Negative property pools and who will wear the debt

1      Introduction There are two ways to approach this question:  one can consider property pools where the debts outweigh the parties’ modest equity in a home and superannuation.  As these cases are rarely litigated because the costs are disproportionate to the property pool, it is difficult to draw any principles from...

read more


Eight tips for dealing with overseas property

In these increasingly mobile times, the family law courts are often faced with the question of how to deal with property which is located overseas, such as bank accounts, superannuation and real property. Does Australia have jurisdiction to deal with part or all of the overseas property? The test is that Australia is not a...

read more


Eight tips on add-backs

  Add-backs in proceedings for the alteration of property interests under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (FLA) occur when the court adds back funds or other property to the property of the parties, when funds or other property has been used by one of the parties for their own purposes, usually after separation. The...

read more


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...

read more


Hot Cases in family law – 2018

The most important cases in 2018 have been diverse. This paper looks at some of these. Financial agreements continue to raise new legal issues, and defining a de facto relationship continues to be far more problematic than one would expect. An unusual case involved the ability of an adult child to access the court file of his...

read more


Battling over Benji – contributions or best interests?

Recently, the Family Court declined to make interim property orders about a dog, leaving the parties to wait for a final hearing to determine the issue. This article looks at whether that was the right decision and what other options are available for parties to resolve disputes about “pet custody”. The distress and trauma for...

read more


Hot Cases in Family Law 2017

Even before the delivery of the judgment by the High Court in Thorne & Kennedy on 8 November 2017, a financial agreement case, there have been major developments under the Family Law Act 1975 (FLA) in case law in 2017. This paper covers: Wallis & Manning - contributions and comparable cases. Calvin & McTier -...

read more