Recently, the Australian Institute of Family Studies (‘AIFS’) released an Evidence Summary of a study it had conducted in relation to post-separation parenting outcomes. The Evidence Summary provides very interesting statistics regarding family law parenting outcomes that cast some light on the process. While statistics do not always tell the whole truth, they can indicate trends in the family law parenting process that may be helpful when determining the best course of action in your case.
On 1 March 2009, Part VIIIAB was inserted into the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (‘the Act’) which provided for Australian de facto couples to have their financial matters dealt with upon the breakdown of their relationship under the Australian family law system. The main effect of the amendments was to the mirror Part VIII of the Act, which covers financial matters between married couples.
Children are constantly evolving, developing and growing at varying stages of childhood and adolescence. They transition from preschool, to primary school, to high school; their friendship circles, interests and extracurricular activities may change; sometimes they may move to a different suburb, city or state. Change is a reality in a child’s life and studies show that people grow and develop more rapidly in their childhood than at any other point of life.
In a recent blog post, we explored the mandatory requirement for parties to attempt to resolve their parenting dispute with the assistance of family dispute resolution (‘FDR’) prior to applying to the court for parenting orders: Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s 60I(1). However, s 60I(7) provides various exceptions to this mandatory requirement such as the following:
Prior to commencing parenting proceedings, parties must make a “genuine effort” to resolve their parenting dispute with the assistance of family dispute resolution (‘FDR’): Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s 60I(1). The usual form of FDR that parties engage in is mediation with an accredited FDR practitioner. Often this take places through services such as Relationships Australia, however parties can engage an accredited private mediator (who is often an admitted lawyer) to mediate their dispute as well.
In 2005 and 2009, crucial amendments were made to the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth) and the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) that bestowed jurisdiction upon the Family Court of Australia in bankruptcy for married and de facto couples.
An area of law of specific focus in respect of costs orders is family provision matters, commonly known as ‘estate disputes’. Section 99 of the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) states that the court may order the costs of proceedings in relation to a deceased’s estate to be paid out of the estate “in such manner as the Court thinks fit”. This grants the court wide discretion in respect of the costs orders it may make in interlocutory matters and the overall proceedings.
In civil litigation, costs orders are where the court orders that one party pays another party’s legal costs. Costs orders can be made during or after court proceedings and may relate to the whole proceedings or a particular part of the proceedings. Costs orders are also assessed entirely at the court’s discretion depending on the facts of the case and the conduct of the parties.
One of the primary considerations when determining what is in a child’s best interests is “the need to protect the child from physical or psychological harm from being subjected to, or exposed to, abuse, neglect or family violence”: Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (‘FLA’) s 60CC. This consideration is given greater weight than the benefit to the child of having a meaningful relationship with both parents.
When a person who owes you money becomes bankrupt, it may become a lot more difficult for you to recover your debt. A trustee (being a person or entity) steps in to manage the bankrupt’s affairs. The trustee works with the bankrupt individual and the bankrupt’s creditors to achieve a fair outcome for all. While the trustee will endeavour to ensure all creditors receive due payment for the amounts owing to them, creditors may have to commercially accept ‘cents in the dollar’ to ensure they receive some payment for their debt.