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Note: Section 121 of the Family Law Act 1975 makes it an offence, except in very limited circumstances, to publish or distribute a report of a case or part of a case, including information contained in a Judgment, which identifies parties, related or associated persons, witnesses or others involved in the case. A breach of the section is a criminal offence. The section also sets out certain limited defences to criminal liability. An example is where the Court has expressly authorised the publication.

  • Beach & Watson [2017] FamCA 151

    15 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PARENTING – Application by the father to spend unsupervised and overnight time with the child – Where the father seeks equal shared parental responsibility – Where the mother opposes the father’s application and seeks that he spend only supervised time with the child and seeks sole parental responsibility – Where there are previous unsubstantiated allegations of sexual abuse by the father against his children from a previous relationship – Where orders are made for the child to spend time with the father in a gradually increasing arrangement to conclude in unsupervised time – Where no orders were made for the child to spend overnight time with the father – Where orders are made for the mother to have sole parental responsibility.

  • Bloomfield & Grainger and Anor (No 2) [2017] FamCA 153

    15 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS - where the Applicant seeks costs in relation to an interim Application – where such costs are reserved to the trial Judge.

  • Heston & Norton and Ors [2017] FamCA 154

    17 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN - With whom children live – Where the mother makes allegations of significant family violence and of rape against the first and second respondents – Where the allegations are fabricated - Where the mother and the second respondent carried on a secret relationship that produced two of the children – Where the three children all believe they are the biological children of the first respondent – Where the children’s primary bond is with the mother - Where the mother is unable to foster a relationship between the children and the paternal family – Where the mother poses an unacceptable risk of serious psychological harm to the children – Where the children are to live with the first respondent and spend supervised time with the mother until 2019 – Where the first respondent has sole parental responsibility for the children.

  • Re: Daniel [2017] FamCA 155

    17 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – SPECIAL MEDICAL PROCEDURE – Where the applicant is the mother of a child diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria – where the mother seeks a declaration that the child is Gillick competent – where the court authorises the child to make his own decision in relation to stage two hormonal treatment  – where the application for a declaration of Gillick competency is dismissed with a right of reinstatement upon the decision of the Full Court in Re Kelvin [2017] FamCA 78

  • Tredrea & Geller and Ors [2017] FamCA 156

    17 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – where the respondents seek costs against the applicant – where the respondents further seek costs on an indemnity basis – where the applicant opposes an order for costs – where consideration is given to the circumstances in which indemnity costs are awarded – where the Court held the applicant was not frivolous, malicious or vexatious and the proceedings were not beyond that which is experienced in this Court on a regular basis – where party/party costs awarded in favour of the respondents

  • Myles & Tolman [2017] FamCA 157

    17 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – SUPERANNUATION – where parties’ property settlement took place in 1998 before a Registrar –whether the Court had power under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) to extend time to enable a review of the exercise of power by the Registrar – where the Court considered if an extension of time would afford justice between the parties – where an extension of time was granted – a splitting order was made

  • Fulton & Cardona [2017] FamCA 158

    17 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY – Where the father seeks that the parties have equal shared parental responsibility for the child – Where there are allegations of family violence – Where the presumption against equal shared parental responsibility has been rebutted – Consideration of s 60CC factors – Where the child is aged 15 years and holds strong views that the father not be involved in her life – Where the child’s views are given substantial weight – Where an order is made for the mother to have sole parental responsibility.

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY SETTLEMENT – Where the husband and wife’s contributions are assessed at being equal – Where the husband was out of employment for a number of years due to injury – Consideration of s 75(2) factors – Where the wife alleges that matrimonial funds were wasted by the husband – Where the wife has primary care of the parties’ child – Where a 7.5 per cent adjustment is made in favour of the wife – Where the husband is given the opportunity to buy out the wife’s share in the former matrimonial home. 


  • Chalmers & Ting [2017] FamCA 159

    17 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – interim orders – whether children should spend more time with the mother – where the three children live with the father – where two children spend unsupervised time with the mother each week – where one child spends supervised time with the mother each week – where significant weight was given to the Family Report – where primary consideration was to protect the children from harm – where secondary considerations were views of the children and the benefit of the children having a meaningful relationship with the mother – where Court ordered all children have unsupervised time and further time with mother

  • Lorde & Chu [2017] FamCA 160

    20 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Child related proceedings – Evidence

  • Re: Quin (No 2) [2017] FamCA 162

    21 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – GENDER DYSPHORIA – Application for Stage 2 hormone treatment – Where the child is Gillick competent – Orders made for Stage 2 treatment to commence.

  • Dishi & Dishi [2017] FamCA 164

    21 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Reserved interim property – Application to re-open – land tax liability – where it is in the interests of justice to re-open

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Fund for litigation – Controlled monies – where the husband is in a relatively stronger financial position than the wife – where the wife has an inability to meet her litigation costs – where a litigation funding order by way of interim property division is appropriate – where there is an interim property settlement in the wife’s favour
  • Westwell and Anor & Westwell [2017] FamCA 165

    20 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – appointment of case guardian – not heard

  • Spiteri & Walker [2017] FamCA 166

    22 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CONTRAVENTION – Where Contravention Applications were made by both the mother and father alleging contraventions against the other of parenting orders – Where the applications were withdrawn.

    FAMILY LAW – VEXATIOUS LITIGANTS – Where the mother is found to have instituted proceedings without reasonable grounds – Where it is ordered that the mother be restrained from filing any further contravention application without leave of the Court.
  • Busoni & Busoni [2017] FamCA 167

    22 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – COSTS – Where costs for two interim applications sought by the applicant – Where the applications by the applicant were necessitated by the conduct of the respondent – Where the applicant had no alternative but to make the applications – Where there are justifiable circumstances to make an order for costs – The respondent pay the applicant’s costs as agreed or on a party/party basis.

  • Cortese & Cortese [2017] FamCA 168

    22 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – INTERIM ORDERS – Application by the mother to vary final parenting orders due to a change in circumstances – Where it is in the best interests of the children to vary the parenting orders – Where interim orders are made for the children to be enrolled at a school close to their residence and for the father to spend time with the children each alternate weekend.

  • Cummins & Creighton [2017] FamCA 169

    22 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Interim proceedings – Whether it is appropriate to make interim orders – Where the asset pool reasonably well identified – Where husband agrees to wife selling particular personalty and where wife seeks same order in the alternative – Where no identifiable cash pool from which provision could be made – Where discussion of general principles – Where appropriate to make order for interim distribution of property – Where appropriate to make orders preserving other items of personalty

  • Egan & Egan [2017] FamCA 170

    16 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW - CHILDREN – Where the father seeks mid-week time during school term – Where the mother resists an order for mid-week time – Where there is an order for equal shared parental responsibility – Where the provisions of ss 65DAA(2) are enlivened – What the word “consider” means – Whether the statement in Goode & Goode at [64] survives the statement by the High Court in Bondelmonte v Bondelmonte at [43] – Where it is proper to make an order for mid-week time.

  • Gaertner & Frubink [2017] FamCA 152

    15 Mar 2017

    SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE - interim – factors considered – where evidence is insufficient to establish inability to support oneself

  • Thales & Long [2017] FamCA 150

    10 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Application for expedited hearing

  • Nelson & Nelson [2017] FamCA 149

    10 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Expediting final hearing.

  • Houros & Gerber [2017] FamCA 148

    10 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Best Interests of the child – With whom the child lives – With whom the child spends time – Where the father has no relationship with the child – Where there are concerns regarding the parenting capacity of the father – Where time with the father may pose a risk of harm to the child – The mother to hold sole parental responsibility – The child to live with the mother – The child to spend no time with the father

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Where the father has disengaged from proceedings – Where the father has been afforded procedural fairness – Where the matter proceeded to undefended final hearing 
  • Department Of Communities, Child Safety And Disability Services & Helpman [2017] FamCA 147

    10 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILD ABDUCTION – Hague Convention – Application under the Hague Convention for the return of the children to New Zealand – Where habitual residence in New Zealand is prima facie established – Interim order made.

  • Mills & Petrucci & [2017] FamCA 146

    20 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – FINAL ORDERS – best interests of the child – where it was ordered the mother have sole parental responsibility – whether the child should communicate with the father – consideration of whether communication with the father would be in the child’s best interest

  • Orwell & Hogan [2017] FamCA 145

    24 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – INTERLOCUTORY – self-represented parties in property dispute – issues of discovery unresolved – options canvassed with parties – cross-examination permitted – matter set to continue for trial.

  • Ongal & Materns (No 2) [2017] FamCA 144

    03 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – With whom a child spends time – Orders – Contravention – where applicant father has been given leave to bring an application for contravention – where father alleges two counts of contravention – where the mother denies any contravention – where court one was dismissed by the Court due to lack of evidence – where count two was dismissed as the father failed to make out a prima facie case – where the Court held there was an informal agreement between the parties and no contravention of Orders

  • Ongal & Materns [2017] FamCA 143

    02 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – With whom a child spends time – Orders – Contravention – where father sought leave to file a contravention application – the father alleges the mother breached previous Court orders – whether the proceedings are vexatious -  where father also seeks parenting orders in circumstances where such an order is inappropriate – where the application brought by the father was originally limited to a contravention application – whether the father is entitled to the benefit of the order – whether the mother has a reasonable excuse for non-compliance of the order – where the Court grants leave for the father to file a contravention application

  • Aboud & Aboud [2017] FamCA 142

    10 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Application for expedited hearing

  • Sutton & Sutton [2017] FamCA 141

    10 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – INJUNCTIONS – where company is in Indonesia – where wife is director – where husband wants wife removed for failing to comply with regulatory requirements – where wife denied default – where final hearing is pending – application refused.

  • Noogle & Noogle [2017] FamCA 140

    14 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY SETTLEMENT – Where both parties recognise property adjustment orders would be just and equitable – Where, save for two discrete issues, the parties agreed their contributions and future needs should result in equal distribution – Where the wife contended for greater entitlement due to her rendering contributions under arduous conditions and the husband’s disproportionately greater post-separation use of the parties’ corporate structure – Application of Marriage of Kennon (1997) 22 Fam LR 1 – Where there was a lack of evidence about the wife’s adversity due to the husband’s conduct and any discernible effect upon her contributions – Concluded the wife’s Kennon submission is rejected – Where the post-separation income disparity alleged by the wife amounted to relatively modest amounts – Where the husband worked within the corporate structure and derived his income from that work – Where that work was a contribution unmatched by the wife – Ordered the parties have equal entitlement to their net assets and superannuation

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY– Superannuation – Where a parcel of real property was the only material asset of the parties’ self-managed superannuation fund – Where the parties agreed the asset should be sold, converted to cash, and the cash made available for their payment – Where the entirety of the superannuation interests were accrued after the parties’ relationship began, neither made any material post-separation contribution to the fund, and the superannuation interests are in the payment phase – Decided the aggregation of their property and superannuation interests is the better course – Ordered superannuation splitting orders so the parties enjoy equal distribution of the fund assets once in liquid form
  • Pappas & Pappas [2017] FamCA 139

    10 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Interim property distribution – Where the matter may not reach final hearing for considerable time – Whether an equal distribution to each party is just and equitable – Whether a party is required to provide evidence of a need for funds – No such requirement necessary

  • Teh & Muir and Anor [2017] FamCA 138

    10 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – de facto relationship – final hearing – where applicant alleged a de facto relationship existed – where respondent denies a de facto relationship – where there is evidence that the parties lived under the same roof – where there were no observations of a commitment to a shared life – where conduct of applicant is inconsistent with a loving relationship – Held there was never a de facto relationship.

    FAMILY LAW – BINDING FINANCIAL AGREEMENT – where binding financial agreement prepared pursuant to section 90UC of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) – where applicant engaged in unconscionable conduct – where respondent suffered from dementia – where applicant engaged in conduct for her own financial advantage – Held binding financial agreement should be set aside.
  • Bleakley & Delaney [2017] FamCA 137

    10 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – With whom the child should live – Where the child has lost the meaningful relationship with the father and the father is now a stranger to the child – Where the father’s application for the child to live with him is to restore the bond and connection with the child rather than due to risk of harm in the mother’s care – Where the mother risks causing emotional harm to the child due to her irrational and disproportionate reactions to her own fears – Where the removal of the child from the care of the mother will be a traumatic experience for the child – Where the child needs the relationship with his father for his own sense of identity and self-esteem – Concluded the child would be traumatised by the abrupt removal from the mother and placement into the care of the father – Ordered the child live with the mother – Ordered the child spend incrementally increasing time with the father culminating in alternate weekends

  • Groft and Anor & Dominique and Anor [2017] FamCA 136

    10 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Previous final orders – Presumption for equal shared parental responsibility in interim hearing.

  • Sanderson & Sanderson [2017] FamCA 135

    10 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY ORDERS - pending final orders

  • Niem & Tong [2017] FamCA 134

    10 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – COURTS AND JUDGES – Disqualification – Where application that the Court disqualify itself by reason of apprehended judicial bias – Where consideration of the applicable “test” and considerations pertaining thereto – Where necessity for the answer to the test to be “firmly established” – Application dismissed.

  • Charles & Hughes [2017] FamCA 133

    10 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – COSTS – Where section 117 considered – Where costs on an indemnity basis sought – Where the failure to provide a copy of a costs agreement is fatal to the application for indemnity costs – Where the respondent was wholly unsuccessful in opposing interim orders sought by the applicant – Where appropriate to award costs on a party/party basis against the respondent

  • Hampton & Heath and Ors [2017] FamCA 132

    08 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Best Interests of the children – Where there is a risk of harm to the children in the care of each parent – Where there are allegations of family violence – Where the first respondent father perpetrated family violence – Where there are concerns regarding the mental health of the first respondent father – Where there are concerns regarding the drug use of the parties – Where the second respondent father has been convicted of assaulting one of the children – Where each of the parties has a criminal record – Where the mother was abused as a child – Where the mother identifies as Aboriginal – Where there are concerns about the mother’s ability to cope with four children – Where the youngest child lives with the paternal uncle – Where the sibling relationships are significant – Where there are concerns about the capacity of each parent to meet the needs of the children – Where there is an unacceptable risk of harm to the children in the care of each parent – Where the children should have a connection to their Aboriginal heritage – Where the Department of Family and Community Services is to have sole parental responsibility for the children – Where the children spend time with the mother – Where the child spends time with the second respondent father – Where the children spend time with the first respondent father.

  • Xiu & Hodges [2017] FamCA 131

    07 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Extempore ruling – where the mother seeks an adjournment of her application – where the father opposes the adjournment – adjournment granted for the mother to file an additional affidavit – leave granted for the father to file any affidavit in response

  • Norris & Matthews [2017] FamCA 130

    02 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – STAY APPLICATION – Where the mother seeks the stay of interim orders pending the outcome of the appeal or final hearing, whichever comes first – Where there is no discernible merit in the grounds of appeal – Concluded the apparent lack of merit is an influential factor in determination of whether a stay should be granted – Where the appeal is unlikely to be heard before final trial in any event – Concluded her appeal will likely be a futile exercise – Ordered the mother’s stay application is dismissed

    FAMILY LAW – INTERLOCUTORY – Disqualification – Where the mother sought the docket judge be disqualified from hearing the matter –Where the mother is plainly dissatisfied with the recent decisions in the case – Where mother failed to demonstrate actual or perceived bias – Ordered the mother’s application for disqualification is dismissed
  • Chou & Tang [2017] FamCA 129

    08 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – DIVORCE – NULLITY – STOLEN IDENTITY – Where Applicant’s consent to marriage obtained by fraud – Where marriage declared to be void ab initio – Where divorce declared to be void ab initio.

  • Southern & Southern and Ors [2017] FamCA 128

    27 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Disjoinder.

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – Order made on party/party basis.

  • Tonks & Tonks [2017] FamCA 127

    20 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Extempore ruling – interim parenting orders made – mother conceded the father no longer an unacceptable risk

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Extempore ruling – final property orders made - just and equitable division of property
  • Makaral & Makaral [2017] FamCA 126

    08 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – Application for indemnity costs against wife in respect of the wife’s dismissed application to set aside consent orders as to property under s 79A – Where wife’s application was by consent dismissed – Where discussion of general principles – Whether there are justifying circumstances for a costs order to be made – Whether there are grounds for awarding indemnity costs – Where husband fails to comply with Rule 19.08(3) – Where costs order made on party/party basis

  • Philips & Samuels [2017] FamCA 125

    08 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Interim injunctions  – Where previous interim orders to give effect to rural property sales – Where ongoing conflict between the parties – Where delay in sale causing significant increase in secured debt – Where appropriate to amend previous orders to provide clarity as to rights and obligations and for an orderly sale – Where appropriate to appoint trustee for sale to implement sale orders – Where wife’s conduct frustrating sale of remaining stock on the property for purposes of property sale – Where appropriate to make injunctive orders to facilitate sale

  • Oakshott & Fraser and Anor [2017] FamCA 124

    24 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – Parenting dispute. Where the parties reached agreement on most things save for holiday periods. No evidence and no statutory guidance available to work out a solution. Orders made based on equality of time where possible.

  • Shields and Anor & Putney [2017] FamCA 123

    23 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Interim – Best interests – With whom a child lives – With whom a child spends time – Where there are three children – Where the father of one of the subject children has not taken an active part in the proceedings but has adequate notice – Where the children live with the respondent maternal grandmother pursuant to interim orders – Where the mother and father live together but are not in a relationship – Where the mother seeks that the children are restored to her care – Where the father supports the mother’s application – Where the central issue is when the children should be restored to the mother’s care – Where the circumstances warrant the restoration of the children to the care of the mother forthwith – Orders made that the children live with the mother and father on a date commencing in approximately two weeks – Orders made that the children spend time with the maternal grandmother for one weekend per month and block time during school holidays – Order made requiring the mother to comply with requests by the Independent Children’s Lawyer for drug screening.

  • Deveraux and Anor & Mauss [2017] FamCA 122

    27 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – ADOPTION – Leave to commence proceedings – Where the children have had limited contact with their biological father – Where the biological father consents to the application – Application granted.

  • Crittenden & Crittendens [2017] FamCA 121

    03 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE- - PARTIAL PROPERTY SETTLEMENT

  • Department Of Communities, Child Safety And Disability Services & Seigel [2017] FamCA 120

    27 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILD ABDUCTION – Hague Convention – Application under the Hague Convention for the return of the children to New Zealand – Where habitual residence in New Zealand is prima facie established – Interim order made.

  • Murphy & Mendoza [2016] FamCA 119

    03 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Best interests – parental responsibility - where the father no longer seeks to spend time or communicate with the child – where the mother seeks the child to live with her and the father’s time be reserved – where there is evidence to rebut the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility – where the father is an unacceptable risk to the child – order made for the father’s time with the child be reserved

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – where the mother seeks to have the matter heard on an undefended basis in circumstances where the father has filed a Notice of Discontinuance
  • Narkis & Narkis [2017] FamCA 118

    28 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – ADJOURNMENT – necessitated by absence of respondent.

  • Cantwell & Cantwell [2017] FamCA 117

    03 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – final orders – where asset pool involves a complex structure of assets held in trusts – where parties are in agreeance of a 50 per cent division of assets – where the wife seeks to retain the main income-producing asset – where the husband opposes – where consideration is given to the length of the relationship and the contributions of each party – where it is ordered that each party retain one income-producing asset of similar value

    FAMILY LAW – LEGAL FEES – where it can be assumed that the husband has paid part of his legal fees from joint resources – where the wife has outstanding legal fees – where an order is made that there should be a notational add back of each party’s legal fees

  • Stopford Malloy & Malloy [2017] FamCA 116

    07 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – DISCLOSURE – Objection to subpoena – Where the recipient of the subpoena issued by the wife produced documents, but redacted them in such a way that the only visibly entities related to the husband and his siblings – The recipient contended the wife’s demand for the redacted information was a fishing expedition – Decided the wife demonstrated an objectively reasonable basis for seeking the information, given the alleged deterioration in the husband’s financial circumstances – Where the recipient is the trustee of the family trust – Where the husband is a beneficiary of the family trust – The rights the husband enjoys as a beneficiary to the trust amount to property and are amenable to property settlement orders – Concluded production of the redacted copy documents was not sufficient compliance with the subpoena

  • Chen & Chen and Ors [2017] FamCA 115

    02 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS

  • Redford & Redford [2017] FamCA 114

    17 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – INTERLOCUTORY – Unacceptable risk of harm –Where the father seeks reversal of the children’s residence due to the risk of their physical and sexual harm while in the mother’s care – Where there is a lengthy history of complaints made by the father, all of which were found to be unreliable – Where there is no evidentiary basis to find the mother poses an unacceptable risk of harm to the children – Where the father’s conduct calls into question his judgment and insight – Ordered the children live with the mother

    FAMILY LAW – INTERLOCUTORY – Parental responsibility – Where the parties accepted a previous order for equal shared parental responsibility – Where the parties cannot consult courteously over matters of importance to the children – Ordered the mother have sole parental responsibility

  • Billings & Lyon [2017] FamCA 112

    10 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – with whom the children live – with whom the children spend time – where the parents effectively implemented an equal time arrangement between about March 2011 and December 2014 – where the mother’s new partner has previously been convicted of sexual offences against children – where the mother did not tell the father of her partner’s convictions – whether the mother’s new partner poses an unacceptable risk of harm to the children – where the mother and her partner have a young female child and where the birth of their son was expected to occur in August 2016 – whether a permanent injunction restraining the mother from permitting the children to come into contact with her new partner is considered appropriate for the welfare of the children – injunction granted.

  • Uzunlar & Uzunlar [2017] FamCA 111

    02 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PARENTING – INTERIM PROCEEDINGS – Where the presumption in favour of equal shared parental responsibility is rebutted – Where there are allegations of family violence made against both parents – Consideration of whether there is a risk of harm to the children – Where a finding is made that the children are exposed to conflict during changeovers – Consideration of s 60CC factors – Where each party has the capacity to provide for the children’s needs – Orders made for the children to remain living with the mother – Orders made for the father to spend substantial and significant time with the children and minimising the number of face-to-face changeovers to occur between the parties.

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE – INTERIM PROCEEDINGS –Where the wife seeks orders for periodic spousal maintenance - Where the wife has the primary care of the parties’ two children – Where the wife is found to be unable to support herself adequately – Where the husband has the capacity to provide financial support to the wife– Where orders are made that the husband pay the wife periodic spousal maintenance, the sum to be reduced after 12 months in anticipation of the wife returning to work – Where orders are made to allow the husband to make the payments on a monthly or quarterly basis. 

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – PARTIAL PROPERTY DISTRIBUTION – INTERIM PROCEEDINGS – Where the husband seeks orders for an interim property distribution – Where there is insufficient evidence of the husband’s financial circumstances – Where the Court is not satisfied that it would be just and equitable to make orders for an interim property distribution – Application dismissed.

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Financial Disclosure – Consideration of whether a document is relevant for the purposes of r 13.07 of the Family Law Rules 2004 (Cth) – Orders made for parties to provide financial disclosure in accordance with the Family Law Rules.
  • Fells & Fells [2017] FamCA 110

    02 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – INTERIM PARENTING – Who the children live with/spend time with – Where the children have complex medical needs – Where a parent can effectively deal with the children’s medical needs – Where there is an allegation as to substance abuse by a parent – Where one of the children is very young – Whether the young child should spend the same time with each parent as the older siblings – Where there is no expert information available to the Court – Where there are no orders in place – Where the children’s medical needs require stability in their care arrangements.

  • McWatt & Easthope [2017] FamCA 109

    27 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – Parenting – Undefended hearing – Where the father did not file an affidavit as directed – Where the father did not appear at the hearing – Orders made by consent as between the mother and the Independent Children's Lawyer

  • Cimarosa & Cimarosa and Anor [2017] FamCA 108

    24 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW– PROPERTY – Adjustment of property interests – Where it is just and equitable to make orders – Contributions of the parties – Where there is limited evidence – Where the wife made a significant initial contribution to the purchase of the property – Where the husband made greater contributions during the marriage and post separation – Where the husband contributed to the welfare of the wife’s children – Where superannuation assets and non-superannuation assets considered separately.

  • Betts & Hampson [2017] FamCA 107

    22 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE – marriage void as applicant already married – applicant had obtained divorce “on line” through internet website said to be exercising jurisdiction out of Mexico – application for such “divorces” fraught with difficulty as not recognized by Australian law notwithstanding the promotor’s boast of “comity”.

    FAMILY LAW – NULLITY order made.

  • Binetto & Massani [2017] FamCA 106

    01 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PARENTING – where orders were made in 2007 for a week-about arrangement of child then aged two – child severely disabled – mother wishes to alter orders to weekend time for father – where father apposes change – where parents have different standards of care but both reasonable and satisfactory – where there is no basis for change.

  • Naczek & Dowler [2017] FamCA 105

    16 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – Spouse and child maintenance orders made overseas – husband seeks discharge in Australia because of change of circumstances – respondent fails to appear – circumstances established – provisional orders made.

  • Manrow & Manrow [2017] FamCA 104

    28 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CONTRAVENTION – Where the father alleges seven contraventions of parenting orders by the mother – Where the father withdrew two of the alleged contraventions – Where one alleged contravention was not adequately formulated and therefore dismissed – Where the Court considered four alleged contraventions – Where the applicant was unable to establish a prima facie case in relation to all alleged contraventions – Application dismissed.

  • Matthews & Norris (No 2) [2017] FamCA 103

    20 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – INTERLOCUTORY – With whom the child should live – Where the father seeks reversal of residence – Where the as yet untested evidence of the Family Consultant tends to confirm the child’s relationship with the father will wane, or worse still, be extinguished if the child remains in the mother’s primary care – Where the mother’s parenting capacity is impaired – Concluded the mother is intent on precluding the child’s interaction with the father and is refusing to comply with orders made with her consent – Where the mother would not commit to future compliance with orders – Ordered the child live with the father

    FAMILY LAW – INTELOCUTORY – Parental responsibility – Where the parties agreed to accept equal shared parental responsibility for the child in January 2016 – Where they have proven they are unable to exercise equal shared parental responsibility – Ordered the father have sole parental responsibility for the child

    FAMILY LAW – INTERLOCUTORY – Supervised time – Where the mother abducted and hid with the child – Where a recovery order was issued to ensure the mother’s compliance with previous consent orders – Where the mother would not commit to compliance with future orders – Ordered the child spend supervised time with the mother
  • Merrill & Burt [2017] FamCA 102

    28 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW –  SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE – whether the de facto husband could bring an urgent application for spousal maintenance – De facto husband sought spousal maintenance hearing be expedited – Court emphasised that spousal maintenance would be heard on or before final trial.

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Leave to file specific questions – Application brought by de facto husband during part heard trial – Husband seeking orders to file specific questions – Application is opposed by de facto Wife – Queen’s Counsel for the Wife submitting that such an application would be an abuse of process or vexatious where wife was previously subject of detailed cross-examination.

  • Aquila & Cotter [2017] FamCA 101

    31 Jan 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Notice of Objection to Subpoena – where no appearance by objector – where objection not pressed by the parties or the ICL – Notice of Objection dismissed.

  • Tagore & Tagore [2017] FamCA 100

    27 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – International Relocation – where the mother wants to relocate to India with the child – where the child’s primary attachment is to the mother - where the child is exposed to father’s negative views of the mother –where the father undermines the child’s relationship with the mother – where the mother will have the support of family in India – where the mother if permitted to relocate will promote the father having a meaningful relationship with the child – where the child’s relocation is in the best interests of the child – finding that the child was exposed to family violence – where presumption of equal shared parental responsibility does not apply – finding that it is in child’s best interests for the mother to have sole parental responsibility for the child

  • Carmen & Carmen [2017] FamCA 99

    27 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE – Application pursuant to s 83 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) to vary spousal maintenance orders – Where the wife’s circumstances have changed so as to justify a variation of the current spouse maintenance order – Where a child of the marriage has been diagnosed with a medical condition – Where the wife is unable to support herself adequately – Where the husband is not reasonably able to provide ongoing support to the wife – Application dismissed.

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY - Settlement in relation to marriage – Application to vary substantive orders for property settlement pursuant to s 79A(1)(d) of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) – Where the wife must establish that circumstances of an exceptional nature have arisen relating to the care, welfare and development of a child of the marriage – Where the consequences of a medical condition suffered by a child of the marriage are circumstances of an exceptional nature – Where the wife has not established that she or the child will suffer hardship if an order is not made – Application dismissed.
  • Crowley & Picton [2017] FamCA 98

    24 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – LEGAL PRACTITIONERS – Discharge of Independent Children’s Lawyer – Where the father seeks an order that the Independent Children's Lawyer be discharged – Where the father alleges that the Independent Children's Lawyer has failed in their duty to protect the child – Consideration of the role of the Independent Children's Lawyer – Application dismissed.

  • Silver & Woden [2015] FamCA 97

    24 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – Where the wife seeks costs in relation to the substantive property proceedings between the parties – Where it is found that the husband should pay costs resulting from his non-disclosure, failure to comply with orders and directions, and failure to appear – Where there are no “exceptional circumstances” to justify an order for indemnity costs – Where the parties have a limited asset pool – Where a set amount is ordered to be paid to the wife by way of costs.

  • Bant & Clayton [2015] FamCA 96

    24 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PARENTING – Practice and procedure – Whether an updated Family Report should be prepared by the same report writer – Where the Full Court remitted the matter for re-hearing on the issue of whether the time the child spends with the father should be supervised

  • Gaetano & Gaetano [2017] FamCA 95

    24 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Interim issue as to schooling – Consideration of  – children’s views – Discussion as to general principles – Where no interim change as to children’s schooling appropriate in the present circumstances – Where schooling issue appropriate for determination at final hearing

    FAMILY LAW – SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE – Interim – Whether mother entitled to spousal maintenance – Whether father has capacity to pay – Where application for interim spouse maintenance dismissed

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Interim – Whether interim orders sought are appropriate – Where father disposed of various properties with no evidence as to how funds were disbursed – Should the parties’ rights and interests be altered – Where no evidence as to available source of funds to meet interim property order – Where interim property application dismissed
  • Gehry & Martin and Ors [2017] FamCA 94

    24 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Recovery Application – Best Interests of the child – Where the maternal grandparents have retained the child contrary to Court Orders – Where the father seeks the return of the child – Where the maternal grandparents have breached Court Orders – Where the maternal grandparents are undermining the father’s relationship with the child – Where the mother has drug and mental health issues – Where there is no unacceptable risk to the child in the father’s care – Where the child should be returned to the father – Where the mother and grandparents should spend supervised time with the child

  • Savage & Savage [2017] FamCA 93

    24 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – ORDERS – Contravention – Where allegation that children not made available for time ordered – Where respondent mother asserts reasonable excuse – Where reasonable excuse not established – Where contraventions found proved – Where written submissions to be made as to penalty and costs

  • Driver & Dolman [2017] FamCA 91

    24 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – With whom a child lives – Where maternal grandmother have sole parental responsibility – where children live with maternal grandmother – where maternal grandmother seeks no time spent with the father or paternal grandmother – Where paternal grandmother discontinued her Response – where the trial proceeded as an undefended hearing – where the father is convicted of murder of the mother –where presumption of section 61DA of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) does not apply given the father’s murder of the mother – where re-introducing the children to the paternal grandmother would be emotionally distressing

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Aboriginal culture – Indigenous child-rearing practices – where the children’s aboriginality is derived from their paternal grandfather – where children’s opportunity to experience their aboriginal culture is minimised as a consequence of the mother’s murder, father’s incarceration and estrangement from paternal family

  • Choi & Figuera [2017] FamCA 90

    24 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – NULLITY – Application for declaration – Where respondent still married at time of subject marriage – Declaration made

  • Kapsalis & Kapsalis [2017] FamCA 89

    23 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – FINANCIAL AGREEMENT – Application by the wife to set aside a prenuptial agreement – Where the wife alleges there was fraudulent non-disclosure, a change in circumstances arising from the birth of the children, and unconscionable conduct on the part of the husband – Where having children of itself is not a change in circumstances where it is anticipated in the agreement – Where the signing of the agreement days prior to the wedding was found not to be unconscionable – Where the wife has failed to establish a basis for the setting aside of the agreement under s 90K – Where the wife’s application is dismissed.

  • Deane & Pace [2017] FamCA 88

    23 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – CONTRAVENTION – Where the mother is alleged to have contravened parenting orders – Where the mother conceded the breaches had occurred but argued she had a reasonable excuse – Where the mother claimed she had fears for the child’s safety in the father’s care – Where the evidence does not support the mother’s claims of reasonable excuse – Where the mother is charged with three counts of contravention.

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – INTERIM – Where orders are made for the child to have an introductory period of spending time with the father before the existing parenting orders are re-instated.
  • Astarita & Cotton [2017] FamCA 87

    10 Mar 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Interlocutory applications – Risk of harm – Where the children have meaningful relationships with both parents – Where the mother alleged the children are at risk of harm through their sexual abuse by the father – Where the mother proposes any interaction between the children and father is professionally supervised – Decided the evidence is insufficient to demonstrate the children are at an unacceptable risk of harm through sexual abuse by the father – Ordered mother’s application is dismissed

  • Pallister & Donnelly [2017] FamCA 86

    23 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY SETTLEMENT – Where both parties contended for adjustment of their property interests – Where each party submitted for their superannuation interests to be treated as property – Where both parties acknowledged their contributions throughout the relationship should be assessed on a global basis – Where the respondent is terminally ill and will soon die – Where, for the remainder of his life, he will have no income other than interest paid on bank accounts – Where the applicant is in good health and remains in full-time employment – Where the applicant seeks an adjustment in her favour because the respondent’s imminent death renders his future needs negligible – Concluded a four percent differential in the parties’ percentage entitlements, favouring the respondent, is appropriate

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Contributions – Value of superannuation – Expert evidence – Where the respondent’s only capital contribution at or about the commencement of the parties’ relationship was his superannuation interest, the then value of which was in dispute – Value construed consistently with the respondent’s admissions in past proceedings against his former spouse
  • Secretary, Department of Family and Community Services & Mayer [2017] FamCA 48

    02 Feb 2017

    FAMILY LAW – CHILD ABDUCTION – Hague Convention –Where the mother was entitled to travel overseas with the child for up to six weeks under final orders made in the United Kingdom – Where the mother alleges the parties came to an agreement for the child to move to Australia  – Where the father says there was no such agreement– Where the father believed the application form he signed was to obtain a passport for the child– Where the Court rejects the contention that the child was wrongfully retained in Australia upon the expiration of the six week period – Where the mother gave no notice of the proposed travel as required by the final orders – Where the Court finds the child was wrongfully removed from the United Kingdom – Where the Court consequently finds the Central Authority’s application was not filed within twelve months – Where the Court is of the view no discretion remains under the Regulations to make a return order upon the Court finding a child has become settled.

  • Bannon & Jervis [2016] FamCA 1165

    24 Nov 2016

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Extempore judgment – best interests –where the applicant father seeks final orders on an undefended basis – where the father seeks sole parental responsibility for the children and orders that the children live with the father and spend time with the mother as agreed between the children and the mother – where the evidence is untested – orders made in accordance with father’s proposal.

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Procedural fairness – where father seeks to have the matter heard on an undefended basis in circumstances where the mother has filed a Notice of Discontinuance – where the mother has filed no new material and has not participated in the proceedings since filing the Notice of Discontinuance – where procedural fairness has been afforded to the mother – application granted.
  • Widmann & Widmann [2016] FamCA 1164

    16 Dec 2016

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – INTERIM – Partial property settlement – Application by the wife for interim relief in the amount of $80,000 to be applied towards her legal costs – Classification of payment as costs or partial property settlement – Where the husband opposes the wife’s application but would prefer such a payment be made pursuant to s 79 rather than s 117 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) – Where the wife has previously received an interim costs order – Where the net assets are held by the husband – Order made that the husband cause payment of $80,000 to the wife by way of partial property settlement to be applied towards the wife’s legal costs.

  • Billencorp Pty Ltd & Billingsly [2016] FamCA 1163

    11 Nov 2016

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – Application for costs by a third party against the wife arising out of the wife’s application for enforcement of final property orders – where the third party submits that the wife’s application was misconceived – where the wife filed her application following the husband’s failure to make full and frank disclosure with respect to his financial circumstances and the financial circumstances of entities controlled by him or in which he had an interest – where the wife discontinued the orders sought by her against the third party upon being apprised of the husband’s present financial circumstances and the nature of the transactions between the husband and the third party – where the third party did not address s 117(2A) other than in a general sense – wife’s financial circumstances considered – no justification to depart from the usual rule as to costs – third party’s application for costs dismissed