Full Court of the Family Court of 

Australia emblem
12: Goode & Goode [2006] FamCA 1346 |
Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: Appeal, Equal Parenting Time, Equal Shared Parental Responsibility, Interim Parenting Orders, Parenting Orders, Shared Parenting, Sole Parental Responsibility, Substantial and Significant Time
Judges:  Boland JBryant CJFinn J

Background: The parties were married in July 1996 and although there was a separation in December 1999 they finally separated in late May 2006. While there was some dispute as to the circumstances of the separation, the facts allowed the judge at first instance to find that the appellant father chose to leave the matrimonial home and bring the marriage to an end. Thereafter there was some dispute as to what happened in relation to the care of the children. Collier J recorded that the respondent mother asserted that after a period of time the parties reached an agreement and the appellant father commenced spending time with the children on each alternate weekend. The appellant father’s case was that the respondent mother removed the children from him and made it very difficult for him to have 
  [Legal Issue]This is an appeal by the father against a decision for interim orders. In this case the Judge in the previous decision did not apply the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility, as stipulated in the family law act, nor did he consider what was in the child's best interests, as listed in the primary and additional considerations in the family law act. Instead the Judge applied the principle previously determined in Cowling v Cowling [1998] FamCA 19, commonly referred to as the "Status Quo". The principle of Status Quo determined that if a child was in a well-settled environment, the child's arrangements should not be altered. As such, the Judge determined that in interim hearings, the Status Quo should be the prevailing principle, not what was determined to be in the    [Court Orders]The Full Court of the Family Court determined that the appeal was successful, and that: (1) The presumption that an order for equal shared parental responsibility will be in the child’s best interests still applies in interim cases, even if neither party asks for such an order. (2) Where that presumption is applied, the Court must still, at an interim hearing, consider the practicality of the child spending equal time with each of the parents under Section 65AA of the Act. (3) Even wh     

 ] Download Decision

Court or Tribunal: 
Catchwords: Appeal, Paternity Fraud
Judges:  Crennan JGleeson JGummow CJHayne JHeydon JKirby J

Background: Ms Magill had made false representations in the course of the marriage concerning the paternity of children born during the marriage. DNA testing after the marriage ended revealed two children of the marriage were not the biological children of the Mr Magill.  
  [Legal Issue]At issue in these proceedings was the notion of paternity fraud, and whether the tort of deceit can be applied in a marital context in relation to false representations of paternity. Once finding out that he was not the father of his two youngest children, and his ex-wife aware that he was likely not the father, he sued, launching a case for deceit in the Victorian County Court, claiming damages for personal injury in the form of anxiety and depression resulting from fraudulent misrepresentations. He also claimed financial loss, including loss of earning capacity by reason of his psychiatric problems and expenditure on the children under the mistaken belief he was their father, plus exemplary damages. The County Court awarded him $70,000 from his ex-wife, including $30,000 for gen   [Court Orders]The judges unanimously ruled that the case for paternity fraud brought by Liam Neale Magill failed. Three judges held that no action for deceit could lie in representations about paternity made between spouses. Three other judges held that there could be circumstances in which such an action might succeed but they were exceptional and did not cover Mr Magill's situation. However, the court also rejected an argument put by Mr Magill's former wife Meredith that the Family Law Act ruled ou     

 ] Download Decision