Bankruptcy issues frequently arise when parties separate – either contributing to the reasons for the separation or as an outcome of the separation. When bankruptcy and separation occur at the same time the question is: which legislation applies to determine whether the trustee in bankruptcy or the non-bankrupt spouse takes priority in claims on the property of the bankrupt. The objectives and legal principles of each area of law are different, creating uncertainties and hardships for creditors and the non-bankrupt spouse.
In this webinar I will provide a brief introduction to the interaction between bankruptcy law and family law and then examine the most recent family law cases.
- Introduction to interaction of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (FLA) and the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) (BA)
- Standing of trustee and bankrupt in FLA proceedings
- Status of FLA claim or order in the event of a bankruptcy
- Substitution of one party for the other in relation to a debt
- Liability for tax debts
- Can a trustee publish FLA proceedings?
Introduction to interaction of FLA and BA
For the purposes of looking at the inter-relationship between the Family Law Act 1975 (FLA) and the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) (BA), two fundamental impacts of a bankruptcy are:
- All divisible property of the bankrupt vests in the trustee in bankruptcy (s 116 BA); and
- The rights and remedies of the bankrupt’s unsecured creditors are converted to rights to prove in the bankruptcy.
Since 2005, disputes involving the interaction of the FLA and the BA are generally decided in the one court, now called the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA).
The FCFCOA has jurisdiction to make orders about the property of a bankrupt if either:
- there are property settlement proceedings related to property which has become the property of the bankruptcy trustee i.e. property which has vested in the trustee; or
- spousal maintenance is sought by or from a party who is bankrupt at the time of the application or becomes bankrupt after the application is made.
A bankruptcy trustee must be joined as a party to property settlement proceedings under the FLA if:
- the trustee applies to be joined; and
- a party to the relationship became bankrupt before a final order was made; and
- the court is satisfied that the interests of the bankrupt’s creditors may be affected by the making of a property settlement or spousal maintenance order.
The trustee may, after weighing up the costs and risks of the litigation, tell the court that it does not want to be a party, but will abide by the court’s decision made without hearing from the trustee.
The bankrupt spouse needs the leave of the court to participate in the proceedings other than to make submissions as to exempt property (s 79(12) FLA). Exempt property is property which does not vest in the trustee and I will discuss it in more detail later. Leave can only be granted to the bankrupt in exceptional circumstances (s 79(13) FLA). The non-participation of the bankrupt in FLA proceedings may make it more difficult for the trustee to establish that the bankrupt, and therefore the trustee, has a significant claim to the property of the parties because there may be little evidence of the bankrupt’s contributions.
The legal ownership of property such as the home may not reflect the financial and non-financial contributions of the parties to the relationship. If the home is in the name of the bankrupt spouse, the claims of the non-bankrupt spouse created through that spouse’s homemaking and parenting contributions may be recognised under the FLA but not under the BA. Non-financial and homemaking contributions are given equal weight to financial contributions under the FLA but not under the BA.
This is one reason why it is important to establish which law applies in a particular case.
If the home is owned by the non-bankrupt spouse, the trustee of the bankrupt cannot institute property settlement proceedings under the FLA to claim an interest in it and can only make a claim in the FCFCOA if there are already proceedings on foot. If there are no proceedings on foot the trustee may be able to make a claim under equitable principles and claim that the bankrupt has an equitable interest in the home and therefore property rights which vest in the trustee. A non-bankrupt spouse may also argue equitable principles to claim property which is legally owned by the bankrupt and therefore ostensibly vests in the trustee, but is held on a constructive, resulting or implied trust for the non-bankrupt spouse. The concept of resulting trusts and the opposing presumption of advancement arose in Bosanac, a case now on appeal to the High Court, which I will discuss later.
In determining an appropriate property settlement order, the court must consider under the future or needs factors listed in s 75(2)(ha) or 90SF(3)(i):
“the effect of any proposed order on the ability of a creditor of a party to recover the creditor’s debt, so far as that effect is relevant”.
The interests of creditors do not have any more or less weight than the other factors. They are only one factor among many, such as disparities in the incomes and earning capacities of the parties and the impact of the care of children. You will see that s 75(2) refers to “creditors” and not the “trustee”, that is a topic for another day.
If property settlement proceedings are before the FCFCOA and then one party is bankrupted, the trustee in bankruptcy can make an election under s 60 BA to continue the proceedings. Until the election is made the proceedings will be stayed and if no election is made the proceedings will be deemed to be abandoned by the bankrupt and the non-bankrupt spouse can proceed on an undefended basis.
Property which does not vest in the trustee in bankruptcy is called “exempt property”. Exempt property includes:
- most superannuation;
- modest equity in a motor vehicle or motor bike;
- tools of trade up to a modest value;
- modest household furniture and chattels and personal property;
- property held by the bankrupt on trust for someone else;
- property that the trustee must transfer to the spouse, former spouse or former de facto partner of a bankrupt under a Pt VIII or Pt VIIIAB FLA order; See s 116(2) BA.
The bankrupt does not need the leave of the court to make submissions about exempt property even if the trustee in bankruptcy is taking part in the proceedings. The bankrupt may seek to retain as much exempt property, such as superannuation, as possible because non-exempt property such as real estate and savings vests in the trustee. The non-bankrupt spouse can claim both vested or non-exempt property as well as exempt property.
After that summary, I will move onto some recent cases decided under the FLA.
Standing of trustee and bankrupt in FLA proceedings
A trustee in bankruptcy is not automatically a party to property settlement proceedings. An action commenced by a person who later becomes bankrupt is stayed until the trustee elects in writing to prosecute or discontinue the action (s 60(2) BA). The election must be made within 28 days after notice of the action is served on the trustee (s 60(3) BA). If the trustee elects to continue FLA proceedings, what standing does the bankrupt have? And what if the trustee does not elect to do so?
Some people think that the trustee “stands in the shoes” of the bankrupt but this is not correct. The trustee’s rights are not the same as those of the bankrupt under the FLA.
Recently, the bankrupt’s lack of standing to independently participate in property settlement proceedings, save as to exempt property, was confirmed. This is consistent with s 79(12) FLA which states:
“If a bankruptcy trustee is a party to property settlement proceedings, then, except with the leave of the court, the bankrupt party to the marriage is not entitled to make a submission to the court in connection with any vested bankruptcy property in relation to the bankrupt party.”
Section 79(13) FLA provides that the court can only grant leave if “there are exceptional circumstances”.
In Warin & Warin (No 4)  FedCFamC1F 160 the exempt property was an interest in a self- managed superannuation fund. The bankrupt was held to have no standing in the property settlement litigation other than in relation to the self-managed superannuation fund. The court held that the bankrupt’s lack of standing in relation to non-exempt property arose from the combined operation of s 58(1)(a) Bankruptcy Act and ss 79(12) and (13) of the FLA. Interestingly, in the earlier decision of Warin & Warin  FedCFamC1F 269 the court deferred making a decision as to the bankrupt’s standing, by adjourning the hearing to enable a longer period for the bankrupt to comply with his disclosure obligations under the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Family Law) Rules 2021. This was done because the bankrupt’s failure to disclose was not assisting the trustees to form a conclusion as to the property which had vested in the trustees. The delay did not appear to assist the trustees and in any event, the bankrupt could not be a party for one purpose and not for another.
In Glover & Webster  FedFCamC1A 69; (2021) FLC 94-061 the issue was whether the wife, who was bankrupt, had standing to appeal.
The parties were in a de facto relationship for approximately five years and entered into a financial agreement at around the time they commenced their de facto relationship.
Over the course of two hearings a judge of the Federal Circuit Court (this was prior to the court merger on 1 September 2021) declared that the agreement was binding. A judge of the Family Court (again, this was prior to the merger of the two courts) then declared that the agreement covered all property interests and financial resources, so there was no property not covered by the agreement.
The wife appealed the declaration but approximately two months later a sequestration order was made against her.
The trustee elected under s 60(2) BA not to prosecute the appeal.
The wife wanted to continue the appeal. Consistent with earlier case law such as Guirguis v Guirguis  FamCA 6 (1997) FLC 92-726, the appeal court confirmed that all property of a bankrupt vested in a trustee following the making of a sequestration order. Although a bankrupt can commence property settlement proceedings, a bankrupt has no standing to appeal where the subject of the order vests or will vest in the trustee, meaning the bankrupt has insufficient interest in the outcome. In this case, the wife was an undischarged bankrupt and even if the appeal was successful and she eventually became entitled to property, it would all vest in the trustee so the wife had no standing to appeal.
At a later hearing the husband sought a costs order against the bankrupt. This application was dismissed in Glover & Webster (No 2)  FedCFamC1A 91 on the grounds that the merits of the appeal were not determined because of difficulties with the wife’s standing. The court could not at the costs hearing determine a hypothetical appeal, but there was nothing in the material that indicated that the wife acted unreasonably in bringing the appeal.
Status of FLA claim or order
The question may arise as to the status of a s 79 or s 90SM claim order if one party goes bankrupt. Sections 116(2)(g) and (r) BA are clear that if an order for the transfer of property by a trustee is made under Pt VIII or Pt VIIIAB FLA, the property which is the subject of the order is not divisible property. It does not vest in the trustee. If the claim has not been finalised the non-bankrupt spouse can continue the proceedings, but any claim by the bankrupt is subject to the trustee electing under s 60 BA to continue the claim.
If the non-bankrupt spouse has a potential claim which has not yet been made this is not a provable debt under s 82(1) BA as it is a right in personam and not property. It is a personal right.
If a FLA property settlement order has already been made, what is the status of that order in the bankruptcy proceedings? Pursuant to s 82(1) BA the debt is provable in the bankruptcy but can the non-bankrupt spouse apply to vary the order under s 79A/s 90SN FLA?
A case which considered the rights of a non-bankrupt spouse where a property settlement claim had not been determined was Gazi & Strobel  FedCFamC1F 223. There were FLA proceedings on foot. The parties had been in a de facto relationship for nine years and had three children. The de facto wife was an undischarged bankrupt. The issue was whether the de facto husband’s claim for a property settlement order under the FLA had the same status as a secured debt and therefore whether there should be an injunction as sought by the husband to prevent a payment by the trustee from the vested property of the bankrupt being made to the secured creditor.
The de facto husband sought an interim injunction preventing the trustee in bankruptcy from making a payment of $40,798.09 to the secured creditor. The secured creditor’s security was a Supreme Court judgment against the bankrupt.
The de facto husband claimed 100% of the property pool, being the proceeds of sale of a real property registered solely in the de facto wife’s name worth approximately $105,000.
The de facto husband intended to argue that he had no knowledge of or made any contribution towards the judgment debt, and this grounded his argument for 100% of the property pool.
The de facto husband’s application for an injunction was dismissed. The interest claimed by him was held not to have the same status as a “secured debt”. The trustee in bankruptcy of the de facto wife was therefore able to pay the creditor the funds owed to the creditor.
The reasons for dismissing the application included:
- there was no material before the court to justify, even on a prima facie basis, the applicant’s claim
- such a result would be “unusual”
- the de facto husband made no undertaking as to damages, a normal requirement when injunctive relief is sought
- the prejudice to the secured creditor, which was a small company, for which the amount owed was not insignificant
- the debt was secured by a Supreme Court judgment; and
- the claim did not sit in the s 90SM considerations in the same way as unsecured creditors. This was a reference to s 90SF(3)(i) which is the equivalent of s 75(2)(ha).
This case demonstrates the prejudice to a non-debtor or non-bankrupt spouse of delay. The pre-2005 position of “getting in first” is still important as between a creditor and a non-debtor spouse. If the creditor did not have judgment the non-debtor spouse may have been better off.
In the later case of Gazi & Strobel  FedCFamC1F 166, the trustee in bankruptcy sought a costs order against the husband on the basis that the husband was wholly or substantially unsuccessful in his application to claim all of the net proceeds of sale. The issue was whether, having regard to the factors listed in s 117(2)(a) FLA, the circumstances justified the court exercising its discretion to make a costs order. The court considered that the husband’s claimed impecuniosity was not a bar to a costs order and in any event there was no evidence to support it. The court was satisfied that the application was substantially unsuccessful although there was a dispute over the amount of interest owed by the bankrupt on the debt. The husband was ordered to pay the trustee’s costs of and incidental to the interim application on a party/party basis.
In Wynter & Colling  FedCFamC2F 212 the parties had a 25 year marriage. The husband owned and operated B company. Final property orders were made by consent on 4 December 2015. The husband defaulted in his obligations and the wife received $105,355.16 less than she should have received. In 2017 the wife initiated enforcement proceedings in relation to the debt. In his response the husband disclosed that he no longer owned or operated B company and had sold his interest to C Pty Ltd. On 5 December 2017, two years after the final property settlement order was made, he became bankrupt. The wife suspected that the C Pty Ltd involvement was a ruse. Three years later, on 10 December 2020 the husband was discharged from bankruptcy, having made no payments to the wife in the meantime, and he resumed control of B company.
In August 2021 the wife filed an amended initiating application seeking a variation of the final consent orders pursuant to s 79A FLA. The husband contended that the bankruptcy had released him from the debt and the enforcement proceedings should fail. The judge granted the wife leave, if it were necessary for her to have leave, to bring the proceedings pursuant to s 58(3)(b) BA. That section prevents a creditor, after a debtor has become bankrupt, from commencing any legal proceedings in respect of a provable debt or making any fresh step in such a proceeding except with the leave of the court.
The court found that the original order could be set aside under s 79A(1)(b) on the ground that it was impracticable, or s 79A(1)(c) on the ground that the bankrupt had defaulted in his obligations.
The judge proceeded with a factual analysis of the husband’s financial dealings and lack of disclosure. He found that C Pty Ltd was set up to enable the husband to evade his financial responsibilities to the wife and to the ATO.
To the extent that the BA and s 79A FLA were inconsistent, the court held that s 79A FLA ought to prevail on the facts. The court considered Re McMaster; ex parte McMaster  FCA 598; (1991) 105 ALR 156 in which leave pursuant to s 58(3)(b) BA to enable the wife to commence proceedings under s 79A FLA was refused by the Federal Court. McMaster was heard before the introduction of superannuation splitting to the FLA in December 2002. The wife sought to vary the property settlement order so that a payment to her was made by the bankrupt once he was entitled to his superannuation. Although not discussed by the FCFCOA in Wynter, McMaster might be decided differently today because of the introduction of superannuation splitting. The Federal Court in McMaster was reluctant to give the wife priority over other creditors and was also concerned that the wife and her legal representatives were on notice that the making of the property settlement orders would leave the husband insolvent. She chose not to seek the order at trial which she later sought. The court in McMaster noted that one of the purposes of the BA was to extinguish the debts of bankrupts, including debts arising from unpaid moneys pursuant to a FLA order.
The court in Wynter accepted that there was a clear and obvious public purpose and benefit in releasing a bankrupt from their unsecured debts and instead providing for creditors to prove against the bankrupt estate and share pro rata in whatever moneys can be realised.
However, the court was persuaded by the factual findings which demonstrated the husband’s bad faith towards his financial obligations to the wife pursuant to the consent order and varied the order as sought by the wife. An order was made that the husband pay to the wife the $105,355.16 she had not received.
Substitution of one party for the other in relation to a debt
Since the commencement of Part VIIIAA FLA in December 2003, a court exercising jurisdiction under that Act has been able to apply to substitute one party for the other in relation to a debt. Such an order was sought in Waller & Niklasson  FedCFamC2F 248. The wife sought that she be substituted for the husband with respect to a guarantee to company G for a $81,000 loan on a truck which the husband had taken. The husband and the truck could not be located.
The parties commenced cohabitation in 2010 and separated in 2020 with two children. The husband became bankrupt on his own petition on 27 March 2021.
Contributions were assessed as equal. The wife had the sole care and responsibility of two young children, limited earning capacity and had good health. The wife said the husband had mental health issues and suffered from drug dependency, but there was no evidence to show this affected his capacity to work. Pursuant to s 75(2), a 25% adjustment was made in the wife’s favour thus entitling the wife to 75% of the property.
Although the court had power to make a substitution order under s 90AE(1)(b) FLA this was qualified by s 90AE(3) and (4).
Relevantly s 90AE(3)(b) provides that the court can only make an order under s 90AE(1) or (2) if the order concerns a debt of a party to a marriage, and it is not foreseeable at the time that to make an order would result in the debt not being paid in full.
The court held that it did not have the power to make the type of order sought and reference was made to The Commissioner of Taxation v Tomaras  HCA 62; (2018) FLC 93-874 which had similar facts. The fact that the debt in Tomaras was a taxation debt was of particular importance. At  Judge Burchardt quoted Gordon J at [71-72] from Tomaras:
“The range of available orders was intended to be broad and included substitution of the party liable for a debt adjusting the proportion of a debt that each party is liable for or ordering the transfer of shares between the parties to a marriage. However, the circumstances in which the orders may be made against the third party are confined.”
Importantly, Justice Gordon went on to say (at ):
“The fact that the husband in this appeal was bankrupt is reason enough not to make the orders sought by the wife.”
There was a considerable risk in both Tomaras and Waller that the debt would not be paid in full if the debt was transferred to the husband. In Waller the risk was due to:
- the husband was bankrupt
- the asset, ie. the truck, was in the husband’s possession and he could not be found
- it was highly probable the debt may not be fully repaid by the sale of the truck because there was no knowledge of the truck’s condition
- it was “all too obvious that it is readily foreseeable that the removal of the guarantee will ensure the debt is not repaid in full”.
The judge had sympathy for the wife and had the impression that the wife was coerced into signing the guarantee, however the separation occurred after that. The judge reiterated the manifestly overarching unfairness of the wife being saddled with the debt due to the theft and malevolence of the husband, but he was unable to make such an order as it was (all too likely) that the debt would not be paid in full.
Liability for tax debts
Assuming the debtor spouse is not bankrupt, frequently the ”innocent” spouse is held liable for some of the tax debt as that spouse benefited from the non-payment through lifestyle or the accumulation of assets. However, if the debtor spouse incurred the tax debt by being fraudulent or secretive, the ”innocent” spouse may be held liable for 50% of the principal debt but for none of the interest and penalties. e.g. Johnson & Johnson  FamCA 3969.
There is a history of the Family Court (now Division 1 of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia) being concerned to ensure that revenue authorities, such as the Australian Taxation Office and State Revenue Offices, are paid (eg. Chemaisse & Chemaisse (1988) FLC 91-915). Priority has been given to tax debts over the interests of the non-bankrupt spouse and other unsecured creditors (Hannah & Hannah; Tozer & Tozer (1989) FLC 92-052).
Most practitioners discourage clients who are blatant tax-evaders from litigating due to the risk of a referral by the judge to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for investigation, thus potentially depleting the pool even further and delaying the litigation.
In Bertrand & Bertrand  FedCFamC1F 70 the issues were;
- whether the husband’s entire personal income tax liability should be included in the property pool; and
- whether the wife was liable, in full or in part, for the husband’s personal income tax liability.
The parties cohabitated for about 17 years.
There had been proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales involving the husband and the Deputy Commissioner for Taxation in relation to the quantum of the husband’s personal income tax debt. These proceedings were resolved by way of compromise. A Notice of Discontinuance was filed in those proceedings on the basis that the husband agreed to a figure of $1,672,629 and that the agreed liability and the general interest charge (GIC) were to be paid in full within seven days of the determination of the property settlement proceedings.
The Deputy Commissioner of Taxation was granted leave to intervene in the FLA proceedings pursuant to s 79(10) FLA in Commissioner of Taxation & Bertrand & Anor  FamCA 263 as the ATO was a substantial creditor.
In the 2021 case, the court found that the tax debt accrued pre-separation was $949,554.95. The debt accrued post-separation was $723,074.12 giving a total of $1,672,629. The husband wanted the full liability to be treated as a priority disbursement from the property pool.
The Commissioner argued that as the debt was incurred over a significant period of time, the wife had benefited significantly. For example, the husband paid school fees and other costs and expenses. There was a question as to whether or not the wife had knowledge of, or understood the husband’s financial circumstances which gave rise to the tax debt. She was held to have had no more than a basic knowledge and understanding of the husband’s tax liability. She was not on notice of the Supreme Court proceedings and the proposed compromise, and therefore was not bound by the compromise.
Section 75(2)(ha) requires the court when making a property settlement order to consider:
“the effect of any proposed order on the ability of a creditor of a party to recover the creditor’s debt, so far as that effect is relevant.”
The court referred to s 75(2)(ha) and decisions of the Full Court of the Family Court which had considered that section: Commissioner of Taxation & Worsnop  FamCAFC 4; (2009) FLC 93-392 and Trustee of the property of Lemnos (a bankrupt) & Lemnos & Anor  FamCAFC 20; (2009) FLC 93-394. The court said (at ):
- That it was required “to give close consideration to the interests of third parties” but it could not give them priority nor could it “be clouded by considerations of potential hardship caused to the wife and/or the children”; and
- The exercise required is one of balancing the competing interests, informed but not necessarily determined by a consideration of the conduct of the parties.
It was held that on the balance of probabilities the husband had complete control over his income and the manner in which tax was paid and not paid. The court referred to the principles set out in Prince & Prince  FamCA 7; (1984) FLC 91-501 that the court can make an allowance for a particular liability where appropriate. It can take the view that because of the circumstances surrounding how the liability was incurred, justice and equity may apply so as to wholly or partly disregard the liability when determining the property to be divided between the parties.
It was held that as at the date of separation the family had gained the benefit of the outstanding taxation liability. At all times, the husband could have sold shares which would have paid out the debt but he chose not to disclose his financial circumstances and arrangements with the Deputy Commissioner and it was therefore unreasonable for the wife to bear the responsibility for his financial conduct. However, given the substantial benefit the wife had received, the court held that the total pre-separation debt was a liability of both parties.
The net pool after deducting the pre-separation tax liability was approximately $3 million. Contributions were contentious but both pre-separation and post-separation contributions were held to be equal.
With respect to future needs, regard was given to the order allowing the wife’s relocation to Melbourne with the children and her new partner. If they were staying in Sydney the wife would have had greater needs. However, the relocation meant that there were greater costs for the husband to spend time with the children, as well as the husband being solely liable for the post-separation tax debt.
The judge did not ignore s 75(2)(ha) and noted that the orders were predicated on there being sufficient property available to the husband to substantially pay the outstanding tax liability. An adjustment in favour of the wife under s 75(2) was made of 7.5%. The wife was held to be entitled to $1,710,033 and accordingly had to pay the husband the sum of $1,076.916 to give him his 42.5% share. The orders required her to pay $949,554.95 of this sum to the Australian Taxation Office, being the pre-separation taxation liability, and the balance to the husband.
Can a trustee publish FLA proceedings?
Section 121(1) FLA makes it an offence to publish an account of part or all of proceedings under the FLA which identifies a party, a person associated with a party or a witness in the proceedings. The prohibition refers to publication “by any means” to the public or a section of the public. Some of the limited exceptions were considered in Jess & Jess  FedCFamC1F 24. The husband became bankrupt and subsequently died. The litigation continued between the trustees and the bankrupt estate, the son of the parties and many corporate entities, as well as the wife. The bankruptcy trustees entered into a litigation funding agreement which was subject to a condition requiring court approval pursuant to the BA.
The trustees applied to the FCFCOA pursuant to s 121(9)(g) FLA for leave to disclose information relating to the proceedings to:
- the Federal Court of Australia; and
- the creditors of the bankrupt estate.
The court found that it was inconsistent with the legislative intention of s 121 FLA if the Federal Court was found to be “the public or a section of the public” for the purposes of s 121(1) FLA, therefore leave was not required to disclose aspects of the proceedings to the Federal Court.
In relation to the dissemination of information to creditors, the trustees argued that respondents to family law litigation who want to be heard in the approval application are likely to need to discuss the family law litigation and it was not pragmatic to publish anonymised accounts of evidence. There were no parenting issues involved, which distinguished the facts from earlier authorities and although not expressly stated by the court, this meant the risks, if dissemination occurred, were lessened.
The application was considered by the court to be novel because it was brought by the trustees in bankruptcy rather than by one of the parties. There was a tension between permitting trustees to better perform their duties under the BA while also giving effect to the intentions underpinning the prohibition of disseminating information under the FLA. The trustees had gone to considerable lengths to devise a mechanism to prevent further dissemination and if the application was refused the trustees could not continue their ongoing administration of the bankruptcy. The application to disseminate certain specified information pursuant to s 121(9)(g) FLA to the creditors was granted.
© Copyright 2023 – Jacqueline Campbell of Forte Family Lawyers and Wolters Kluwer/CCH. This paper uses some material written for publication in Wolters Kluwer/CCH Australian Family Law and Practice. The material is used with the kind permission of Wolters Kluwer/CCH.