

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Court Orders Sole Parental Responsibility Due to Parent’s Significant Personality Dysfunction

Background In the recent case of Shan & Prasad [2018] FamCAFC 12 (1 February 2018) the Full Court of the Family Court (Strickland, Ryan & Cronin JJ) heard the husband’s appeal against Judge Altobelli’s final order that the wife have sole parental responsibility for their two children and that they spend no time with the father until they each attain the age of 18 years. During one planned visit on

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Property Settlement – Unit Trust Controlled By Husband But Beneficially Owned By His Father Not Property

Background In the recent case of Harris & Dewell & Anor [2018] Fam CAFC 94 (25 May 2018), the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia considered an appeal from a judgement of a Family Court judge. The parties had been married 24 years. The wife asserted that the assets owned by a unit trust should have been included in the pool of assets available for division by the

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Mother Loses Appeal Against Refusal of Permission For Her Relocation To New Zealand

Background In the recent case of Molloy & Reid [2018] FamCAFC 89 (11 May 2018) the Full Court of the Family Court (Thackray, Murphy & Aldridge JJ) heard the mother’s appeal against an order made by Tree J (primary Judge) in 2010 refusing her permission to relocate the parties’ children aged, [B] aged 10, [C] aged 9 and [D] aged 6 respectively to New Zealand. The primary Judge also made

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Family Law Undertaking – Application of Wife’s Legal Representative Against Husband For Contempt Dismissed

An undertaking is a promise to the Family Court of Australia (or Federal Circuit Court of Australia). It is as binding as an order of the Court. Where a person gives an undertaking that they will take, or refrain from taking a certain action, the Family Court will require that person to take that action as if the Family Court itself had ordered and compelled the person to take the

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Family Law and Property: Wife Fails in her Application for a Certificate Against Self-Incrimination

Background In the recent Family Court case of Field & Kingston [2017] FamCA 208 (7 April 2017) Hannam J dismissed the wife’s application at an interim hearing for a certificate against self-incrimination under s128 of the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth). The husband alleged that the wife, who ran a business alone during the marriage, indulged in an extravagant lifestyle; that there were “significant discrepancies between her expenditure and the losses

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