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    FamilyProperty: Optimising the FCFCOA

    By Ben Woodward on 28/01/22 12:27 PM

    FamilyProperty is an online platform currently being trialled in the Sydney Registry of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCOA). FamilyProperty aims to optimise the handling of property matters to increase settlements and decrease the time taken to reach them.

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    How to Enjoy the Christmas Period in a Separated Family

    By Ben Woodward on 26/11/21 10:45 AM

    As the holiday season arrives, many families will be working out how to navigate Christmas as a
    separated family for the first time. Here are some tips that we think will help you make this big

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    The difference between employees & contractors

    By Megan McGrath on 26/11/21 9:34 AM

    If you own a business that hires workers, and especially if you use contractors, it is important that you understand the difference between an employment relationship or a contract for services. It is important to know that even if there is a written contract stating the worker is either an employee or contractor this does not define the relationship. Instead, it is determined by examining a range of characteristics of the working relationship.

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    #freebritney - does Australia have conservatorships?

    By Megan McGrath on 26/11/21 9:16 AM

    Britney Spears has been under a conservatorship since 2008 following a very public breakdown. Since then, her father has been in control of her finances, health, personal life, and business deals. After Britney took legal action in 2021 and a worldwide movement to #freebritney gained momentum, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Brenda Penny granted Britney’s request to immediately suspend her father as the conservator of her estate.

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    The Perks of Technology - How Electronic Hearings Work

    By Breeann Lalao on 29/10/21 11:44 AM

    The court will notify you if your matter is listed for a remote hearing, especially during these covid times. The Federal Circuit Court and Family Court of Australia can conduct hearings in-person at their own registry locations and on regional circuits but also can provide electronic video links and telephone hearings. Don’t be mistaken as electronic hearings are still a proper and formal court hearing. The usual rules of court, court procedures, courtesies and formalities in the courtroom still apply and compliance is still expected.

    Topics: Court technology
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    The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia – The First Month

    By Ben Woodward on 24/09/21 11:07 AM

    It’s now been one month since the merger of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia into the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCoA). Since we last wrote in March regarding the merger, the new rules governing the operation of the Court have been published, the Court has begun operation, and our lawyers have become familiar with the new processes. But has much actually changed?

    Topics: Family Law Court
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    A new way to obtain superannuation disclosure from your partner

    By Ben Woodward on 24/09/21 10:54 AM

    Accurate disclosure of financial assets is an essential part of a just and equitable property division. When one side attempts to hide their assets, parties normally must engage in an expensive and time-consuming process to search for the hidden assets if they wish to arrive at a just outcome.

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    Social media traps in Family Law

    By Ben Woodward on 24/09/21 10:48 AM

    In the stress of a Family Law dispute, parents often turn to social media to vent their frustrations about the other parent, express their annoyance about the process, or potentially show the ways they are dealing with the stress. Even though many parents consider social media a solution to their stress, online posts can negatively affect their case in several ways.

    Topics: Family Law
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    Binding Death Benefit Nomination

    By Breeann Lalao on 24/09/21 10:36 AM

    Many people don’t realise that superannuation benefits are not an estate asset and do not automatically flow to the estate of the deceased. Despite a Will being legally binding and providing what a person may receive from an estate, superannuation benefits do not apply. A Binding Death Benefit Nomination is a written direction to the Trustee of your superannuation fund which ultimately states beneficiaries who you want to receive your superannuation benefit in the event of your death.

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    The father’s obligation to pay child support

    By Ben Woodward on 26/08/21 10:55 AM

    Both parents have a duty to financially maintain their children. It is not a surprise that this misconception exists, particularly when fathers are often depicted in sitcoms and movies as being liable for “alimony”.

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    International Marriages

    By Ben Woodward on 26/08/21 10:49 AM

    Getting married under the palm trees of Fiji, amongst the hills of Tuscany or along the beaches of Sri Lanka can seem like a really romantic option for a destination wedding but getting married internationally can present some unwanted difficulties upon your return to Australia. If your wedding occurred outside Australia or you intend to get married internationally, there are some specific requirements that you need to make sure you satisfy so that your marriage will be recognised in Australia.

    Topics: Family Law
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    Intestate Estates

    By Breeann Lalao on 26/08/21 10:24 AM

    Dying without a Will is known as dying intestate, and this is not an ideal situation but is far more common than you think. According to the rules of intestacy, your assets will be distributed to those next of kin. This may also involve surviving relatives who you may not necessarily wish to inherit your assets. The administration of an intestate estate requires a person to take responsibility to see it through as there has been no executor of the will appointed by the deceased.

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    Do I need an Enduring Guardian and an Enduring Power of Attorney?

    By Megan McGrath on 26/08/21 10:02 AM

    The simple answer is yes. It is important to have both legal documents in place as they serve very different purposes.

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    Amending Contracts: the How and Why

    By Breeann Lalao on 22/07/21 9:31 AM

    When parties have a contract in place, there may be circumstances where the parties wish to amend the contract where appropriate as it may no longer reflect the agreed positions of the parties to the agreement. This includes changes to the original contract’s terms, clauses, sections or definitions.

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    What is a Software as a Service agreement?

    By Megan McGrath on 21/07/21 10:34 AM

    It is increasingly common for businesses to utilise a Software as a Service (SaaS) model for their products and rely on cloud-based software in their operations. While the benefits of SaaS are widely acknowledged (reduced cost, scalability, integration and maintenance to name a few) there can also be complications in detailing the rights and responsibilities of customers and service providers. It is therefore very important that SaaS providers have a SaaS agreement in place.

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    What if we disagree about the value of the house?

    By Ben Woodward on 21/07/21 10:25 AM

    For a Court to make a just and equitable decision about how a property pool is to be divided, it must first know what there is to be divided, which is often referred to as the “net asset pool”. To work out the net asset pool, parties must either agree on values of each asset and liability in the pool or, if an agreement cannot be reached, must prove to the Court that their asserted value is accurate.

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    Cyber Abuse

    By Ben Woodward on 21/07/21 10:06 AM

    Technology facilitated abuse, or ‘cyber-abuse’, has become a serious issue in the computer age. The stress of separation can sometimes cause a spouse to express their frustration over social media. But where is the line between venting and cyber-abuse? How do you go about protecting yourself from a cyber abuser?

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    What do I need before initiating parenting proceedings?

    By Ben Woodward on 29/06/21 4:49 PM

    Before applying to the Court for consideration of parenting proceedings there are a number of different steps parties must follow before the Court will consider their matter.

    Topics: Family Law
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    Family Law and Tax Exemptions

    By Ben Woodward on 29/06/21 4:41 PM

    When property is transferred as a result of Orders made by the Family Court, Capital Gains Tax (CGT) can be deferred until the property is ultimately disposed of. This means that CGT usually doesn’t apply to any property transferred in a family law matter.

    Topics: Family Law
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    Wedding and Engagement Rings in Family Law

    By Ben Woodward on 29/06/21 4:32 PM

    Wedding and engagement rings can sometimes form the basis for an expensive and contentious issue in separation matters. Parties often wonder whether the rings are given some special status due to their symbolic value in the marriage or engagement.

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    Employee Policies

    By Megan McGrath on 29/06/21 4:24 PM

    What are employee policies?

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    What Should I Do as the New Financial Year Begins?

    By Breeann Lalao on 21/05/21 12:35 PM

    It is time to get on top of your business financials as the new financial year begins so you can implement your business goals for the upcoming year. To ensure your business is healthy: actively review your business’ financials (including your cash flow). It may also be beneficial to see a financial planner to get a holistic view of finances, tips and advice to help set your financial goals and develop strategies to reach them.

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    What Do I Need to Do Before the Financial Year Ends?

    By Breeann Lalao on 21/05/21 12:25 PM

    If you’re a business owner, you must ensure that you complete and lodge your income tax returns whilst meeting the superannuation requirements. With small businesses, it is essential that you check what record keeping and other tasks need to be completed. For instance, profit and loss statements to show a summary of income and expenses, conducting a stocktake, summary of your record of debtors and creditors, etc.

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    Who Keeps the Family Pet?

    By Ben Woodward on 21/05/21 12:07 PM

    In some separations, a beloved family pet may be ascribed more value by the parties than many of the other material assets. Despite this, the Family Law Act doesn’t specifically deal with pets. Instead, they are generally considered under the general category of property and so will be allocated under a property settlement in any way the Court sees fit in the event if there is no agreement between the parties.

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    Does Moving Out Mean My Ex Will Keep the House?

    By Ben Woodward on 21/05/21 11:59 AM

    Divorce and separation are already difficult periods of life, so having to worry about how you can best protect your assets is just another stress-inducing matter to think about. A common misconception is that the partner who stays in the house after separation has a better chance of keeping it when it comes time for a property division. This can lead to a ‘stand-off’, increasing conflict and making the situation more stressful for everyone involved.

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    What is a Company Constitution?

    By Megan McGrath on 21/05/21 10:26 AM

    A company constitution is a contract between the company and the members, directors and company secretary which governs how a company operates. It will generally cover the following:

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    5 common misconceptions about divorce, separation and property

    By Ben Woodward on 30/04/21 3:07 PM

    Divorce and separation in Australian family law are two areas that are riddled with misunderstanding. Whether your knowledge of separation and divorce comes from American television, that friend you have who recently got divorced or your own experience, these 5 misconceptions will help to clear up any grey areas you might have around the topic.

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    BFAs v Consent Orders

    By Ben Woodward on 30/04/21 2:54 PM

    Binding Financial Agreements (BFAs) and Property Consent Orders are two options in Australian Family Law for couples that wish to divide their property pool on a final basis in a relatively amicable way and to document their agreement. Both options are less stressful, more efficient and cheaper than going to court. Property Consent Orders are made by a court upon application by both parties who have reached an agreement as to how the matrimonial/relationship property should be divided after separation. On the other hand, BFAs function like a private contract between the parties that can be made before the relationship commences, during the relationship, or after the relationship has ended. They do not require an application by the parties to the Court or the Court’s approval. There are advantages to both options which we outline below.

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    Family Trusts and Property Settlements

    By Breeann Lalao on 26/04/21 11:30 AM

    A family trust is usually set up by families who want their assets safeguarded and can provide tax benefits, protection from individual liability, inheritance and investment purposes. The trust deed is the legal agreement that will govern the trust’s operation, binding terms and conditions and role of the parties involved. A trustee manages the fund and has the power to decide which beneficiary/s receives the trust’s net income and capital gain and a settlor acts as a third party that hands over assets to the trustee on behalf of the beneficiary.

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    The Laws of Two-Up on ANZAC Day

    By Ashok Yogachandra on 22/04/21 10:00 AM

    “Come in spinner” is the beloved phrase heard while playing two-up.

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    Do I Need A Shareholders Agreement?

    By Megan McGrath on 22/04/21 9:55 AM

    A shareholders agreement is a binding contract between the shareholders of a company which outlines their key rights and obligations. While it is not a requirement, it is a good idea to set one up at the beginning of a new business venture wherever there are two or more shareholders. Having a shareholders agreement will allow for the smooth function of your business by preventing disputes.

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    Disclosure and Asset Tracing: The What and Why

    By Ben Woodward on 31/03/21 11:08 AM

    The duty of disclosure is a duty that applies to both parties in a separation. It is the duty to fully disclose all financial assets, liabilities and circumstances to your ex-partner and the court so that a fair settlement can be reached.

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    Property Settlements in the PPP500 – Court Done Quick

    By Ben Woodward on 31/03/21 10:58 AM

    A common criticism of the Australian Family Courts is that they are too expensive. Running a family law matter all the way to a final hearing can cost more than $100,000 per party, an expense that many separating families can simply not afford. The lack of access to the court system resulting from the significant financial costs means that vulnerable parties are forced to accept a less-than-ideal settlement.

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    The impact of infidelity in Family Law Matters in Australia

    By Jeremy Ball on 31/03/21 10:03 AM

    You may have heard of the following scenario:

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    The Lighthouse Project

    By Megan McGrath on 25/03/21 12:02 PM

    The Lighthouse Project is an initiative taken by the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court which aims to improve outcomes for families involved in the family law system. The Lighthouse Project is currently being piloted in the Federal Circuit Court registries in Adelaide, Brisbane and Parramatta.

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    Children in the Family Court - Do Their Views Matter?

    By Breeann Lalao on 25/03/21 11:49 AM

    Separation is not only a difficult time for the parties involved, but the children as well. Australian family law expresses children’s right to enjoy a meaningful relationship with both parents, including their protection from any form of harm.

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    Jurisdictional Issues and the Common Law

    By Megan McGrath on 25/03/21 11:34 AM

    It is increasingly common for people and companies to enter into agreements that cross borders. If you or your business are in this situation, you might be interested in understanding how an overseas judgment made in your favour may be enforced in Australia.

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    Jurisdictional Issues and the Foreign Judgments Act

    By Megan McGrath on 19/03/21 11:12 AM

    It is easy for Australian companies to enter into agreements with overseas entities, however, if things go awry and the parties end up in dispute then things can get complicated. It can be helpful to understand how to enforce a foreign judgment if your business operations cross international borders. One way this can be achieved is by registering and enforcing a judgment under the Foreign Judgments Act 1991 (Cth) (“FJA”).

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    Merging the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court – what changes?

    By Ben Woodward on 1/03/21 2:06 PM

    In 2019, the Federal Government proposed the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2019 which aimed to collapse the specialist Family Court of Australia into the generalist Federal Circuit Court. Then on 17 February 2021 the Senate gave the final approval to the Bill, passing with only a narrow margin of 30 for and 28 against. We’ll have a look at some of the prominent opinions regarding the Bill as well as offering our own take.

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    What do I need to do to start a business?

    By Breeann Lalao on 26/02/21 12:07 PM

    Prepare, plan and research. As an aspiring entrepreneur, it is essential a business plan is developed that outlines your business’s vision, goals, product or service, market research and strategies that will ultimately help you achieve your business goals. The plan demonstrates a clear overview of what you wish to achieve and will enable you to keep track of your progress. It’s important to decide on a business structure and choosing a name that is not only available, but unique. Location of the business is also significant, taking into consideration needs such as storage, equipment and proximity to your target market. Creating a business website would also be beneficial in increasing social awareness and access to consumers. Starting a business would require a lot of research, analysis and marketing to allow it to grow and become successful.

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    A Guide to Business Structures

    By Megan McGrath on 26/02/21 9:03 AM

    An important decision when starting a business is deciding on a business structure. There are several different business structures you can choose, and each will impact key areas such as the tax you pay, asset protection and the cost of set up. The four most common business structures in Australia are sole traders, companies, partnerships and trusts.

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    What can I do if COVID-19 made my company insolvent?

    By Ben Woodward on 27/01/21 2:52 PM

    2020 was a hard year for many companies as COVID-19 forced them to drastically adapt the way that they conducted business or suspend operations completely. Many companies have been so affected by the pandemic that they have become insolvent – they are no longer able to keep up with the debts they need to pay. If your company was one of the unlucky majority who have been struggling to survive the pandemic, there are still several options to get your company back to trading at full capacity.

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    3 Signs Your Company Might Be Headed to Insolvency

    By Ben Woodward on 25/01/21 3:07 PM

    A company is considered insolvent when it is unable to pay its debts as and when they fall due and payable. Insolvency generally signals the end of a company’s life. By the point of insolvency, it is often too late, but if you keep a close eye on some early warning signs you might be able to prevent your company from going under.

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    What must I do as a company director?

    By Ben Woodward on 17/12/20 10:35 AM

    The previous blog post talked about the powers directors hold to affect the company and in the words of Benjamin Parker in Spiderman, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Although directors have extensive powers, these powers are so that directors can adequately fulfill the host of duties and responsibilities required of them as directors. Failing to satisfy these duties can lead to significant personal liabilities and so it is important to be fully aware of what you as a company director are required to do and not do.

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    What can I do as a company director?

    By Ben Woodward on 16/12/20 2:35 PM

     Company directors need to comply with several strict duties in relation to the companies they direct. To help directors perform these duties, they are given a number of powers and rights that enable them to competently (and ideally, profitably) direct their company. Three of the key powers/rights are discussed below.

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    What is the "Discrete Property List"?

    By Ben Woodward on 7/12/20 3:57 PM

     The ‘Discrete Property List’ (‘DPL’) is a process introduced by the Federal Circuit Court designed to make family financial matters quicker and easier. The DPL aims to make family financial cases as efficient and cost-effective as possible. But how does it do this?

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    How technology is changing how we buy property

    By Ben Woodward on 23/11/20 8:56 AM

    Technology is rapidly developing and quickly influencing the way many processes and practices work in our society. Included in these is the property and real-estate sector. The growing coverage of the internet and the ever-increasing utility of computers and mobile phones has meant that nearly every step in the home-buying process has changed in some way because of technology.

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    3 Signs you need help with your business

    By Ben Woodward on 20/11/20 12:46 PM

    1. You’re Struggling to Pay Your Debts

    The first sign of a struggling business is a difficulty in paying debts, whether already due or nearly due. If you often find your business doesn’t have enough available capital to pay creditors on time, it may be worth seeking some professional guidance. Ongoing inability to pay debts can lead to insolvency, so it’s worth getting help as soon as possible.

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    How do small business loans work?

    By Tom Dearden on 6/11/20 4:37 PM

    Running a small business is hard work in the best of times, and even more so when there is a global pandemic. To keep your head above water in the current economic climate you might consider taking out a loan to assist your business. But how do they work and how are they different to a personal loan?

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    The Power of a Power of Attorney

    By Kaitlyn Sheridan on 4/11/20 4:41 PM

    A Power of Attorney document is prepared by a person (the Principal) who appoints another person (the Attorney) to deal with their financial affairs if they are no longer able to themselves.

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    Can COVID be an exceptional circumstance in Family Law?

    By Tom Dearden on 26/10/20 11:47 AM

    We have written previously about Binding Child Support (“BCS”) Agreements. As the name suggests, once parties enter into a BCS Agreement, it is binding on them for the length of the agreement.

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    Can I be a company director if I am bankrupt?

    By Tom Dearden on 26/10/20 11:26 AM

    If you cannot afford to pay your debts, the law provides two options in order to get back in control of your finances:

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    Why we love Alternate Dispute Resolution

    By Ben Woodward on 26/10/20 11:06 AM

    In general, people see the court process as confusing, lengthy, expensive and burdensome and often these perceptions are all true. Alternate dispute resolution (‘ADR’) consists of a variety of alternative measures that can be used to try and solve your legal problems before having to begin a formal court case. ADR has the potential to make your legal conflict cheaper, more flexible and often a resolution can be reached quicker.

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    Why you should spend more time thinking about company dividends

    By Ben Woodward on 26/10/20 10:41 AM

    Dividends are payments made by a company to its shareholders out of its profits. They are the ‘return on investment’ for many shareholders. The value and frequency of dividends can have a significant impact on the ongoing success of your business. When done well, dividends can be the difference between the success and failure of your business.

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    What not to do when buying property

    By Ben Woodward on 23/09/20 3:24 PM

    Buying property is an exciting, but also really complicated process. Whether you’re a first home buyer or experienced property investor and dealer, there are a lot of things you should avoid doing so that you don’t get caught out by the complexities of the process. We’ve made a quick list of things to avoid when purchasing property.

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    The cost of going to court

    By Tom Dearden on 2/09/20 5:19 PM

    Except for the most extreme circumstances, going to court should be considered a ‘last resort’ and only to be used when all other options have been exhausted.

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    What to do when your employee is underperforming

    By Tom Dearden on 2/09/20 5:04 PM

    Across the country, people are being encouraged to work from home as much as possible to stop the spread of COVID-19. While many employees are adapting well to their new work environments, other employees may have experienced a drop in productivity.

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    What time limits are there in Family Law?

    By Ben Woodward on 26/08/20 4:39 PM

    When dealing with an already difficult family breakdown, it’s important that you don’t take too long to begin any required legal proceedings. If you wait too long after a relationship breakdown, the court might refuse to hear your matter. This article will explain the relevant time limits you face when approaching the Family Court of Australia.

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    What do I need to know if I'm looking to buy a home?

    By Ben Woodward on 26/08/20 4:25 PM

    So, you’re looking to buy a home in NSW? It’s a big decision that can be time consuming and stressful. Not to mention that there are a lot of complicated legal processes involved. That’s why we’ve split the process into 3 main sections: the money part, the fun part and the legal part.

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    What To Do in August 2020

    By Micaela Corr on 3/08/20 2:55 PM

    As we head into another month of restrictions, it is important to be supporting our local businesses but also be responsible in how we spend our time. We have curated a list of a few socially-distanced activities for August. 

    Topics: What To Do
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    Just and Equitable: what does that mean?

    By Ben Woodward on 24/07/20 12:37 PM

    Aside from simply being legally correct, a property settlement should also be ‘just and equitable’, as required by Section 79 of the Family Law Act (Cth).

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    Which court do I use when suing someone?

    By Tom Dearden on 23/07/20 5:46 PM

    If you are having a contractual dispute with another party and have been unable to resolve the issue peacefully and informally, then you may consider suing that party by commencing proceedings against them in a court of law.

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    5 steps to use the PPSR during COVID-19

    By Tom Dearden on 23/07/20 5:26 PM

    Despite the uncertainty of COVID-19 many businesses have been able to continue to make ends meet. It is essential that business owners also continue to protect their business’ interests, by registering security interests on the Personal Property Securities Register (‘PPSR’).

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    How do I make sure I get child support?

    By Ben Woodward on 23/07/20 5:03 PM

    Child support is the regular financial contribution by a parent to the maintenance of a child under 18. Child support is supported by the principle that parents should, as much as possible, maintain shared parental responsibility for the child even after separation.

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    The Alarming Spread: The Impact of COVID-19 on Family Violence

    By Karla Elias on 6/07/20 11:36 AM

    The COVID-19 pandemic has instigated major change globally but perhaps the most pervasive transformation to everyday life has been the society-wide lockdowns, meaning more people are at home far more often than usual. Unfortunately, these stay-at-home measures have detrimentally impacted those in situations of family violence, with the perpetrator being home all day and the person experiencing family violence having their escape or any options to seek help severely diminished, if not extinguished entirely. This restriction of movement has already been shown to make violence in homes more frequent and more severe.

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    What To Do in July 2020

    By Micaela Corr on 29/06/20 1:46 PM

    School holidays are coming up this month, and not to assume, but it seems most people feel like they have spent enough time at home this year. Here are a few ideas of what to do to enjoy this month. 

    Topics: What To Do
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    Dodgy Directors No More!

    By James Frank on 29/06/20 12:30 PM

    On 22 June 2020 the Treasury Laws Amendment (Registries Modernisation and Other Measures) Bill 2019 received Royal Assent.

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    When should I review my Will?

    By Kaitlyn Sheridan on 15/06/20 4:18 PM

    When you prepared your Will, you might have been told to review it in 12 months or when your circumstances change. You may have thought that this seems unnecessary and questioned why this would be the case.

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    Elder Abuse Day: What is it?

    By Kaitlyn Elvery on 3/06/20 12:30 PM

    As our population ages it is becoming more and more important to protect the interests of older age groups not just physically, but financially and emotionally.

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    Security for Payment: Part Two

    By Katherine McCarthy on 2/06/20 3:25 PM

    In our last article we introduced the Security for Payment legislation through the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act (NSW) 1999 (“SOPA”) whereby creditors can enforce progress payments in accordance with their contract.

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    The Importance of Trusts: Celeste Barber's Bushfire Fundraiser Decision

    By Andrea Harrold on 2/06/20 2:44 PM

    When you donate funds you expect the money to go where promised. When you leave behind a legacy you expect is to be used as directed. Really, you want any money to be used for the benefit of those who you intended it to be used for.

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    What To Do in June 2020

    By Micaela Corr on 2/06/20 11:34 AM

    With restrictions starting to lift our lives are easing back into some sort of normalcy. It's important to use our newfound freedom to be supporting the businesses that need it the most. Here are a few ideas of how to spend your June!

    Topics: What To Do
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    What To Do At Home May 2020

    By Micaela Corr on 4/05/20 11:12 AM

    Many of us have now been self-isolating for two months, and you may be feeling a little over baking and puzzles. So, this month we have three suggestions of how to spend your days at home, getting educated, getting crafty and getting a personalised library! 

    Topics: What To Do
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    Domestic Violence: what an employer needs to know

    By Andrea Harrold on 29/04/20 4:18 PM

    May is Domestic and Family Violence Prevention Month in Australia, and as we consider the positions of corporations in light of domestic and family violence prevention we find ourselves considering the impact of the restrictions imposed due to COVID-19.

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    News: Introduction of National COVID-19 List for urgent matters

    By Karla Elias on 29/04/20 1:29 PM

    Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a marked increase in urgent Family Law cases as a direct result of the current climate, with the Courts reporting a 39% increase of cases in the Family Court of Australia and a 23% increase of cases in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia over a four week period in March and April 2020.

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    Undue Influence in Estate Planning

    By Kaitlyn Sheridan on 29/04/20 1:19 PM

    Preparing Estate Planning documents such as Wills, Powers of Attorney and Enduring Guardianship Instruments are essential to promote order and control and to ensure your wishes are carried out if you were to lose capacity and when you pass away.

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    What To Do At Home April 2020

    By Micaela Corr on 6/04/20 4:52 PM

    Self-isolation has become our new normal in the wake of COVID-19, and so this month we're offering some suggestions of what to do at home in April. 

    Topics: What To Do
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    Why you need to think about Advance Care Planning

    By Kaitlyn Sheridan on 6/04/20 3:02 PM

    As we now head into April 2020 in a new era of uncertainty and isolation in the midst of a health pandemic, now more than ever is advance care planning important.

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    Changes to the Courts in the wake of COVID-19

    By Andrea Harrold on 18/03/20 9:39 AM

    On the 17th March 2020 most Courts announced measures to combat COVID-19. Here are the media releases from the High Court, Federal Court and Family Court.

    This means that most Court events will be cancelled until 30th June 2020. This is a significant announcement with major consequences for what the legal system will look like for the next few months. If you are currently in the process of a court matter, it is important to be in communication with your lawyer to see what this announcement will mean for you.

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    Why is a divorce optional?

    By Kaitlyn Sheridan on 3/03/20 12:14 PM

    When a marriage breaks down, one of the first things a person thinks about is obtaining a divorce. Although it is the common word associated with the breakdown of a marriage, a divorce does not address the essential issues related to ending a relationship, as it does not settle the division of property or the care of any children of the marriage.

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    What To Do in March 2020

    By Micaela Corr on 2/03/20 5:06 PM

    Well, summer has come to an end. But! There are still plenty of great events happening in our area to keep a smile on your dial. 

    Topics: What To Do
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    Why women should be promoted

    By Andrea Harrold on 27/02/20 3:23 PM

    In 2019 34.9% of all businesses were owned by women, a figure which increases each year (Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019). However, while there have been significant improvements for women in the workplace there is still a long way to go, with women more likely to be underemployed than men, and mothers more likely to be unemployed than fathers (ABS, 2019).

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    Tips if you're renting to family members

    By Lisa Pizzonia on 25/02/20 1:21 PM

    You're looking for a place and know the tenants in your uncle's granny flat are moving out, and think perfect! Or maybe you've had no success in finding tenants for your investment property, and your brother says he's looking to live in the area. You may think that renting from a family member may seem easier than to rent through an agent, but that is not always the case.

    Topics: Property
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    How do I know if I am using the right employee contract?

    By Philip van den Heever on 14/02/20 12:33 PM

    An Employment Agreement is an agreement between an employer and an employee that sets out terms and conditions of employment. An Employment Agreement can only be amended or varied by agreement between the employee and the employer.

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    Safer Internet Day: 3 tips for your business

    By James Frank on 10/02/20 4:09 PM

    Tuesday 11th of February is Safer Internet Day. The purpose of Safer Internet Day is to continue to raise awareness about online safety by encouraging everyone to help create a safer and better internet.

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    What if my pet outlives me?

    By Kaitlyn Sheridan on 10/02/20 3:41 PM

    Pets can be an important part of people’s lives and an important member of your family. You may be thinking what would happen to your pets if you pass away before them. How can you make sure your pet is looked after when you pass away?

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    What power do grandparents have in Family Law?

    By Kaitlyn Sheridan on 10/02/20 3:07 PM

    Grandparents often play a fundamental role in a child’s life from being their mentor, their friend, or even their main caregiver. During a family separation, there is usually a change in dynamics that occurs within the child’s extended family. In some cases, grandparents may become concerned about their grandchild’s wellbeing or safety or could be prevented from seeing their grandchildren.

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    What To Do in February

    By Micaela Corr on 10/02/20 2:50 PM

    Have you sorted your plans for Valentine's Day? No? Don't worry! Have a look at what's coming up this month to find some inspiration. We'll even let you take the credit.

    Topics: What To Do
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    International Day of Disabled Persons: Workplace Rights

    By Philip van den Heever on 3/12/19 9:46 AM

    The 3rd December is International Day of Disabled Persons. In honour of this, we have looked at the obligations of an employer to ensure they uphold the rights of a person with disabilities in the workplace. 

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    What To Do in December

    By Micaela Corr on 26/11/19 3:18 PM

    December means warm nights, school holidays, and festive celebrations. We've collated a list of the great events happening in our area in December. 

    Topics: What To Do
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    How to modernise your home with Michael Hunnam

    By Guest on 19/11/19 3:29 PM

    Michael Hunnam is the Business Director of Kirribilli Homes, a renovation specialist building company servicing clients across the Hills District and North Shore. Together with Neil Walker, the two directors have generated "over 30 years of combined building experience to guide you through time-proven processes to a fulfilling renovation experience." 
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    How to move homes in the summer break

    By Lisa Pizzonia on 18/11/19 3:07 PM

    If you have the daunting task of moving house over the Christmas holidays, then here are some tips which could help you keep sane and still enjoy the festive season.

    Topics: Property
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    Your business has failed - now what?

    By Philip van den Heever on 30/10/19 9:30 AM

    It is estimated that while 80% of new start-ups exist for at least 12 months, more than half of them will fail in the subsequent 5 years. While the percentage of small businesses failing in the first 5 years is very high, it is comforting to know that most successful businessowners have one or more business failures to their names.

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    White Ribbon Day: a look into domestic violence

    By Andrea Harrold on 29/10/19 2:18 PM

    The 22nd of November 2019 is Australia’s White Ribbon Day. A day where Australia acknowledges the domestic violence and abuse that is perpetrated throughout our community and commits to change our community’s domestic violence prevalence.

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    Social media in the workplace: think twice before you post

    By Philip van den Heever on 25/10/19 3:47 PM

    Events in the past few months have drawn attention to the role of social media in our workplace. The Israel Folau case has again raised important questions such as: ‘to what extend can employees be disciplined and held accountable for comments made on social media sites?’ or ‘where is the line drawn between comments made in ‘personal time’ and comments made ‘in the workplace’?’ or  ‘when is something written under the disguise of ‘personal opinion’ or ‘freedom of speech’  in reality bullying and harassment, slander or defamation?’ 

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    5 things you need to know to move interstate with a separated family

    By Matthew Sibley on 23/10/19 2:53 PM

    It is not uncommon, after going through a separation, for a party to consider moving interstate. This could be for family reasons, to pursue new job opportunities, or to lower the cost of living by moving out of a metropolitan area.

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    What To Do in November

    By Micaela Corr on 23/10/19 12:06 PM

    Are you an art enthusiast, a meat head, or an eco-warrior? Read on to find out what events are happening in November that will be right up your alley! 

    Topics: What To Do
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    Parenting through a separation

    By Karla Elias on 12/10/19 11:15 AM

    Separation or divorce mean big changes to family life, especially when you have children from the relationship. The way children react to separation will usually depend on a number of different factors, including the family relationship before separation, the age and personalities of the children and the degree of conflict between the parents.

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    What To Do in October

    By Micaela Corr on 30/09/19 5:14 PM

    Our October events will take you from the mountains, to the Hills and out to the city. Read on to find out what events are coming up!

    Topics: What To Do
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    What happens if I don't make a Will?

    By Kaitlyn Elvery on 9/09/19 10:50 AM

    If you die without a Will you are said to have died ‘intestate.’ This means that instead of your assets being distributed in a way that you have chosen, there is a formula that determines how your assets are to be distributed and in what proportions. This can mean that your family heirlooms, family pets, savings and property may end up in the hands of family members contrary to your wishes.

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    Who has a claim on an Estate?

    By Andrew Frank on 2/09/19 4:33 PM

    The law tells us that to have a claim on an Estate you must:

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    What To Do in September

    By Micaela Corr on 2/09/19 3:47 PM

    September has some great events to check out. This month features some local events showcasing family owned businesses and home-grown heroes, to world famous events with a global reach. With lots to see and do, our list has your September weekends sorted!

    Topics: What To Do
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    How to Start Your Own Business with Gail Gadd

    By Guest on 28/08/19 9:16 AM

    This month we spoke to financial planner Gail Gadd about starting your own business. Gail established her own business in 2002, and with so many years of experience, she has a lot of insight to offer. Read Gail's interview for helpful tips on how to start your own business, and have it lead to success. 

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    Kouzina Greco Restaurant Review

    By Micaela Corr on 27/08/19 9:18 AM

    Kouzina Greco

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    When You Need to Think About Renovating

    By Lisa Pizzonia on 15/08/19 2:48 PM

    If you have just bought a rental property and you have not been able to find a tenant to rent your property out, you might be thinking to yourself have you done the right thing by investing all your hard earned money into this property. To get tenants into the door and inspecting your property, you might want to think about renovating your rental.

    Topics: Property
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    I'm an Executor of a Will - what do I do?

    By Kaitlyn Elvery on 5/08/19 3:05 PM

    Finding out that you are an Executor for the Estate of a loved one can be confusing. Not only are you and your family experiencing grief, but you have been given the responsibility of an Executor. So what does being an Executor entail?

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    What To Do in August

    By Micaela Corr on 5/08/19 2:09 PM

    If you're a lover of musicals, nature, Japanese culture, running, charities or 1970's music - we have you covered! Our list for August has options for every interest and encourages you to get out and about in our beautiful city of Sydney. 

    Topics: What To Do
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    Holy Basil Restaurant Review

    By Micaela Corr on 2/08/19 4:15 PM

    Holy Basil

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    The EOFY Reset with Dave Philips

    By Guest on 2/08/19 3:07 PM

    1. What led you to start the business?

    Small business is the economic engine room of Australia, but more importantly, these businesses reflect the dreams and aspirations of so many Australians who deserve better outcomes for their hard work, dedication, and the risks they take every day. With over 30 years’ experience in building small businesses, we understand the challenges faced by business owners on a daily basis.

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    What is the best way to solve a workplace dispute?

    By Philip van den Heever on 24/07/19 4:11 PM

    The term ‘workplace disputes’ is often associated with conflict between an employer and a group of employees (or unions), usually about pay rises, job security or some other work-related grievance. The reality however is that 90% of ‘workplace disputes’ involve individual employees (i.e. not unions) that have a grievance or problem with a manager or, more often, a co-employee. These types of conflicts are more prevalent in Australia than union or collective disputes.

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    MasterChef or MasterCrook?

    By Philip van den Heever on 24/07/19 3:31 PM

    George Calombaris, celebrity chef and famous judge on MasterChef Australia, through his Company, Made Establishment, has been found to have underpaid more than 500 staff to the tune of $7.8 million. Last week, under a court-enforceable undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman, the embattled chef and his company is required to pay $200,000.00 as a ‘contrition payment’. George has blamed ‘error’ in systems and processes.  

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    Coco Cubano Restaurant Review

    By Micaela Corr on 20/06/19 10:22 AM

    Coco Cubano

    302 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150

    Visit Website | Menu Contact

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    Blended Families and Wills

    By Andrew Frank on 19/06/19 5:11 PM

    Blended families and step-families are very common these days.

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    5 Essential Tips to Start a Business With Your Friend

    By Philip van den Heever on 19/06/19 10:03 AM

    Sitting around a barbie and reminiscing about your childhood adventures together, are the type of things friends do. Friends are friends because of shared passions, shared interests and shared histories.

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    The Biggest Mistakes First Home Buyers Make

    By Lisa Pizzonia on 19/06/19 10:02 AM

    Buying your first home is very exciting but the majority of people don’t take into consideration a number of things when buying their first home.

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    The Business Case for Emotional Intelligence

    By Guest on 19/06/19 9:35 AM

    Jim Davidson is a Managing Partner of Performance Culture Australia. He specialises as a Team Coach and Corporate Trainer. Founded in 2007, the business has expanded into new countries, new products and new areas of services. The core mission of Performance Culture is to transform workplaces into a community with shared values and a commitment to ongoing learning. They emphasis the importance of having emotionally intelligent leaders to guide organisations forward. 

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    What To Do in July

    By Micaela Corr on 18/06/19 12:02 PM

    Winter has well and truly arrived. Enjoy these cool days by rugging up, and embracing winter traditions like ice skating, warm drinks and comfort food. Our list this month invites you to take advantage of the season and enjoy our city's great culture.

    Topics: What To Do
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    Can a former partner make an Estate claim?

    By Andrew Frank on 7/06/19 3:42 PM

    It is possible for a former partner to make a claim on your Estate, if there are factors that warrant that claim. The case of Lodin v Lodin; Estate of Dr Mohammad Masoud Lodin [2017] NSWSC 10 demonstrates what can happen when a former partner makes an Estate claim.

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    The Reality of Cyber Attacks with Schalk Van Der Merwe

    By Micaela Corr on 3/06/19 4:41 PM

    Schalk Van Der Merwe is a Director of Omnisure Insurance and the winner of Elite Broker by Insurance Business in 2018. As an expert of insurance, Schalk explains the reality of cyber attacks, why we need to think about these sort of attacks, and how we can protect ourselves and our businesses. 

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    Can I take my children overseas if I'm separated?

    By Andrea Harrold on 1/06/19 3:08 PM

    As winter rolls around we are tempted to travel overseas to warmer climates. However, if you are separated and want to take your children this may not be possible.

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    Yet Another Blow for Small Business Owners

    By Philip van den Heever on 31/05/19 2:56 PM

    This week the Fair Work Commission in their ‘wisdom’ decided to throw another curve ball at small business owners. From 1 July this year, the minimum rates in all Modern Awards will be increased by 3%. While this is less than last year’s increase of 3.5%, it is difficult to understand how the Commission, given the current economic climate, can rationalise the increase. With inflation at its all-time low, small business owners will have to fork out the additional costs straight from their pockets as the market conditions simply provide no real prospect of increasing prices to soften the blow.

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    What if the other parent doesn’t comply?

    By Andrea Harrold on 31/05/19 9:39 AM

    If you have orders in place regarding parenting, but the other parent is not doing what they are supposed to do, you can bring a Contravention Application. It is important to bring the non-compliance to Court straight away. Otherwise the Court sees the delay in coming as you agreeing to the non-compliance.

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    How do I know when it's time to sell my business?

    By Philip van den Heever on 30/05/19 2:28 PM

    Selling your business is one of the toughest things to do. It's not that you haven’t thought about it before, it’s simply an event that feels surreal, even when it is real.

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    The Coffee Emporium Restaurant Review

    By Micaela Corr on 23/05/19 4:17 PM

    51 Phillip St, Parramatta NSW 2150

    Visit Website | Menu Contact

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    The Weekly News Roundup - 15th May 2019

    By Micaela Corr on 23/05/19 11:02 AM


    I spy with my little eye: Do you have a legal right to privacy at home?

    Privacy in the home is one of those things we take for granted. But, do you have a legal right to privacy? Can you complain if a neighbour’s drone suddenly flies into your backyard? When is someone trespassing on your property? A right to privacy in the home isn’t as straight-forward as one might think.

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    What To Do in June

    By Micaela Corr on 21/05/19 10:18 AM

    June has an incredible variety of events! Whether it's the stage or the football field, there are plenty of events in June to tickle your fancy. This month we have a musical, a 36-year running festival and fair, some footy, and a great fun run. 

    Topics: What To Do
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    The Weekly News Roundup - 8th May

    By Micaela Corr on 15/05/19 4:03 PM


    Melbourne pub ordered to tear down Harry Potter installation after legal threat

    The Imperial Hotel has been ordered tear down its rooftop Harry Potter installation and turn off the taps on its Buttah Beer after the multinational demanded the pub remove all wizard-themed decorations and references.

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    The Weekly News Roundup - 1st May

    By Micaela Corr on 8/05/19 4:58 PM


    Snake Man and Snake Hunter in court tangle over 'defamatory' posts

    Rival snake catchers are locked in a venomous legal duel over Facebook posts that one says implied he was a dishonest reptile handler, trademark infringer and "a violent sex offending rapist".

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    Signs of Domestic Violence

    By Katherine McCarthy on 6/05/19 11:22 AM

    It can be difficult to spot when a friend is in a relationship involving domestic violence. Especially when domestic violence often slowly escalates over a long period of time. However, there are some things to look out for if you are concerned for a friend. If you have a friend or family member who you believe may be a victim of a domestic violence relationship, they may show signs of the following:

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    What if I injure myself when I am working from home?

    By Nathanael Coles on 4/05/19 10:38 AM

    When you are working from home, if you sustain an injury that arises out of or in the course of your employment or while performing any activity that is connected to your employment, you will be eligible for workers' compensation.

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    There's talk my employees want to join a union

    By Philip van den Heever on 3/05/19 3:31 PM

    To get to the root of the problem, you have to ask yourself the question: “Why do my employees want to join a union?” Reasons for joining a union usual falls within these 5 categories (1) higher wages or benefits, (2) job security, (3) lack of recognition, (4) lack of participation or (5) social reasons including ‘peer pressure’.

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    The Weekly News Roundup - 24th April 2019

    By Micaela Corr on 1/05/19 4:19 PM


    'Slashed': Morrison government delays assessments for threatened species

    Almost two dozen threatened species and habitats have had their threat updates postponed by the federal government, in one case for three years, raising concerns about extinction risks and a lack of departmental funding.

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    What To Do in May

    By Micaela Corr on 26/04/19 1:30 PM

    Autumn is here and so are the festivals! This month we have three festivals for you to check out, filled with food, music and art. Then, to burn off everything consumed, we have a marathon for you to challenge yourself with!

    Topics: What To Do
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    Lil Miss Collins Review

    By Micaela Corr on 25/04/19 12:36 PM

    13 Wentworth St, Parramatta NSW 2150

    Visit Website | Menu Contact

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    Should I purchase an investment property?

    By Lisa Pizzonia on 24/04/19 4:27 PM

    When it comes to saving up for your retirement, nothing beats putting your money in real estate. You get a tangible asset that can’t disappear or crash in the market. The secret is to spread out the risk over several different investment properties so your eggs are never all in the same one basket.

    Topics: Property How to
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    The Weekly News Roundup - 8th April 2019

    By Micaela Corr on 12/04/19 5:05 PM


    Teachers and parents 'powerless' to stop spread of Instagram and Snapchat fights in Canberra

    A Canberra high school teacher says many staff members feel "powerless" to stop a "24/7 cycle" of cyberbullying and physical violence among their students.

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    The Weekly News Roundup - 1st April 2019

    By Micaela Corr on 5/04/19 10:40 AM


    Jail time, hefty fines: New Australian laws would target social media sites over violent content

    Australia is set to become the first country in the world to introduce jail terms and multi-million-dollar fines for social media giants that don't quickly remove violent material.

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    The Weekly News Roundup - 25th March 2019

    By Micaela Corr on 29/03/19 4:09 PM

    MONDAY 25TH 

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    Religion in a Separated Family

    By Matthew Sibley on 28/03/19 7:06 AM

    Of the many issues faced by separated families, one that is often not discussed yet can cause the most conflict is the question of religion. When a child’s parents hold different religious or cultural views, there can be significant disagreement regarding the most appropriate way to raise the child and the religious and cultural practises they will be engaged in.

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    Why Does IP Matter with Andre Meyer

    By Micaela Corr on 27/03/19 4:52 PM

    André Meyer has over 15 years experience in Intellectual Property law in both South Africa and Australia. His broad experience across multiple industries has given him a holistic understanding of IP law, and makes him an expert in the IP field. 

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    Why you need more than a Will

    By Kaitlyn Elvery on 27/03/19 4:38 PM

    When people refer to “Estate Planning” a Will is the document that usually comes to mind. While a Will is extremely important, it is not the only document that is necessary to prepare when planning for your future.

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    Soul Burger Review

    By Micaela Corr on 21/03/19 12:46 PM

    316 Church Street, Parramatta 2150

    Visit Website | Menu Contact

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    The Weekly News Roundup - 18th March 2019

    By Micaela Corr on 21/03/19 11:04 AM

    MONDAY 18TH 

    'Panic buying' of guns to beat law change after Christchurch shooting

    There has been a rush on gun shops, with people "panic buying", in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack and in anticipation of the Government tightening gun laws. Following Jacinda Ardern's comments on Saturday morning, gun shop owners - at bricks and mortar stores, and online - experienced a jump in sales.

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    What is Personal Injury?

    By Nathanael Coles on 19/03/19 8:45 AM

    Have you had an injury at work? Has a friend been a victim of medical negligence? Have your parents had issues with financial advice? Have you considered that if you have found yourself in a situation like this, you have a claim for personal injury?

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    What To Do in April

    By Micaela Corr on 18/03/19 5:22 PM

    School holidays present a problem: how can we fill two weeks with interesting activities? Here are a few ideas to make the break a little more exciting!


    Topics: What To Do
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    The Weekly News Roundup - 11th March 2019

    By Micaela Corr on 15/03/19 1:43 PM

    MONDAY 11TH 

    US women's national team take legal action over discrimination

    All 28 members of the United States women's national team squad have begun legal action against the US Soccer Federation (USSF), just months before defending the Women's World Cup title.

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    The Weekly News Roundup - 4th March 2019

    By Micaela Corr on 8/03/19 3:30 PM


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    The Weekly News Roundup - 25th February 2019

    By Micaela Corr on 1/03/19 3:55 PM

    MONDAY 25TH 

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    What To Do in March...

    By Micaela Corr on 1/03/19 9:30 AM

    As the cooler weather starts to blow in, take a look at these events for March. 
    March 5th - Kylie Minogue - ICC Theatre, Darling Harbour

    Topics: What To Do
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    What is an AVO?

    By Karla Elias on 26/02/19 5:55 PM

    If you fear violence or harassment from your spouse, partner or a work colleague, you should take steps to protect yourself by applying for an Apprehended Violence Order. It is a method of obtaining protection if you are fearful of future violence, including physical or sexual abuse, or threats to your safety, including harassment, intimidation or stalking.

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    Why This International Women's Day We Should Be Celebrating Entrepreneurship

    By Guest on 26/02/19 3:31 PM

    Written by Sharon Melamed

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    How to Foster a Positive Work Culture with Paul Betts from Integricare

    By Micaela Corr on 26/02/19 3:02 PM

    Paul Betts is Chief Operations Officer of Integricare, an Early Learning Centre with eight locations across Sydney. Integricare's roots go back to 1882. Although the centre has changed and expanded over the years, Integricare is still striving for the same mission - "To be leaders in providing holistic, innovative and integrated services for children and families that achieve transformation in the communities we serve."

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    Alex & Co Review

    By Micaela Corr on 26/02/19 9:55 AM

    Lot 2/4/330 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150

    Visit Website | Menu | Contact

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    So, you've been given an inheritance

    By Kaitlyn Elvery on 22/02/19 4:30 PM

    One of the first things that may come to mind if you receive a large sum of money from a relative or a friend is to treat yourself! You might spend big on a new car, book a luxurious holiday, or purchase that extravagant gift you have always dreamed about. 

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    The Weekly News Roundup - 18th February 2019

    By Micaela Corr on 22/02/19 4:14 PM

    MONDAY 18TH 

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    The Weekly News Roundup - 11th February

    By Micaela Corr on 17/02/19 8:30 AM

    MONDAY 11TH 

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    The Weekly News Roundup - 4th February

    By Micaela Corr on 10/02/19 3:27 PM


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    The Weekly News Roundup - 28th January

    By Frank Law on 4/02/19 8:00 AM

    These were the major law news headlines between 28th January and 1st February. 

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    Mille Uno Review

    By Micaela Corr on 3/02/19 11:30 AM

    306 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150

    Visit Website | Menu | Contact

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    Should I Franchise?

    By Philip van den Heever on 2/02/19 10:00 AM

    You have been a business owner for several years. You have started to employ several employees and you are finding yourself in a position where it is easier to let go of certain tasks and leave it up to your trusted employees to serve the clients. Your business is doing very well, your brand is established, you have a unique product or service – people know your business. Your business enables you to sufficiently provide for your family and in retirement you should be OK.

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    3 Tips for Your Saturday Inspection

    By Micaela Corr on 1/02/19 5:15 PM

    With 2019 rolling in, you may be thinking about purchasing a new home this year. Whether it be an investment property, a bigger home for a growing family, your first place, or a downsize – it is the time to buy!

    Topics: Property family
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    What to do in February...

    By Micaela Corr on 31/01/19 8:00 AM

    We may be back at work, but the balmy summer nights make it impossible to stay inside. Have a look to see what big events are coming up in February...

    Topics: What To Do
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    Weekly Roundup - 21st January

    By Frank Law on 28/01/19 8:30 AM

    Each week we roundup the big headlines in contemporary law news. These articles highlight how law is impacting your everyday world. Click on the heading to see the full article. The key news events this week are...

    Ronaldo fined €18.8m over tax evasion

    Christian Ronaldo, football superstar, has been fined for avoiding paying tax in Spain between 2010 and 2014. The five-time winner of the prestigious Ballon d'Or was playing for Real Madrid during that time. The prosecution say proceeds from image rights deals were channeled through foreign countries to avoid paying tax. Ronaldo accepted a deal in the court, paying an €18.8m ($29.9m) fine.

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    Back to School in a Separated Family

    By Andrea Harrold on 25/01/19 4:00 PM

    It’s that time of year again, where we dash through the shops picking up new stationary, new backpacks, and new school shoes. The start of school can be stressful enough, but it can be even trickier when we add in the pressures of a separated or blended family.

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    Government moves to bring fairness to the Fair Work Act

    By Philip van den Heever on 20/12/18 8:59 AM

    The Morrison Government has announced that it intends to amend the Fair Work Act to protect employers from casual employees ‘double-dipping’: where long-term casual employees are deemed to be ‘permanent employees’ for purposes of leave entitlements.

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    How to Celebrate the Holidays in a Separated Family

    By Andrea Harrold on 3/12/18 7:30 PM

    The holiday season can be an especially difficult time for separated families. Differing commitments, unusual work arrangements and stressful relatives can make this period feel like a minefield of potential battles. However tricky or tense this season may be for your family, here are some important questions to ask yourself as you prepare to manage the holidays in a separated family.

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    7 Practical Ways to Have a Seamless Work Christmas Party

    By Philip van den Heever on 26/11/18 8:30 AM

    It is the silly season again! Workplaces are gearing up for Christmas and other End of Year functions. These functions are a great way to reward employees for another year that is now done and dusted. It is usually a very festive occasion but often functions such as these can lead to inappropriate and unwanted behaviour.

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    Unfair Dismissals for Casual Employees

    By Philip van den Heever on 13/11/18 1:00 PM

    Employees have a right to make a claim for unfair dismissal if they believe that the dismissal was harsh, unjust or unreasonable. This right only arises, however, after a period of time and if the employee satisfies other criteria. Employees who are employed on a casual basis can only apply for unfair dismissal in certain circumstances. This article will discuss the threshold that casual employees need to meet to apply for unfair dismissal – namely the elements set out in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).

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    The Impact of Domestic Violence on Your Mental Health

    By Andrea Harrold on 31/10/18 5:30 PM

    Domestic violence is a form of violence that occurs within a relationship. There are a wide range of activities that fall within domestic violence and the effects are far reaching. As lawyers we see the real and deep impact that domestic violence has, especially on the mental health of our clients and their children. We encourage anyone who has gone through any type of violence to reach out to professional help and speak to a counsellor.

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    How to Safely Hire Christmas Casuals

    By Philip van den Heever on 25/10/18 8:30 AM

    For many businesses Christmas means more stock, more sales and…a shortage of labour!

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    How To Manage Your Mental Health When Going Through a Divorce

    By Karla Elias on 23/10/18 5:00 PM

    Separating from a partner may be one of the most difficult times you experience in your life. It is a time rife with intense emotions and lots of change. There will be many practical problems that require your attention, including new living and financial arrangements. If you have children with your former partner, you would also be concerned about the stability of their lives. 

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    Four Tips for Men Going Through a Divorce

    By Matthew Sibley on 19/10/18 5:30 PM

    People often assume that men can push off any emotion and just soldier on, even during a divorce. This view of men only serves to make the problem worse. The breakdown of a relationship involves significant emotions and can feel like the grief of losing a loved one. Separation is not like repairing a car. It may not be able to be fixed quickly, and you may not be able to predict your emotions day-by-day. It’s important to acknowledge those feelings, keep your head above water and manage your mental health during this period.

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    How To Help Your Kids During a Divorce

    By Katherine McCarthy on 17/10/18 5:30 PM

    Going through a divorce is a difficult and emotional time for the parents, and often your kids. Separation involves making several major family decisions, like where each partner will live, and the division of time with the children between parents. Although it can be a chaotic time with so many changes, it is essential to focus on your children’s wellbeing throughout the process of divorcing.

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    Major Changes for Casual Employees

    By Philip van den Heever on 16/10/18 5:30 PM

    Since the 1st October 2018, casual employees now have a greater chance in becoming permanent employees. The Fair Work Commission has amended 98 Modern Awards to allow a mechanism by which casual employees of 12 months can request a transfer to be a permanent employee.

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    What happens to my social media when I pass away?

    By Micaela Corr on 3/09/18 4:30 PM

    We live in a time where our social media accounts have an enormous place in our lives. Where we holiday, what we wear, and what we cook is shaped by what we discover online. As well, we leave our digital footprints all over the Internet as we share our locations, connections and activities. 

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    Tax Implications for Property Settlements

    By Matthew Sibley on 31/08/18 8:30 AM

    Executive Summary

    1. The recent case of Sandini demonstrates the circumstances in which a transferor spouse may be exempt from CGT when transferring property to their former spouse under family law orders.
    2. Family lawyers must have a well-grounded knowledge of the tax implications of property transfers and should not hesitate to obtain single expert taxation advice when required.
    3. Care must be taken when drafting family law orders, as simple mistakes can have significant tax consequences for parties.
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    Six Reasons You Need to Think About Selling Your Business

    By Philip van den Heever on 30/08/18 8:30 AM

    Selling your business is the furthest thing in your mind when you are in the positive stages of a thriving business.

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    Family Violence and Family Law

    By Karla Elias on 29/08/18 4:00 PM

    Executive Summary

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    When is it time to write a will?

    By Naomi Webb on 21/08/18 4:45 PM

    When you think of wills your mind is probably filled with the image of a sweet elderly couple.

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    Can you be happily divorced?

    By Micaela Corr on 20/08/18 8:30 AM

    Divorce is most Australians’ reality. Whether it’s your own marriage, your parent’s marriage, a sibling’s or a good friend’s, we all have someone in our life who has gone through a divorce. Each experience of divorce is unique, with some finding peace in the decision to end their marriage, while others find themselves struggling to stay afloat in the messiness of breaking up.

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    Domestic Violence & Visa Applications

    By Andrea Harrold on 13/08/18 11:24 AM

    Immigration law is a complex everchanging black letter area of law.
    The requirements are strictly enforced and the number of immigrants looking to be granted a visa (permanent or temporary) are so high that the government easily increases both the difficulty and cost of visa applications.

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    Time to review your Will!

    By Naomi Webb on 9/04/18 12:01 PM

    As holidays come and go it is important to think about some of the things that you keep putting off doing.

    Did you say that this year would be the year that you would prepare a Will but still haven’t gotten around to it?

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    Social Media and Wills

    By Naomi Webb on 9/04/18 11:58 AM

    Have you ever considered what will happen to your Facebook, Instagram, and other social media accounts once you pass away? Where will all of your photos go? Who will be able to access your information and cancel your accounts?

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    Myths about Estate Planning

    By Naomi Webb on 9/04/18 11:55 AM

    There are some common thoughts and ideas that come up frequently in Estate Planning that can be detrimental for future planning. Here are some myths about Estate Planning and reasons why they are not true.

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    What is a section 10 order?

    By Amy Lee on 18/12/17 1:23 PM

    If you plead guilty or are found guilty of a criminal or traffic offence, the Court will sentence you. This results in the Court imposing penalties, such as a fine, licence disqualification, or a bond. Further, the Magistrate will record a conviction, meaning you have a criminal record.

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    No Final Apprehended Violence Order made against our client

    By Frank Legal on 18/12/17 1:23 PM

    Our client was issued with an AVO after his wife alleged that he said “I’m going to get a gun.” He had gone to bed, so did not realise how upset his wife was and could not clear up the misheard statement. He woke up to the Police ordering him to get out of bed, very confused, and issued him an Apprehended Violence Order.

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    Section 10 bond for Low Range Drink Driving with child in the car

    By Amy Lee on 18/12/17 1:23 PM

    Our client was charged and plead guilty to Low Range PCA with a BAC of 0.068. She was driving with her 7-year-old daughter in the car, which is an aggravating factor. The automatic licence disqualification period is 6 months, and leads to a criminal conviction.

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    Why do I need a lawyer if I’m pleading guilty?

    By Frank Legal on 18/12/17 1:22 PM

    You probably imagine a criminal defense lawyer to be standing in court cross-examining a witness to prove their client’s innocence. What about if you have admitted that you committed the offence? What if there is very clear evidence against you? If you are entering a plea of guilty, where does a lawyer fit into the picture?

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    Family Law: Parenting orders – Part 2: What if the other parent doesn’t comply?

    By James Frank on 25/09/17 10:44 AM

    This post will explain the Court’s available decisions if a parenting order contravention application has been made. See here for our post on Parenting Orders – Part 1: What if the other parent doesn’t comply?

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    Family Law: Parenting orders – Part 1: What if the other parent doesn’t comply?

    By James Frank on 22/09/17 4:36 PM

    This post will continue on the topic of parenting orders. See here and here for our previous posts about a person’s obligations under a parenting order and the enforcement of parenting orders.

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    Have you thought of everything? - Digital assets and social media accounts

    By Naomi Webb on 22/09/17 1:23 PM

    In this series of blog posts we will look at some of the unique things to consider in addition to your Will. Important things to consider include your social media accounts, your bank accounts and pin numbers, your burial preferences, funeral wishes, and sentimental items such as jewellery, collections etc.

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    Quantum Meruit Claims for Construction Work

    By Robert Webb on 22/09/17 11:52 AM

    Typically a builder has a right to payment for work completed under a construction contract. However where a contractor cannot make a contractual claim they have the right to make a Quantum Meruit claim instead. Quantum meruit claims are grounded on the idea that where work has been completed for the benefit of one party, and that party subsequently does not pay for that work, then they have been unjustly enriched. This entitles the contractor to make a claim for the reasonable value of the construction work completed.

    Topics: Litigation
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    Retail Lease Disputes

    By Robert Webb on 21/09/17 9:50 AM

    The Retail Leases Act (‘the Act’) is a specific piece of legislation that has been enacted to deal with the number of retail lease disputes that occur.

    Topics: Litigation
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    Factors to consider when deciding to go to Court

    By Robert Webb on 21/09/17 9:41 AM

    The Contract

    Typically there is an initial contract that the parties have entered into that forms the agreement between them and sets out the terms and conditions of the agreement. If the matter has the following features it will be able to be litigated more easily:

    Topics: Litigation
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    By Robert Webb on 21/09/17 9:35 AM

    If you have been served with a Statement of Claim then Court proceedings have been initiated against you and you have 28 days to respond.

    Topics: Litigation
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    Maintaining the Status Quo in Family Law

    By James Frank on 15/09/17 4:33 PM

    Another consideration to determine a child’s best interests is the likely effect of any changes in the child’s circumstances, including the likely effect on the child of any separation from either of their parents or any other person or relative with whom they have been living: Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s 60CC(3)(d). This is often seen as the ‘status quo’ principle.

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    By Andrew Frank on 13/09/17 10:09 AM

    The new First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme commenced 1 July 2017.

    Topics: Property
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    Business & Corporate: Foreign Residential Capital Gains Withholding (FRCGW)

    By Andrew Frank on 13/09/17 9:52 AM

    Changes were made to the Foreign Residential Capital Gains Withholding (FRCGW) from 1 July 2017.

    Topics: Property
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    Business & Corporate: What’s New? PEXA

    By Andrew Frank on 12/09/17 2:39 PM

    Frank Legal is now a member of PEXA.

    Topics: Property
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    A Poorly Drafted Will

    By Naomi Webb on 7/09/17 12:58 PM

    Being clear and detailed in your Will is important to ensure your intentions and wishes are carried out after you pass away. Small details such as middle names and addresses of beneficiaries are crucial for distributing your Estate after you pass away.

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