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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.

  • Westlake & Westlake [2019] FamCA 563

    16 Aug 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Where final parenting orders were made in February 2014 after a defended hearing – Consideration of the principles in Rice & Asplund (1979) FLC 90-725 – Where the trial judge found that the father posed a risk of emotional harm to the children due to his beliefs about the mother and inability to foster the children’s relationship with the mother – Where the trial judge found that the children needed to be protected from the father’s beliefs and imposed long term supervision – Where the supervisor withdrew its services in March 2014 and the father has not seen the children since then – Where there is no evidence to suggest that the father’s beliefs about the mother have changed – Where there has not been a significant change in circumstances to warrant a reconsideration of the current order – Where further litigation would not be in the best interests of the children – Where the 2014 parenting order is varied to reflect the reality of the children’s situation and applications by the mother and father to vary/discharge the order are otherwise dismissed.

  • Westlake & Westlake (No. 2) [2019] FamCA 608

    29 Aug 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Stay of proceedings – Where the father seeks a stay and/or adjournment of the hearing of competing vexatious proceedings order applications pending the outcome of his appeal against an order dismissing his application to vary the final parenting order – Where the mother and the independent children’s lawyer oppose the stay/adjournment – Where the father has failed to establish a proper basis for a stay/adjournment – Where the application is dismissed.

  • Wai & Gwok [2019] FamCA 407

    05 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – SECURITY FOR COSTS – Where the Third Respondent seeks security for costs pending Final Hearing to be paid by the First Respondent – where the First Respondent joined the Third Respondent to proceedings – where the First Respondent opposes the Third Respondent’s Application for security for costs – whether rule 19.05 of the Family Law Rules 2004 (Cth) applies to an application between respondents – where the Court determines an order for security for costs of the Third Respondent is appropriate, but in a lesser sum than sought.

  • Vellers & Vellers [2019] FamCA 412

    20 May 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY– enforcement of previous orders – orders to restrict movement – enforcement of orders made in Australia in another jurisdiction – airport watch list – urgent ex parte application – orders made.

  • Tong & Niem [2019] FamCA 551

    15 Aug 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – DISQUALIFICATION – Where application for disqualification on the basis of apprehended bias – Where discussion of applicable principles – Where basis for application not made out – Where application dismissed.

  • Suvari & Suvari [2019] FamCA 434

    05 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Where the parties owned and operated two businesses during the marriage – Where following separation, the wife moved substantial funds from the businesses into the mortgage account without the consent of the husband - Where the husband contends those transfers will be treated as income and attract tax accordingly – Order made for the funds to be returned to the businesses, to be used by agreement of the husband and the wife jointly – Application for spousal maintenance – Where the husband pays the mortgage, child maintenance and school fees – Where the husband agrees to pay $600 a week for spousal maintenance – Where there is no evidence that he can afford more than $600 a week – Order made.

  • Siena & Zappa [2019] FamCA 403

    03 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY SETTLEMENT – assessment of contributions – marriage of four years – two children of the marriage – where husband made a significant contribution at commencement of cohabitation – where wife is the primary carer of the children – consideration of s.75(2) matters – justice and equity – orders made.

  • Sandell & Neave [2019] FamCA 445

    10 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Family Report – Where the Applicant is seeking leave to inspect a Family Report prepared in another parenting matter involving the Respondent – Where the Respondent opposed the application on the basis that the two children who are the subject of the report would not be comfortable with their former step-father having access to the report – Where leave is given to the solicitors for the Applicant to only inspect the Family Report.

  • Pullman & Garafolo [2019] FamCA 467

    10 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Adjournments – Application of the mother for an adjournment of a hearing listed for five days – Application dismissed.

  • Nagel & Clay [2019] FamCA 406

    20 Jun 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – PARENTING – Where Family Report previously prepared in matter – where mother seeks alternate single expert be appointed to prepare an updating report – where the father opposes mother’s application – where the Court makes no findings about the mother’s criticisms of the Family Report or the manner in which the Family Report was prepared – where alternate single expert ordered.

  • Maurice & Barry [2019] FamCA 346

    29 May 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Where and with whom a children live – Where the applicant seeks that the children live with her and spend five nights a fortnight with the respondent – Where the respondent seeks sole parental responsibility, that she be permitted to relocate interstate with the children, and that the children spend occasional weekends and half school holidays with the applicant – Where the two eldest children have become aligned with the respondent – Where the respondent does not currently have the capacity or willingness to co-parent or promote the children’s relationship with the applicant – Where it is appropriate that the applicant have sole parental responsibility - Where it is not in the best interests of the children to relocate interstate – Where the children will live with the applicant and spend five nights a fortnight with the respondent.

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY SETTLEMENT – Where the parties were in a same sex de facto relationship for 17 years and have 4 children – Where the initial contributions favour the applicant –Where the applicant has received significant gifts and inheritances throughout the relationship – Where the other contributions during the relationship were largely equal – Where it is just and equitable to make an order for property division – Where an adjustment of 10 per cent in the respondent’s favour pursuant to s 90SF(3) is appropriate – Where a division of the property in the proportion of 60/40 in favour of the applicant is just and equitable in all the circumstances.

    FAMILY LAW – SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE – Where the respondent seeks the applicant pay to her periodic spousal maintenance for a period of three years – Where the applicant resists the application – Where it is ordered that the applicant pay to the respondent periodic spousal maintenance for a period of three months to enable the respondent to re-enter the workforce.

  • Josipovic & Josipovic [2019] FamCA 360

    30 May 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – SUPERVISED TIME – allegations of denigration by father of mother – contested interim parenting application – father’s relationship with children otherwise sound – not persuaded about need for supervision.

  • Grendel & Choat [2019] FamCA 368

    05 Jun 2019

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS - Costs application following a parenting hearing

  • Goyal & Goyal [2019] FamCA 454

    18 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Child in an equal time arrangement – Whether the child’s time with the mother ought be reduced – Where there is no need to protect the child from abuse, neglect or family violence – Where both parties found to offer high quality but different parenting styles – Where parties have a positive co-parenting relationship.

  • Goyal & Goyal (No. 2) [2019] FamCA 526

    15 Aug 2019

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – where the wife asserts lack of financial capacity – whether the wife should pay the second respondent’s costs – indemnity fixed at $8000.

  • Gottlieb and Ors & Bauman [2019] FamCA 422

    05 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Contravention Application – where the father was incarcerated –consent orders were made for the child to live with the mother and for the mother to have sole parental responsibility – where consent orders required the mother to forward gifts sent by the father to the child for a period of two years – where consent orders were made between the parents and the paternal grandparents – where the mother was to encourage a relationship between the child and the paternal grandparents – where the mother relocated to Finland – contravention of orders by the mother – where there were issues serving the Contravention Application upon the mother – where the Contravention Application was heard almost four years after it was filed – delay in the Contravention Application being listed – where the child is almost eighteen – Court determines there is a case to be answered – whether “serious disregard” of primary orders – where there are no viable orders pursuant to Subdivision E of Division 13A of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) – Applications dismissed.

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Service of an initiating process outside Australia – consideration of the Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil or Commercial Matters, 1965 – consideration of Part IIAB of the Family Law Regulations 1984 (Cth) – Court determines mother was properly served – failure of mother to file Notice of Address for Service pursuant to Rule 8.05 of the Family Law Rules 2004 (Cth) – proceeding ex parte – definition of “default judgment” under the Family Law Rules 2004 (Cth) and Family Law Regulations 1984 (Cth).

  • Cluny & Skinner (No. 3) [2019] FamCA 602

    23 Aug 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CONTEMPT – APPLICATION IN A CASE – STAY OF ORDERS – Where the husband was found guilty of contempt within the meaning of s 112AP of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and was also found to have contravened orders without reasonable excuse within the meaning of s 112AD on 28 April 2017 – Where the husband was given two years to remedy his contraventions of orders or, in default, serve a three month term of imprisonment – Where in the two year period the husband paid less than $1,000 of a debt totalling approximately $521,000 with interest as of 30 July 2019 – Where the orders were stayed for a further two weeks pending the filing of a formal application for a stay pending appeal – Where the husband does not propose to appeal – Where the husband seeks a stay of the term of imprisonment conditional upon his paying $25,000 within seven days and $6,000 per month thereafter – Where even ignoring accruing interest and the husband’s ongoing child support obligations, it would take approximately seven years to remedy the contraventions on the husband’s proposal – Where the husband is attempting to impermissibly re-visit the determination of sanction – Where there is no legitimate basis to stay the orders for sanction already imposed.

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – POWER TO VARY OR DISCHARGE S 112AD ORDER – S 112AK – Where the husband does not establish any basis for that power to be exercised in his favour – Application dismissed.

  • Cluny & Skinner (No. 2) [2019] FamCA 519

    01 Aug 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CONTEMPT – CONTRAVENTION – Where the husband was found guilty of contempt and found to have contravened orders – Where the husband owed spouse maintenance, lump sum arrears and costs totalling in excess of $250,000 – Where the sanction imposed for the contempt was a fine of $30,000 – Where the husband was permitted the opportunity to remedy this contravention of orders – Where, in default of the husband remedying his non-compliance, a term of imprisonment of three months was imposed – Where the husband was given until 31 July 2019 to remedy his non-compliance – Where the husband paid a total of $673.12 of the total owing as at 31 July 2019, being $521,151.90 – Where the husband has failed to show cause as to why the term of imprisonment determined ought not be brought into effect – Where the term of imprisonment is enlivened.

    FAMILY LAW – STAY OF ORDERS – Where the husband made an oral application for a stay of the orders pending appeal – Where a temporary stay is granted to allow the husband 14 days in which to file a formal application for a stay of the orders – Where the matter is adjourned pending the filing of that application.

  • Baldoni & Baldoni [2019] FamCA 446

    10 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Injunctions – Preservation of property – Single expert valuation fees – Orders

  • Atkinson & Atkinson [2019] FamCA 436

    04 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Undefended hearing – Where following release of Expert’s Report the father filed a Notice of Discontinuance – Where the father has perpetrated family violence – Where the child has oppositional defiance disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – Where consideration of child’s best interests – Where the expert recommends that the father have identity contact only – Where orders made as sought by the mother and supported by the Independent Children’s Lawyer.

  • Atkinson & Atkinson (No. 2) [2019] FamCA 437

    04 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – Costs application made by the Independent Children’s Lawyer – Consideration of applicable principles – Where defended parenting proceedings ultimately determined on an undefended basis – Where significant issues for determination – Where orders ultimately made as contended for by Independent Children’s Lawyer and the mother – Ordered that the father pay by way of contribution to the Independent Children’s Lawyer’s costs the sum of $3,551.35.

  • Ajam & Asfour and Anor [2019] FamCA 401

    02 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Consideration of rule 11.02 and 11.03 of the Family Law Rules 2004 – An Application for “special costs” – Orders made permitting the applicant to file an Amended Application and pay the Respondents’ costs in accordance with Schedule 3 of the Rules – Prior to the registry accepting the filing of Amended Application – Failure to comply results in a self-executing order to dismiss the Application.

  • Amari & Sikdar (No. 2) [2019] FamCA 611

    30 Aug 2019

    FAMILY LAW – SECURITY FOR COSTS

  • Chi & Xana [2019] FamCA 606

    29 Aug 2019

    FAMILY LAW – NULLITY – declaration that the annulment granted in Country D is a valid annulment for the purposes of Australian law.

  • Kendrick & Barnwell [2019] FamCA 603

    28 Aug 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Where final judgment is reserved – Where an application is made to re-open property proceedings – Where the husband sold a property owned by him that was included in the property interests of the parties and the sale price is greater than that attributed to it in the joint balance sheet of the parties at the end of the trial – Where the interests of justice will not be better served by granting leave to re-open the case – Where the application is dismissed and no order is made for costs.

  • Banks & Smythe [2019] FamCA 604

    28 Aug 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Section 102NA prohibition on cross-examination – where the father was charged with a domestic violence offence in 2016 – where findings were previously made in this Court that the father was the perpetrator of family violence towards the mother – where the father is self-represented – where no order has been made – where there is no disadvantage to either party in an order being made in the absence of the parties – ordered that the requirements of s 102NA(2) will apply.

  • Chu & Lorde [2019] FamCA 560

    16 Aug 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Parenting – interim application by the Mother to take the children on overseas travel – where there are final parenting orders in place – where the Father has limited contact with the children – where the Mother wants to travel to Country P for a dental surgery – where the Mother is not able to afford the dental surgery in Australia – where the Mother’s extended family reside in Country P – where the children will have the opportunity to experience part of their cultural heritage – where the Father says that the Mother poses a risk of non-return – where the Father says that the Mother is isolating the children from him – where it is in the best interests of the children for them to travel to Country P with their Mother.

  • Amari & Sikdar [2019] FamCA 584

    12 Aug 2019

    FAMILY LAW – SECURITY FOR COSTS FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Application in a Case to file further Affidavits – Application in a Case refused.

  • Cluny & Skinner [2019] FamCA 465

    16 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – Where the mother seeks that the father pay her costs for continuing to seek a variation of orders even after he filed a Notice of Discontinuance – S 117(2A) considerations – Where the court is not persuaded that the general rule in relation to costs is displaced – Where indemnity costs is not appropriate in this case – Where the mother did not put forward an alternative proposal for the applicable period of costs – Application dismissed.

  • Durant & Curran [2019] FamCA 517

    09 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Interim orders – Whether a valuation should be completed – Whether the valuation should be paid for from jointly held funds or by the applicant in the first instance – Where the valuation has sufficient relevance to the proceedings to justify it being prepared – Where the valuation is to be paid for from the jointly held funds in the first instance but on the clear understanding that it can be adjusted at the final hearing if the valuation was not in fact warranted.

  • Jardine & Sackville [2019] FamCA 458

    08 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – INDEPENDENT CHILDREN’S LAWYER – Bias – Where the father makes an oral application for the discharge of the Independent Children’s Lawyer and the re-appointment of another – Where the father believes the current Independent Children’s Lawyer lacks impartiality – Where the Independent Children’s Lawyer’s bias is not established just because the father believes it to be so – Where discharging the current Independent Children’s Lawyer would cause further delay and additional cost – Application dismissed.

  • El Rashidy & El Rashidy and Anor [2019] FamCA 402

    05 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Evidence – subpoena objection – legal professional privilege – objection dismissed save as to part.

  • Gulizar & Gulizar [2019] FamCA 419

    04 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Parental responsibility and with whom the children live – Where there are four children of various ages – Where the father seeks that he and the mother have equal shared parental responsibility – Where the mother seeks sole parental responsibility – Where the parents have poor communication – Where it is not practicable for the parties to have equal shared parental responsibility – Where it is in the best interests of the children for the mother to have sole parental responsibility – Order made - With whom the children live – Where the father seeks that the two younger children live with him – Where there are serious allegations of family violence made against the father by all of the children – Where the Independent Children’s Lawyer and the Department of Family and Community Services agree that the two younger children should live with the mother – Order made for all of the children to live with the mother – Orders made for the elder two children to communicate or spend time with their father only in accordance with their wishes – Orders made for the two younger children to communicate or spend time with the father under such conditions as agreed by the parents in writing.

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – Where the Independent Children’s Lawyer sought an order for costs from each party in equal shares – Where the mother did not consent to the orders insofar as they were sought against her – Where the father did not oppose the application for costs insofar as they were sought against him – Where there was little evidence before the Court about the mother’s financial circumstances – Where the mother has been out of paid work for many years – Order made for the father to pay half of the costs of the Independent Children’s Lawyer – No order for costs made against the mother.

  • Sidkar & Amari [2019] FamCA 417

    02 Jul 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – PARENTING – Interim proceedings – parental responsibility.

  • Bennett & Bennett [2019] FamCA 392

    20 Jun 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Interim distribution.

  • Hughes & Kelly [2019] FamCA 380

    13 Jun 2019

  • Guild & Stasiuk (No. 2) [2019] FamCA 359

    30 May 2019

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – BINDING FINANCIAL AGREEMENT – trial of proceeding – decision of Full Court in Frederick & Frederick handed down the day earlier – whether that decision altered the law – applicant wanting to adduce further evidence – whether to grant adjournment – whether Full Court decision actually altered the law.

  • Unwin & Unwin [2019] FamCA 215

    09 Apr 2019

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – where the children will spend supervised time with the mother on four occasions per year on a final basis - where the parties and children have been involved in litigation since 2013 – where final orders were made in 2014 following a contested hearing – where it was determined that the children live with the father and he have sole parental responsibility – where the mother spent time with the children following the previous final orders initially supervised and then progressing to unsupervised day time – where the mother brought application in 2016 seeking a variation of the final orders by expansion of the time she spends with the children - where the mother was not seeking to change parental responsibility or residence of the children - where there were serious risk of harm issues raised in the previous proceedings – were the younger child disclosed in 2017 more detail of being sexually abused by her older maternal half-brother – where no finding about sexual abuse was made in the previous proceedings – where the child has matured and is better able to articulate and recall what happened to her – where the disclosures of sexual abuse have been investigated by the Department of Family and Community Services and substantiated – where further information provided in these proceedings has elaborated on past information – where the mother is dismissive of the allegations that the child has been sexually assaulted and does not believe them – where the level of risk for the children has escalated as a result of further disclosures combined with dismissive attitude of the mother – where the mother asserts that the children are being coached by the father – where the evidence does not support a finding of such manipulation by the father - where the safety of the children is the priority – where orders are made in the best interests of the children – where the mother is unable to act protectively – where the mother probably ignored an injunction made in previous proceedings preventing her from leaving the children unsupervised in the company of the maternal half-brother – where alcohol abuse is a serious problem for the mother – where the eldest child is adamant that he does not want to see the mother – where the youngest child has a desire to spend time with the mother – where the orders for limited supervised time balance the risks and enable the relationship with the mother to be preserved – where there is an unacceptable risk of harm for unsupervised time with the mother.