Legal Articles
Couple sitting across the desk from a family lawyer

On 6 May 2024, certain sections of the Family Law Act 1975 (“the Family Law Act”) that govern parenting matters will change. These changes will affect parenting cases that are currently before the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (“Court”) that are not finalised before that date. The amendments will also apply to all new applications before the Court regarding parenting matters that are issued after 6 May 2024. The Family Law Amendment Act 2023 (“the Amendment Act”) substantially reforms aspects of the Family Law Act that relate to how parenting matters are determined. The major reforms include: The… Continue Reading

A hand holding a mobile phone with the sound recording application open on the screen

Recording Conversations & Family Law Proceedings Understandably, circumstances may arise where you want to record a conversation with another person. You may wish to retain an accurate record of what was said or have something tangible to rely upon in the future that supports the existence of an issue or concern. The desire to rely upon a recorded conversation may seem particularly critical if you are involved in family law proceedings. However, while it may be tempting to record conversations with another person (typically an ex-partner or relevant third party) to use as evidence in family law proceedings, it is… Continue Reading

Binding financial agreements

FINANCIAL AGREEMENTS A Financial Agreement (also known as a “binding financial agreement”) is a private contract between two people that is made in accordance with specific provisions of the Family Law Act. Financial Agreements are available to parties whether they married or de facto. As with Consent Orders, the first pre-requisite for a Financial Agreement is that the parties have reached an agreement regarding their property and finances. Without an agreement, a Financial Agreement is not an option. A key difference between Financial Agreements and Consent Orders is that Consent Orders are only available to parties upon the conclusion of… Continue Reading

property settlement following separation

Which option is right for you? When a married or de facto couple separates, it is usually necessary to also conclude their financial relationship with one another. To do this, there are several options that may be adopted, for example: Do nothing Verbal / informal agreement Financial Agreement (private contractual agreement made between the parties) Consent Orders (made by agreement between the parties and approved by the Court) Court Orders (made by the Court in the absence of agreement between the parties – i.e., litigation) Many separated couples may not feel the need to formalise any agreement with regards to… Continue Reading

international travel with children

Australia’s border is reopening to both outbound and inbound travellers. Although vaccination requirements and quarantine measures remain in force and subject to change, the opportunity to travel abroad is once again a possibility for Australian families. However, if you wish to travel with your child overseas – without the other parent – there is more you need to know.

Travelling with children

From sparkling beaches to tropical rainforests, outback adventures to exciting cities, the opportunities for travel within Australia are endless. Needless to say, pandemic-induced state border closures over the past two years have tended to make travel feel like a distant pastime. However, with the recent easing of Covid-related restrictions across many Australian states and territories, is it ok to seize the opportunity to travel with your child, without the knowledge or consent of the other parent? Before booking your next family holiday, it is important to consider the following.

man at airport

Given the remote location of many Australian mines, including offshore oil and gas wells, Fly-In-Fly-Out (“FIFO”) employment is commonplace within the mining industry. There can be no question that FIFO employment impacts upon family relationships differently to more traditional employment. The effect of the FIFO lifestyle upon the mental health and wellbeing of the workers and their families can be considerable. In addition to the physical distance between the FIFO worker and their family, couples may feel emotionally isolated from one another and resentful of the responsibilities each feel they must undertake to sustain their family unit – physically, emotionally and… Continue Reading

Financial abuse can be just as common as physical or sexual abuse, but you can be financially abused without even realising it. In the recent case of Testa v Fields, the court, while making a decision about the best interests of a child, addressed concerns of family violence by the father to the mother. The court accepted that by denying the mother access to their bank accounts, he was financially abusing the mother. The court labelled this as controlling conduct. The father also cut the gas and electrical connections to the granny flat where the mother was living.

  A recent case[1] between a husband (Mr Scarffe) and a wife (Ms Obannon) who had recently separated, shows how family law proceedings can play out across two different countries. The Scarffe & Obannon case The couple had been living together in Australia since 1997. They married in 2014 and in the same year relocated to Singapore with their three children. The couple then separated in 2016, and the husband moved back to Australia in 2018 while the rest of the family stayed in Singapore. In 2019, the wife started legal proceedings in Singapore against her husband, where she filed… Continue Reading

You and your ex are on good terms and you have agreed as to who will keep the boat and who will keep the house.  There are two ways to sever your financial relationship with your former partner when your marriage or de facto partnership comes to an end and that is by way of a Binding Financial Agreement or Orders of the Court.  Orders of the Court can be obtained one of two ways – either after a contested trial or by consent.  Here are a few things you should consider before you sign on the dotted line for… Continue Reading

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