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Family Law

Family Law Wills and Estates April 16, 2015

Release of Rights to Family Provision Claims

While an individual is free to leave their property as they see fit upon their death, Chapter 3 of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) (‘the Act’) places a significant restriction on a testator’s testamentary freedom. The Act confers on certain individuals a statutory right to make family provision claims out of the testator’s estate, contrary […]

Family Law March 31, 2015

Are Prenuptials Valid in Australia?

Recently, a client posed the following question: ‘I heard that prenuptial agreements are not valid in Australia, is this true?’ The short answer to this question, is no. Prenuptials, or Financial Agreements as they are referred to in Australian jurisdictions, are valid, and spouses are free to enter into them at any point in a […]

Family Law Wills and Estates February 16, 2015

Enduring Powers of Attorney in NSW

What is a Power of Attorney? A power of attorney is a document empowering a person (or persons)(“the attorney”) to act on behalf of another person (“the principal”) with respect to the principal’s assets, debts and financial affairs. Powers of attorney can be: General –         the attorney is able to do nearly all things the […]

Family Law Wills and Estates November 24, 2014

The Short Lives Of Testamentary And Family Trusts

Trusts, which are colloquially known as “testamentary” or “family trusts” have one thing in common. That is that the Trustee can pick and choose from within a wide group of beneficiaries how to distribute the trust income and capital from time to time. This provides significant opportunity for a reduction of various taxes, protection from […]

Family Law November 1, 2011

Family law and spousal maintenance

Relationships that have come to an end, whether the parties were part of a marriage or a de facto coupling, are always difficult. Additionally if there are further issues relating to finance, the situation can be even more fraught – especially if one of the parties is in a weaker economic position. The Family Law […]

Dispute Resolution Family Law October 1, 2011

What is Family Counselling and Family Dispute Resolution?

If you are involved in a separation or divorce then you may have heard the terms “family counselling” or “family dispute resolution practitioner”. Family Counselling Family counselling is a process where a family counsellor helps people affected by separation and divorce to deal with personal and interpersonal issues in relation to the relationship or issues […]

Family Law September 1, 2011

Stronger Laws to Deal with International Parental Child Abduction

International parental child abductions often coincide with an acrimonious separation or divorce. Abductions may occur when parents are having difficulty negotiating parenting arrangements and child support. By some estimates, approximately 125 children are taken from Australia every year. At present, where one parent has sought or obtained a parenting order from the courts, it is […]

Family Law Wills and Estates August 1, 2011

Inheritances: What happens when a relationship breaks down?

When couples separate, they typically need to sort out how to divide their property.  This includes both assets and debts.  There are a number of ways this can be done.  Parties can agree on how to divide their property without any court involvement.  These kinds of agreements can be formalised by the court by applying […]

Family Law July 1, 2011

Family Law: Basic Questions Relating to Parenting Orders

Parenting orders are enforceable arrangements that deal with the welfare of a child. Orders can be made by the courts, however, the desirable outcome is for the parties to reach an agreement without the intervention of the legal system. If the separating parties are unable to resolve their issues, the courts will intervene. Who can […]

Family Law June 1, 2011

Sharing Time in Relocation Cases

When the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) was amended in 2006, it introduced the concepts of “equal shared parental responsibility”, “equal time” and “substantial and significant time”. Until the High Court of Australia decision in MRR v GR, [2010] HCA 4, the relationship between these concepts was unclear in relocation cases.  One fundamental principle of the […]