How important are time frames in family law?

saraMany people probably do not know that when parties separate who have been in a de facto relationship, they only have 2 years from the date of separation to lodge an application with the Court to claim for their entitlements.

If you do not file any documents with the Court prior to the expiration of the 2 year time frame, you have to seek the Court’s permission to proceed which can be a costly and time consuming process.

The Court had to consider this in a most recent Family Court appeal decision of McCoy and Chancellor [2014] FamCAFC 62.

The background to this case was the parties were in a relationship for 23 years and separated in December 2010.… Read More

Is What You do After Separation Relevant?

saraWhen parties to a relationship have separated, both parties can continue to make financial and other contributions towards the assets and members of the family. This could involve running a business or being a stay at home parent to care for a child.

This issue was recently raised in the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia appeal of Marsh and Marsh [2014] FamCAFC 24.  The parties were married in 1979 and separated in 2000.  The parties were divorced in 2008 and in June 2010, the wife commenced proceedings before the Court for the purposes of dividing the parties’ assets.… Read More

Can Bullying Lead to a Change of Schools?

saraSchool bullying has become an issue for many parents, particularly, with new technology and accessibility to social media websites.  As bullying becomes a concern for parents, often the decision has to be made as to whether the child should continue in their current school or change.

What happens though if separated parents cannot decide whether the child is to leave one school to attend another.  This was argued in the recent Federal Circuit Court of Australia decision of Bardot and Benjamin (2013) FCCA 1024.  The facts of this  case were the parties were married in 1998 and separated in 2006. … Read More

Family Law Expertise continues at Everingham Solomons

saraThe Family Law team at Everingham Solomons continues to expand it’s knowledge base after I successfully graduated with a Master of Applied Law (Family Law) through the College of Law on Wednesday, 16 October 2013.

I commenced studying my Masters in late 2011 when I started working at Everingham Solomons. This involved combining full time study with full time work to successfully complete the course in a two year period.

Undertaking a Masters through the College of Law has assisted me considerably in being able to provide my client’s with up to date advice. The knowledge and practical training that I received was invaluable.… Read More

What is Reasonably Practicable?

saraWhen determining the live with and spend time with arrangements for children, one area that the Courts must look at is whether it is “reasonably practicable” for Orders to be made.

Reasonable practicality is outlined in Section 65DAA(5) of the Family Law Act and takes into account issues such as how far apart the parents live from each other, whether the parents can afford to undertake what is being Ordered, the capacity for the parents to communicate, the impact Orders may have on the children and any other matter the Court deems necessary.

This issue was raised in the Family Court appeal decision of Ember & Assadi [2013] FamCAFC 107.… Read More

Who Should Bear the Costs of Travel

saraIn situations where one of the parties lives a considerable distance from where the children reside, the question may arise as to which parent or carer is to pay the costs of travel to spend time with the children?

This question was raised in the appeal case of Lorreck & Watts [2013] FamCAFC. In June 2012, the Full Court of the Family Court allowed the children to move from Canberra to Cairns with the mother and the father was to spend seven block periods within every two years with the children. The father had remained living in Canberra.

The mother, who was reliant on Child Support and Government Benefits at the time, argued that she should only pay for one return flight per two years until she was earning $1,300 per week.… Read More

When Final Means Final

saraSometimes when parties separate and they have children, one or both of the parents may be required to spend supervised time with their children. This may be for a variety of reasons, primarily it is to ensure that children are not exposed to any form of risk.

When a Court has made final orders, it is almost impossible to change them unless there has been a significant change in circumstances as outlined in the leading case of Rice and Asplund (1979) FLC 90-725.

The question may be asked, what happens when a Court has made final orders for one of the parents to only spend supervised time with the children?… Read More

Love in an overseas jurisdiction

saraAs overseas travel becomes more accessible, so too does the possibility of love blossoming with someone who is a resident of a foreign country.  As a result an Australian citizen may marry or form a serious relationship and the parties may choose to continue to reside outside Australia.  If the parties have children, the question may arise “What happens if the relationship ends and one of the parties wants to return to Australia with the parties’ children?”

In a recent case that has been overwhelmingly publicised which involves four Italian children who had been detained in Australia is one such example.… Read More

When Can You Change Children’s Orders?

saraThe Family Court and the Federal Magistrates Court will be asked at times to make orders in relation to where a child should live and how much time they are to spend with the other parent. When these Courts make orders, the orders are based on the current circumstances that surround a child’s life. However, life is full of changes  and sometimes, the orders that were previously made are not practical anymore.

What then will these Courts do if you want to change such orders?

The leading case on such matters is Rice v Asplund (1979) FCL 90-725 whereby Chief Justice Evatt said the Court “… should not lightly entertain an application … To do so would be to invite endless litigation for change is an ever present factor in human affairs … there must be evidence of a significant change in circumstances.”

Recently, in the case of Fante & Joyce (no.1) [2012] FMCAfam 741, Federal Magistrate Coker had to determine whether he should allow parents to change the orders that were made almost 4 years ago, taking into account what Chief Justice Evatt said in the case of Rice v Asplund.… Read More

Relocating – The Children’s Best Interests

saraRelocation is a term used in family law proceedings when one parent wants to change where they live and take the children with them. For the Court to determine whether the children can move with that parent to a location sometimes hundreds of kilometers away from the other parent, the Court needs to consider many issues. One of the primary considerations that they take into account is whether the children can still continue to have a meaningful relationship with the other parent.

The recent decision of Lorreck & Watts [2012] FamCAFC 75 is one such case whereby the mother wanted to move from Canberra to Cairns and the Court had to determine whether this would be in the best interests of the children.… Read More