Frequent Topics


Binding Financial Agreements: Drafting with the End in Mind

The reality is that, for some clients, happily ever after will involve the parties going their separate ways. When relationship breakdown occurs, how watertight is a financial agreement under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (FLA)? This paper looks at taking a risk averse approach to financial agreements, some of the risky...

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The Micawber principles: When bankruptcy and Family Law Collide

1.    Introduction Why is this paper called “The Micawber principles”?  Mr Micawber, in Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield is the eternal optimist.  His famous phrase “Something will turn up” is probably reflective of why many people end up bankrupt.  Judge Driver, in a case referred to in this paper, described a bankrupt as...

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Will de-federation of the Family Court fix fragmentation of family law? An analysis of the ALRC’s final report on family law

Family law never stagnates.  Legislative reforms since the introduction of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) have often either followed societal developments or, more frequently, led or accompanied them.  However, the next 12 months has the potential for even greater change for family lawyers, the family law courts and parties...

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Financial Agreements: still worth the candle?

Post Thorne v Kennedy (2017) FLC 93-807, family lawyers and clients have reconsidered the worth of financial agreements under the Family Law Act 1975 (FLA). At the outset, it is impossible to guarantee to clients that financial agreements are binding and will not be set aside. Lawyers can, however, take steps to reduce the...

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Tomaras– is the Family Law Act an escape hatch to avoid tax?

The Australian Taxation Office recently appealed to the High Court of Australia on the question of whether there was power under the Family Law Act 1975 (FLA) for the husband to be substituted for the wife in relation to a tax debt owed by the wife of over $250,000 plus interest. In Commissioner of Taxation for the...

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The Family Court: Restructure, Destruction or Fade Away?

"Don't it always seem to go That you don't know what you've got till it's gone They paved paradise And put up a parking lot" "Big Yellow Taxi" by Joni Mitchell The Family Court of Australia (FCofA) was established in 1976 as a best practice model offering in-house alternative dispute resolution such as mediation and...

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