Family Law Guide

Whilst at first glance, the area of Family Law would appear to be relatively simple, a closer examination reveals a very different situation. It is one of the most complex areas of law, involving as it does the blunt intrusion of the law into personal, family and financial relationships.

More often than not, Family Law issues arise at times of personal upheaval when stress and emotions run high. The aim of this publication is to provide you with an overview of Family Law that may be applicable to your current situation or those around you.

Every Family Law matter is unique. Each relationship/family dispute has its own unique facts and circumstances that need to be considered and advice appropriate to that situation provided. However, there are general areas that are applicable to most matters.

Our goal in providing this publication is to give a guide to the interplay of Family Law and other areas of law that relate to family relationships.

Family Law is not simply property settlement, parenting and divorce. Family Law matters also invade other areas of both family and financial life including:

  • » taxation;
  • » bankruptcy and insolvency;
  • » trusts and corporate structures;
  • » estate planning and structuring;
  • » property law; and
  • » the often more complex psychological issues of child development and need.

As a central theme, the work we do is related to personal and financial relationships including:

the structuring of property interests to minimise risk consequent upon the breakdown of a marital or de facto relationship (sometimes called “Preventative Family Law”);

  • » pre-nuptial or pre-cohabitation financial and superannuation agreements;
  • » surrogacy agreements and transfer of parental responsibility;
  • » adoption;
  • » the ratification of parental rights in relation to children of same-sex relationships;
  • » questions of paternity;
  • » financial matters arising from the breakdown of personal relationships (marital or de facto) including divorce, property settlement, spousal maintenance, and child support;
  • » the resolution and determination of parenting disputes both immediately following separation and thereafter;
  • » the investigation and litigation of allegations of domestic or family violence including abuse, neglect and associated risk to children in the context of parenting disputes;
  • » domestic and family violence protection issues including making application for or defending protection orders; and » the recovery of monies or property by third parties following the breakdown of a marital or de facto relationship.



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Drafting of Affidavits in Family Law Matters

What is an Affidavit?

An Affidavit is nothing more or less than the means by which your client’s case is put to the Court. It is the sworn document by which your client has an opportunity to “…..paint a picture” in a manner which is persuasive, credible and complies with the Rules of evidence and of Court.


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Family Care Agreements

Love and the law, so it is said, do not make good bedfellows.

Documenting, in a written agreement, a loving, caring or supportive personal relationship, for example, is probably anathema to many Australians.

Australian Family Law however, is now challenging this cultural aversion by its recent acknowledgement of, and legislative support for, Financial Agreements between spouses in the form of Prenuptial agreements and, more particularly, Cohabitation Agreements, namely, arrangements regulating the financial relationships between perfectly happy spouses. Even in the area of defacto relationships, Queensland has also created a mirror regime of financial agreements.

This article is not about Family Law, however, but rather, the Law of Families.
It relates to the age old social duty of families caring for older or infirmed members within the family unit and:

♦ Whether we, as members of a family and as a community, can afford to continue to assign this issue to the subterranean ethos of uncompensated love and duty; and
♦ Whether it deserves to be recognised in the form of a formalised agreement that both addresses the contingencies of such care and adequately compensates those who provide the care; and
♦ Whether, in light of our demographic destiny, we really have any choice.

Brian Herd
Carne Reidy Herd Lawyers

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How to Employ a Personal Home Carer (WA)

Living independently in your own home is the wish of most people. Some people may reach a point in their lives where they need some help to do this. This can either be through an accident, an illness, a disability or increasing age.

The assistance a person requires to live independently can take many forms. Help can include assistance with meal preparation, personal hygiene, dressing, going to appointments, companionship, gardening, housework, visiting family or friends, or just supervision in completing tasks.

This assistance can be provided by many of the private care agencies in WA. Alternatively, you can choose to employ someone yourself. This method has some advantages, but it also comes with added responsibility on your part. Advantages include the opportunity to interview and select the best person for the job, to show them exactly what you would like them to do, to develop a relationship and to manage your own money.

This package has been developed to assist you to employ a Care Worker, and also manage the Care Worker you employ.

This package has been designed as a guide only, and we encourage you to clarify any issues you have with a legal representative.

This package is not, and is not intended to be relied on as legal advice. The package summarises what the writers understand to be the position at the date of writing on August, 2007. The law on these issues is subject to frequent change.

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How Divorce Affects your Superannuation, Life Insurance & Other Investments

How Divorce Affects your Superannuation, Life Insurance & Other Investments

How it may affect your superannuation…the questions you may have about how the Family Law Act 1975 may affect superannuation, certain…before taking any action in relation to Family Law matters. Overview 1 Do I need a lawyer…

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Take Control- a kit on Powers of Attorney & Guardianship

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to give another person the legal right to make decisions for you in the event that you lose capacity to make decisions for yourself.

Capacity is defined as the ability to reason things out; to understand, retain, believe, evaluate and weigh relevant information. A person may lose capacity to make decisions permanently or temporarily, due to accident or illness.

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Marriage and Cohabitation Contracts

Hollywood films and movie stars sometimes mention ‘pre-nups’ or ‘marriage contracts’.

What are these mysterious documents? One description is that a marriage or cohabitation agreement is a written record of the expectations of a married or cohabitating couple in relation to lifestyle and finances which is entered into before and sometimes during marital cohabitation.

In limited circumstances, certain parts of such agreements are legally enforceable. In some countries and cultures, including South Africa and Quebec, marriage contracts are common amongst the wealthy.

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Just a Piece of Paper? Making your AVO work for you

Most people find their AVOs to be highly effective in preventing violence, intimidation and harassment. You have every reason to be hopeful that the defendant to your AVO will take proper notice of your AVO, and that you will have no further trouble.

In the end, however, an AVO is an order of the court not just a piece of paper. What gives an AVO power is the strength of the law but very importantly also, the action taken by various people to support it.

These people include you. You may need to take specific action to keep your AVO useful and strong. We hope that the ideas in this booklet will help you to do this. As well, we think it’s wise to ‘be prepared’ for the possibility that you might continue to have problems with the defendant, despite the AVO, and have some suggestions for planning to be safe.

We encourage you to take some time to read this booklet thoroughly, and to make sure that people close to you also read it and understand how they might need to help out.

But let’s look forward positively. Your AVO is likely to be a major step towards
reclaiming a sense of freedom, safety and the absence of fear. By taking out an AVO you’ve taken a stand. We congratulate you on taking that step.

Please accept our best wishes for your more peaceful future.

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Women and Family Law

This is the ninth edition of Women and Family Law. It states the law as at November 2009 that applies to married and de facto couples (including same sex de facto couples) after relationship breakdown.

This booklet provides a starting point for finding out information about the law. It provides some answers to common questions and also sets out where you can go for further help.

You should not use this booklet as a substitute for seeing a solicitor and getting legal advice.

When reading this booklet, please note:

  • l The terms ‘partner’ or ‘ex-partner’ are used to describe a person’s
  • husband or de facto partner, including a same sex de facto partner.
  • l Words and phrases are printed in bold for a number of reasons:
  • l A term that is defined in Chapter 8 (definition section) is
  • printed in bold the first time that it appears in each chapter.
  • l The first time a term is abbreviated in each chapter, it is
  • printed in bold.
  • l Time limits are printed in bold.
  • l Cross references to other sections of the booklet are printed in bold.
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7 Biggest Mistakes Australian Parents Make Dealing with the CSA

If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of Australian parents who simply want the best for their child and to move forward with their lives – but are faced with the frustrating struggle of drawn-out, costly and stressful dealings with the Child Support Agency.

We’ve written this report especially for You – an Australian parent frustrated from your dealings with the Child Support Agency.

We have done this because we too have become frustrated and are now committed to being a part of the solution. We are Child Support Help Australia, and we help families like yours get the best possible outcome from the Child Support Agency system.

Our experience means you don’t have to know the lingo, the loopholes and the tricks of the Child Support Agency and its vast workings.

This report is a gift from Child Support Help Australia to You.

It contains all the knowledge you’ll need to eliminate a lot of the headache of haggling with a government organization. Read on, and arm yourself with the secrets of how to save money, time and stress when dealing with the CSA… because as an Aussie parent you have more important things in life to invest yourself in.

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