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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.

  • Shelbourne & Shelbourne [2019] FamCA 122

    08 Mar 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – short marriage – overwhelming contributions by one party at the start of the relationship – contributions to the welfare of the family by moving from another country - contribution during relationship to children other than of the marriage per s 75(2)(o) – post separation contribution to children other than of the marriage per s 75(2)(o)

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – refusal to discharge dollar for dollar order where the party ceased making payments to his lawyer following the making of the order and pending trial but still incurred legal costs during that period.


  • King & King and Ors [2019] FamCA 135

    08 Feb 2019

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – parenting proceedings.

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – procedural fairness – proceeding in absence of respondent and restoring liberty to apply within 14 days to vary or set aside.


  • Kellner & Kellner [2019] FamCA 139

    14 Mar 2019

    FAMILY LAW – STAY – PROPERTY – Where the de facto husband’s appeal lacks merit – Where the de facto wife challenges the bona fides of the application – Stay refused – Application dismissed.

    FAMILY LAW – SECURITY FOR COSTS – Where the de facto wife seeks an order for security for costs as a condition of any stay order that may be made – Where no stay is granted – Application to be dismissed in the event that the de facto wife does not seek to have it heard by the Full Court as part of the appeal process.

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – Where the de facto wife seeks her costs of the application for costs and the de facto husband’s application for a stay – Where the de facto husband opposes any order being made on the basis of his financial circumstances and suggests that such an application could only be dealt with after the hearing of his stay application and it should not be heard at all until after the determination of his appeal by the Full Court – Where impecuniosity is not a bar to an order for costs being made where there are circumstances which otherwise justify such an order – Where the conduct of the de facto husband in the proceedings provide circumstances that justify an order for costs being made – Where the de facto wife has demonstrated the presence of exceptional circumstances such as to warrant a departure from the ordinary rules as to costs – Costs of the proceedings ordered in favour of the de facto wife to be assessed on an indemnity basis in default of agreement – No exceptional circumstances having been demonstrated in relation to the application for costs and the de facto husband’s stay application, costs ordered in favour of the de facto wife to be assessed on a party/party basis in default of agreement.
  • Howson & Murray / Harradine & Michaels [2019] FamCA 131

    05 Mar 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY

  • Gunst & Dittersdorf [2019] FamCA 126

    08 Mar 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Best interests – International relocation – Where the mother seeks to relocate to her country of birth with the child – Where the father opposes relocation and seeks that the child live with the parents on a week about basis in Australia – Whether the father poses an unacceptable risk of harm to the child by reason of his history of violence and anabolic steroid use - Where the father has numerous criminal convictions of a violent nature – Where Domestic Violence Orders have been made against the father for the protection of five of his previous partners, including the mother – Where the father has breached Domestic Violence Orders and bail conditions on numerous occasions - Where the father lacks insight into his damaging behaviour and shows no remorse - Where the father presents an unacceptable risk of physical and psychological harm to the child which cannot be ameliorated by supervision – Where it is in the best interests of the child to permit relocation – Where the child will live with the mother in the Netherlands, have limited communication with the father and spend time with the father only as agreed by the mother.

  • Fowles & Fowles [2019] FamCA 133

    05 Feb 2019

    FAMILY LAW – EVIDENCE – ruling on use to which document can be put – tending document referred to in cross-examination not compulsory.

  • Cannon & Wescott [2019] FamCA 148

    12 Mar 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Best interests.

  • Adel & Banes (No. 2) [2019] FamCA 137

    19 Feb 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – case management where father who is overseas fails to appear – where Court satisfied that father has been accorded procedural fairness.

    FAMILY LAW – EVIDENCE – USB stick is a “document”.


  • Wragge & Wragge and Ors [2019] FamCA 120

    08 Mar 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Application by child’s maternal grandparents for a child to live with them – Application by respondent mother for child to live with her  in circumstances where child has been living with maternal grandparents in the interim where child lived with the her prior to proceedings commencing – Separation of siblings – With whom a child lives – With whom a child spends time and with whom a child communicates – Allegations of violence – Orders that child live with the maternal grandparents – Orders that maternal grandparents have sole parental responsibility for the child – Order that mother spend supervised time with the child.

  • Petrovic & Petrovic [2019] FamCA 109

    01 Mar 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Final parenting proceedings – Best interests of the children – Where father perpetrated significant family violence – Where father has family violence related criminal history – Where children have had no contact with father for some years – Where consideration of impact on mother and the children of order for children to have time with the father – Where consideration of primary protective concerns – Where mother to have sole parental responsibility – Where children to live with mother – Where the children to have no time with the father.

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Property adjustment – Where consideration of applicable principles – Where husband remained in occupation of home for years since separation – Where assessment of contributions favours the wife – Where further adjustment to wife to reflect relevant section 75(2) factors – Where wife appointed to sell the matrimonial home – Where wife to undertake repairs to matrimonial home as reasonably advised by the listing agent – Where proceeds of sale to be divided as to 60 per cent to the wife and the balance to the husband.
  • Pereira & Gangumi [2019] FamCA 121

    08 Mar 2019

    FAMILY LAW – NULLITY – pre-existing marriage to another person.

    FAMILY LAW – EVIDENCE – admissibility of the copy of a document – effect of a seal to establish a document produced by a foreign government – public document – drawing of inferences from a document in order to apply the provisions of the Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) – business records – effect of a Certificate of Divorce issued pursuant to s 56 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).


  • Nejem & Nejem [2019] FamCA 113

    05 Mar 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Parenting – where the mother unilaterally brought two children to Australia from Africa.  Where the issue was whether the court should make a summary determination for them to return or conduct an inquiry through a trial to ascertain best interests – where the children’s best interests require a trial here – speedy trial ordered.

  • Milson & Myron (No. 2) [2019] FamCA 84

    22 Feb 2019

    FAMLY LAW – CHILDREN – Best interests of a child – Where the mother seeks sole parental responsibility, that the children live with her and spend no time with the father – Where the father failed to participate in the final hearing of the proceedings – Where the father perpetrated family violence against the mother -  Where the two eldest children have significant mental health concerns – Where the father presents an unacceptable risk of emotional or psychological harm to the children  – Where the risk cannot be ameliorated by supervision – Where the benefit of the younger children having a relationship with the father is not outweighed by the risk of emotional and psychological harm to them and their siblings - Where the mother has taken reasonable steps to ensure the children are protected and that they receive ongoing assistance in respect of their mental health – Where the children will live with the mother - Where the father will spend no time and have no communication with the children.

    FAMLY LAW – PRACTICE & PROCEDURE – referral of papers to Legal Services Commission and Queensland Law Society.


  • Lucas & Wragge and Ors [2019] FamCA 72

    19 Feb 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Application by child’s father for child to live with him – Application by respondent mother for child to live with her  in circumstances where child has been living with maternal grandparents in the interim where child lived with the mother prior to proceedings commencing – Separation of siblings - With whom a child lives – With whom a child spends time and with whom a child communicates – Allegations of violence – Orders that child live with the maternal grandparents and spend time with the father – Order that mother spend supervised time with the child

  • Jewers & Marchand [2019] FamCA 123

    08 Mar 2019

    FAMILY LAW – NULLITY – Pre-existing marriage to another person.

    FAMILY LAW – EVIDENCE – Proof of pre-existing marriage – Effect of Certificate of Divorce pursuant to s 56 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth)


  • Habib & Ibrahim [2019] FamCA 116

    05 Mar 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Interim parenting proceedings – Where earlier final orders placing child in father’s primary care – Where mother’s conduct again causes concern – Where in the best interests of the child for time with the mother other than therapeutic engagement be suspended – Where appropriate to reconsider child time with the mother after she obtains a psychiatric review and after ongoing therapeutic intervention.

  • Garbutt & Salzwedel [2019] FamCA 110

    04 Mar 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Settlement in relation to a marriage – Where the parties seeks orders for an adjustment of the matrimonial property – Where the parties agree that an adjustment should be made in favour of the wife – Where the parties disagree as to the size of that adjustment and how much of it should be derived from non-superannuation versus superannuation assets – Where the wife has made a greater homemaker and parenting contribution – Where the husband has made a greater financial contribution – Court finds that the parties contributions have been equal, apart from a financial contribution made on behalf of the husband in the form of a monetary gift from his parents – Where the husband has a sizeable loan to his sister – Court finds that the parts of that loan attributable to payment of the husband’s legal fees and child support obligation should not be included as a joint liability – Orders made for the wife to receive 66.6 per cent of the matrimonial asset pool.