News

Everyone's a Winner!!

In a case decided by the Family Court about 18 months ago, the Family Court was asked to rule on whether a large x-lotto win of $6 million by the wife, 6 months after the parties had separated, but before any final settlement had been agreed should be available to be divided between the parties. The Court stated that the answer to this question will normally depend on the circumstances of the relationship when the ticket was purchased.

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Treatment of Military Super

Hi marriage broke down and assets were divided with his ex-wife.  Mr Campbell said he then realised his invalidity pension was included in his superannuation, and would also be split with his ex-wife.

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Over Capitalisation & Wastage in Family Court Matters

There are examples that come before the Family Court each year where financial contributions towards the improvement of real estate are not given full credit if those contributions result in over capitalisation.  For example, in some cases significant financial contributions by one party such as the installation of an in-ground swimming pool which have added no value to the real property have been given limited credit by the Court when assessing each of the spouse’s overall contributions.

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Litigation Update

A minor civil claim is a small claim that is commenced by a person or company in the Magistrates Court of South Australia involving a dispute worth $25,000 or less. These claims often involve debt recovery claims, and minor neighbourhood and fencing disputes. Despite the fact that in most court proceedings a successful party would generally be entitled to recover a portion of their legal costs from the unsuccessful party, in this jurisdiction that right is significantly limited.

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Newsletter July 2016

The Fences Act - A client of ours who owned two sheep stations in the mid-north of South Australia once said “Good fences make good neighbours”.

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When two worlds collide

In matters where one spouse is a bankrupt and the other is not and they separate, family law and bankruptcy law intersect or collide.  What then forms is a competition between the non-bankrupt spouse and the unsecured creditors of the bankrupt spouse.  Judges are called upon to balance the interests of spouses and creditors.  In this context, a principle known as the “roller coaster principle” is often espoused.  In essence, it is that often spouses are not innocent victims of their partner’s dealings, that they have enjoyed the pre-insolvency prosperity and lifestyle and therefore should be prepared to share the downside of such ventures.

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To record or not record...?

In the recent Family Court case of Huffman & Gorman (No. 2) [2014] FamCA 1077, a father had secretly recorded conversations with the mother of his children due to concerns he held for their safety in her care. Judge Hannam stated that "unlawfulness does not of itself, make the evidence inadmissible..... the court is required to balance the seriousness of the husband's conduct in secretly recording the conversations against the potential for harm to children if the evidence is not admitted."

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Newsletter June 2016

South Australian Attorney-General tables a Bill to reduce the jurisdictional limit for Minor Civil Claims from $25,000 to $12,000  A minor civil claim is a small claim that is commenced by a person or company in the Magistrates Court of South Australia involving a dispute worth $25,000 or less.

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Massive debts following marriage separation

In a recent case decided in the Family Court of Australia, a spouse was found to be solely responsible for debts she incurred of more than $1,246,000.00 in the 10 years following separation and before a final matrimonial property settlement had been determined.

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International Custody

With international custody arrangements being topical world wide in recent weeks the reality is in this day and age these issues are at the forefront of usually contentious and acrimonious litigation in the Family Court of Australia.

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Newletter May 2016

New smoke-free outdoor dining laws from 1 July 2016  From 1 July 2016, smoking is banned in outdoor dining areas in South Australia under the Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997.  Under the regulations, an “outdoor dining area” means any unenclosed public area in which tables, or tables and chairs, are...

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A Matter of Trust - Parents Assisting their Children

It is common for parents to provide financial assistance to a child in the form of  cash which is then put towards the purchase price of their child’s first home. This can happen before their child marries or enters a de facto relationship  or during their child’s marriage or relationship.

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