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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.

  • Field & Kingston (No. 3) [2021] FamCA 167

    25 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – TRUST FOR SALE – wife’s application for her appointment as trustee for the sale of real property of which the husband is registered proprietor.

    FAMILY LAW – VENDOR BID AT AUCTION – wife’s application to restrain husband making a vendor’s bid – auction contract specifically permitting such a bid – both applications refused.

  • Werner & Werner (No. 2) [2021] FamCA 157

    24 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW - COSTS

  • Gaber & Akhtar (No. 2) [2021] FamCA 147

    24 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – where application for costs made by the wife – where application for indemnity costs – where non-compliance with Rule 19.08(3) – where consideration of applicable principles – where appropriate to order husband to pay costs in fixed sum.

  • Teo & Ung (No. 2) [2021] FamCA 153

    23 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – INJUNCTION – anti-suit injunction – where the wife commenced proceedings in China seeking a divorce order and property orders – where previous orders made by this Court restraining the wife from proceeding with her application for a property division in the City N People's Court – where the wife seeks for this injunction to be discharged and that the parties’ respective applications for property settlement before this Court be stayed pending the finalisation of the parties’ family law proceedings in the Chinese Court – where the wife says the injunction should be discharged as there is new material evidence before the Court being the husband’s entitlement to compensation arising from his interest in property in China and that the Chinese proceedings have now been listed for trial – were the wife also says the injunction should be discharged as if she withdraws the Chinese proceeding the freezing orders made by the Chinese court will cease to have effect, endangering her ability to preserve the property pool – where in the alternative the wife seeks orders preserving the Chinese compensation payments and restraining the husband from leaving the Commonwealth – where it is found that the new evidence does not materially alter the basis on which the anti-suit injunction was made – where it is found that this Court is not a clearly inappropriate forum for the litigation of the parties’ dispute – where it is accepted that orders should be made to protect the enforceability of any order made by this Court – orders made requiring any compensation proceeds received by the husband to be placed in a joint bank account and that the husband be restrained from leaving the Commonwealth – wife’s application otherwise dismissed.

  • Petridis & Petridis [2021] FamCA 154

    19 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Injunctions – Leave for bankrupt to appear for limited purpose – Where the husband seeks ambiguous orders injuncting the Trustee in Bankruptcy from acting as a vendor in the sale of the properties – Where the husband has an application on foot to set aside or annul his bankruptcy – Application dismissed.

  • Sappho & Sappho [2021] FamCA 114

    12 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE – Interim – Lump sum – Where the wife seeks further interim spousal maintenance – Where the husband offers an amount to be characterised at the final hearing – Where there is no challenge to the gateway requirement being satisfied – Orders.

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Interim Distribution – Where the wife seeks a lump sum by way of partial property settlement or litigation funding – Where the pool of assets is not yet clear – Where there is no assessment or estimate of future costs – Adjourned for further consideration upon the parties providing cost statements.

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Interim Distribution – Where the wife seeks the husband pay her insurance premiums – Where the monthly premium is modest and any payment should be brought to account as property retained by the wife – Orders.

  • Gresham & Gresham [2021] FamCA 111

    12 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – INTERIM PROPERTY – Spousal maintenance –Where husband seeks to discharge spousal maintenance order as at date paid – Where husband failed to pay spousal maintenance – Where husband failed to pay court-ordered costs – Whether rental payments collected by the wife on the former matrimonial home be characterised as income or spousal maintenance – Whether husband has capacity to pay spousal maintenance and outstanding costs – Rental payments determined to have the character of maintenance – Spousal maintenance order suspended.

  • Gavino & Elvira (No. 2) [2021] FamCA 94

    05 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – With whom a child spends time – Best interests of a child – Interim orders – Where the parties live in different states – Where the children live with the mother – Where the father seeks to spend extended time with the children in the school holidays – Where the mother proposes that time spending be daytime only – Where the mother is concerned about the father’s behaviour and mental health and the impact of such factors on the children – Where the father has sought assistance for his mental health and has participated in parenting courses – Where the father has been able to maintain his employment as a doctor – Consideration of family report – Orders.

  • Kenneth & Kenneth [2021] FamCA 92

    03 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Parenting issues – previous final consent orders 2013 – impact on child of ongoing parental tension – cessation of time with father for short time in 2018 – time resumed within months but for less time than 2013 order – time now resumed in accordance with 2013 order but with inclusion of provision for child to spend additional school holiday time with father.

  • Jansen & Kwan [2021] FamCA 85

    01 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – PARENTING – Interim parenting orders – Where children currently living in a shared care nesting arrangement in the family home with both parents moving in and out – Where such arrangement is no longer feasible – Where parents are unable to decide with which parent the children should live and how much time they should spend with the other – Where single joint expert report available – Where mother adduced evidence from her treating practitioners – Where greater weight given to single joint expert report – Children to live with father and spend time with mother.

  • Elder & Hinh [2021] FamCA 87

    23 Feb 2021

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Where the mother proposed that the child live with her and spend alternate weekends and half of the school holidays with her father and the father proposed that the child continue to live in an equal-time week-about parenting regime with each parent as had started in mid-December 2020 – where it is ordered that the child live in an equal-time week-about parenting regime.

  • Merrin & Merrin [2021] FamCA 74

    22 Feb 2021

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY –Where the wife seeks a superannuation splitting order and orders for the alteration of the parties property interests – Where the husband seeks no adjustment of parties property interests and contends the interim property distribution is sufficient to constitute a just and equitable distribution of the parties property – Where the husband seeks the wife roll her superannuation account into a new entity – Where the husband provided significantly greater contributions than the wife at the commencement of cohabitation – Where the parties carried out business activities together throughout marriage – Where a two pool approach to the parties assets is adopted – Where the non-superannuation assets were assessed as 70% to the husband and 30% to the wife – Where no section 75(2) adjustment is made in favour of either party – Where no splitting order is made – Orders for the wife to receive a lump sum payment – Orders for the wife to transfer to the husband or his nominee all of her interests in the corporate entries, including loan accounts.

  • Lange & Sparks [2020] FamCA 1121

    22 Dec 2020

    FAMILY LAW – ADOPTION – Leave to commence proceedings – Where the applicants are prescribed adopting parents – Where it is in the child’s best interest for leave to be granted to commence adoption proceedings.

  • Gosling & Sharp [2020] FamCA 1108

    22 Dec 2020

    FAMILY LAW – PARENTING – dispute between the parents where both parents initially sought primary residence of the child who has special needs and limited time with the other parent –where the child had previously been living in a shared care arrangement – the mother initially predicated her case on the basis that she was in a better position to ensure the child’s immersion in the cultural heritage of both parents – father sought residency of the child on the basis of the risk the mother posed as a result of her mental health issues and past transient lifestyle – during the trial it became apparent that the mother had a fervent belief that the child had been sexually abused despite no objective evidence to substantiate her belief – mutual allegations of past family violence – assessment of risk of both parents – findings that the father does not pose any risk to the child – findings that the mother’s mental health poses a risk to the child to warrant a reduction of her time with the child so that he lives primarily with the father and spends four nights a fortnight with the mother together with holidays and special occasions.

  • Holt & Stiller [2020] FamCA 1132

    17 Dec 2020

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – application for interim international relocation by the mother to New Zealand with the child – orders made allowing international relocation on an interim basis.

  • Tulach & Grunswell [2020] FamCA 1133

    14 Dec 2020

    FAMILY LAW – adjournment – Where the second respondent maternal grandmother on the first day of trial sought an adjournment – Where the adjournment was opposed by the applicant mother and the first respondent father – Where if the matter were to proceed the maternal grandmother would be self-represented due to her grant of legal aid having been cancelled late and then successfully reinstated only days prior to the commencement of trial - where there are complex matters involving two subject children with very separate and different considerations who are living apart from each other – Where the maternal grandmother would be at a disadvantage and may distort the outcome – Intention to adjourn the proceedings but in the event that representation became available today and could commence tomorrow the matter stood in the list pending inquiries.

  • Cornish & Cornish (No. 2) [2020] FamCA 1090

    14 Dec 2020

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – where parents have litigated extensively in this court and in the state court – where parties face difficult issues but must observe some proportionality – where is recommended that this matter be considered for the appointment of a judicial case manager

    FAMILY LAW – INJUNCTIVE RELIEF – where wife is diagnosed with a serious cancer condition which is no longer in remission – where wife seeks an injunction to prevent the husband from seeking details of her medical condition and prognosis or discussing her shortened life expectancy with any person – where interim injunction granted subject to conditions including the wife authorising her treating oncologist to provide reports each three months as well as on any deterioration of the wife’s condition

    FAMILY LAW – PARENTING – where the parties 10 year old daughter has not been informed of downturn in wife’s medical condition and the wife proposes to delay telling the child that she is not in remission until after Christmas where injunction is granted consistent with the wife’s position

    FAMILY LAW – FINANCIAL – where husband seeks a variation to spousal support orders – where there is insufficient evidence upon which to be satisfied of a change in circumstances – where husband’s financial circumstances are unclear – where husband’s application refused but liberty granted for husband to apply at the final hearing for spousal maintenance paid the wife henceforth be retained by the wife for her own use and benefit.

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – where husband seeks costs allegedly thrown away by virtue of the wife seeking an urgent sale of real – where court not satisfied that it is proper to make an order.

  • Yates & Woodford [2020] FamCA 1137

    08 Dec 2020

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – interim orders – where the first and second respondents seek interim orders to spend time with the children – where the applicant and the independent children’s lawyer oppose that application – where the first and second respondents have not spent time with the children for almost two years – where the Department of Health and Human Services prepared a s 69ZW which does not support the first and second respondents spending any time with the children – where it would be contrary to the children’s best interests to make orders to re-introduce time with the first and second respondents pending final hearing – application dismissed.

  • Pullman & Garafolo (No. 2) [2020] FamCA 1143

    07 Dec 2020

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Where final orders previously made following a defended hearing affording sole parental responsibility to the father, that the child should reside with the father and other orders as to ancillary matters – Where orders that the child spend time with the mother three nights per fortnight were made on an interim basis to allow the mother an opportunity to complete a period of therapy with a psychiatrist – Where the husband now seeks for the mother’s time to be reduced to one night a fortnight – Where the husband deposes that the child has been returning from time with the mother distressed suggesting the mother has been engaging in inappropriate behaviours in front of the child – Where the father objects to the mother taking the child to Sunday Mass – Where the mother denies that she has been engaging in any un-child-focused activities and contends that she should have additional time with the child – Where the husband’s evidence is accepted and orders are made reducing the mother’s time with the child – Where in the context of the father having been afforded sole parental responsibility, it is found that it is open to the father to prevent the child from attending church every second week – Where orders made on an interim basis to allow the wife an opportunity to obtain a further psychological report.

  • Sellers & Barlow [2020] FamCA 1140

    12 Nov 2020

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Interim Parenting Orders.

  • Badnall & Bartle [2020] FamCA 1134

    27 Oct 2020

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Application by the Second Respondent mother to vary interim parenting orders for the subject child pending a now adjourned trial – Where first allocated trial dates coincided with the commencement of COVID-19 health restrictions and trial adjourned to October 2020 – Where the adjourned trial could not proceed and the trial dates again vacated on the application of the father due to the high risk pregnancy of the father’s partner and the imminent delivery of their child – Where it will be a further six months until the matter is heard – Where is was reasonable for further interim orders to be contemplated – Where the mother seeks for supervision of herself and the subject child to cease – Where the First Respondent paternal grandmother and the ICL oppose the application – Where the subject child resides with the First Respondent paternal grandmother – Where the mother has had another child – Where the Department of Communities & Justice has expressed concerns about the ability of the mother to care for that child – Where the mother’s child has been exposed to domestic violence by the child’s father – Where the mother, although allegedly separated from the father of her child became pregnant with their second child due in January 2021 – Where the safety and security of the subject child has priority – Where certain orders by consent pending further order were made for the subject child to spend supervised time with the mother Application otherwise dismissed.

  • Hillman & Hillman (No. 3) [2021] FamCA 145

    23 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Application for enforcement of Orders – where both parties seek to be appointed as sole trustee for the sale of the property – Orders varied now that the property is to be sold.

  • Arnet & Arnet [2021] FamCA 139

    19 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS –  Costs of Independent Children’s Lawyer – Where both parties oppose the Independent Children’s Lawyer’s Application – Where the parties came to a consent position at the conclusion of the evidence at final hearing – Where both parties contend that they would experience financial hardship if an order was made for them to each pay the costs of the Independent Children’s Lawyer – Consideration given to the proportion of costs – Orders made for each party to pay the costs of the Independent Children’s Lawyer in equal shares.

  • Entezam & Devi (No. 2) [2021] FamCA 122

    16 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – NATIONAL ARBITRATION LIST – costs – novel point argued – no earlier authority on point in this court – not unsound for respondent to have argued the point she did having regard to FCCA authority – s 117(1) order made.

  • Werner & Werner [2021] FamCA 121

    16 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Review of registrar’s decision – Hearing de novo on papers – Where registrar made orders for parties to provide the remuneration report of the jointly appointed expert to the single joint forensic expert – Where the husband disputes the reliability of the single expert remuneration report – Where the husband seeks to discharge the jointly appointed remuneration expert and provide his own lay opinion – Where no application made by the husband to rely on an adversarial expert – Application dismissed.

  • Paintal & Paintal (No. 2) [2021] FamCA 124

    15 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – refusal of the father to answer questions of the Independent Children’s Lawyer in Final Defended Hearing – contempt – whether the affidavit material of the father affirmed by him will be taken as admitted in the child-related proceedings.

  • Kalant & Jordain (No. 2) [2021] FamCA 125

    12 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – contravention – where the father seeks contravention orders – “without reasonable excuse” is not an element of the contravention – onus – where Mother’s allegations were vague and lacked evidentiary basis – whether orders contravened with reasonable excuse – where there was not a reasonable excuse. 

  • Garvey & Jess [2021] FamCA 102

    12 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Where the issues for determination were alleged non-compliance in respect of disclosure; extent of disclosure relating to third parties; what property needs to be valued and how the costs should be shared initially, appointment of an accountant and what trial directions should be made – Orders made for the parties to circulate minutes of proposed orders consistent with these Reasons

  • Gin & Hing (No. 5) [2021] FamCA 129

    11 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – PARENTING – ruling – resumption of lengthy trial with only evidence of the family consultant remaining – counsel for the wife and counsel for the ICL having little to put to the family consultant – the father, now unrepresented, indicating he will cross-examine family consultant for up to 2 days – wife and ICL submitting father should pay the costs of the family consultant for one and a half days – orders made for that.

  • Haynes & Graf [2021] FamCA 119

    11 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Orders for disclosure.

  • Stopford Malloy & Malloy [2021] FamCA 100

    08 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE –Joinder of parties –– Statutory interpretation – Rule 6.03(2) and (3)(b) of the Family Law Rules 2004 (Cth) – Where Wife joins third parties by filing Amended Initiating Application pursuant to Rule 6.03(3)(2) – Where no compliance with Rule 6.03(3) – Whether joinder of third parties pursuant to Rule 6.03(2) was a “nullity” – Whether affidavit required by Rule 6.03(3)(a) is “mandatory” – Rules to be construed consistently with the main purpose in Rule 1.04 – Consideration of Rules 6.02, 6.03, 6.04, 11.10.

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Statutory interpretation – Consequences of non-compliance with Rule 6.03 – Whether the third parties should be removed from the proceedings pursuant to Rule 6.04 – Summary dismissal – Whether proceedings against third parties should be dismissed pursuant to Rule 11.02(2) – Consideration of Rules 10.12 and 11.02(2) – Whether relevant to consider prospects of success – Discretion to dispense with the requirements of rule 6.03 nunc pro tunc – Application dismissed – Costs reserved.

  • Massalski & Riley (No. 2) [2021] FamCA 138

    05 Mar 2021

    PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Stay of costs order – Where the Applicant seeks a stay of orders made in respect to costs by the trial judge and orders made in assessing the quantum of costs by a Registrar – Where an appeal of the substantive decision is pending – Where no appeal has been filed against the costs decision – Where no review of the Registrar’s decision has been filed – Where the Respondent has provided an undertaking to the Court not to seek to enforce the costs order or the assessment of the costs payable until such time that the Full Court delivers its decision in respect to the appeal of the substantive property decision – Application dismissed.

  • Swain & Lorne [2021] FamCA 99

    05 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Interim parenting – Family violence – Orders for the children to continue to live with the mother, in the absence of her current partner, and spend weekend time with their father.

  • Aubert & Cranmore [2021] FamCA 77

    25 Jan 2021

    FAMILY LAW – PARENTING – interim parenting – same sex relationship whether existing interim orders should be varied in circumstances where an expert report is now available – where the greatest risk of harm to the child arises from the intense parental conflict – where further interim orders are made.

  • Cabot & Cabot and Anor [2020] FamCA 1109

    23 Dec 2020

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – INJUNCTIONS – DISCLOSURE – Where the husband seeks an injunction restraining a third party to the marriage – Where the husband seeks disclosure from third parties to a marriage – Where the third parties contend that they have been improperly joined to the proceedings – Consideration given to whether the husband has established why injunctive relief is necessary to protect his interests and to ensure that the parties’ matrimonial property pool will not be depleted – Consideration given to the relevance of the documents, sought in disclosure, to the proceedings and specifically the relationship to the financial circumstances of the third parties to the marriage – No orders made for an injunction – Some orders made for disclosure – Application otherwise dismissed.

  • Jong & Wen [2020] FamCA 1073

    16 Dec 2020

    FAMILY LAW – PARENTING – interim parenting orders – whether the requirement for supervision be removed – historical mental health issues of the mother – where the mother has engaged with support services and treating professionals – whether there is an unacceptable risk to the children if time is unsupervised – spend time orders made.

  • Lenton & Keble and Anor (No. 2) [2020] FamCA 1136

    01 Jun 2020

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – final orders – where the applicant, the first respondent and the independent children’s lawyer consent to final parenting orders – where the second respondent consents to the orders being made save for in relation to two issues – where the second respondent is the child’s biological father – where the second respondent spends sporadic time with the child – where the second respondent opposes the applicant’s applications regarding  a change of the child’s family name and the names by which the applicant and first respondent are to be referred – substantive orders made by consent – order that the child’s name be changed  – order that the parents continue to encourage the child to call the applicant “dad”, as is the status quo.

  • Evanoff & Evanoff [2021] FamCA 109

    10 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – Interim property – Application by the husband to temporarily revoke spouse maintenance orders – Application for all property proceeds to be held in the solicitor’s trust account – Where the husband hasn’t established a sufficient change in circumstances – Where the husband has not established any entitlement to that portion of the acquisition price which has been paid to his daughters – Applications dismissed.

  • Najam & Fayed [2021] FamCA 107

    09 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – interim Parenting – best interests – where child seriously ill – where parties not agree as to where child should reside upon discharge from hospital – where conflict between parties – where interim order made for child to live with mother and for the mother to have sole parental responsibility and consult the father – where matter adjourned for short period to allow parties to consider issues. 

  • Xin & Qinlang [2021] FamCA 104

    09 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – where the wife seeks a costs order against the husband – where the husband was not wholly unsuccessful – application dismissed.

  • Aloka & Brian [2021] FamCA 95

    04 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – discrete hearing as to the allegation that the father presents as an unacceptable risk of harm to the child by reason of sexual abuse – where the Court finds that the father does not present as an unacceptable risk to the child by reason of sexual abuse.

  • Commissioner of Police for State Central Authority of South Australia & Garnett [2021] FamCA 86

    03 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – CHILD ABDUCTION – HAGUE CONVENTION – Child brought to Australia from United Kingdom – Consideration of the child’s habitual residence at the time of removal – Whether the father’s rights of custody were breached – Held, jurisdictional facts established and child’s removal from the UK was wrongful – Whether father consented or acquiesced to child’s removal in circumstances where he handed the child’s passport to the mother to enable international travel – Held, father consented – Grave risk of physical and psychological harm and intolerable situation considered – Objections of the child – Consideration of discretion – Discretion exercised to dismiss application – Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) s 111B – Family Law (Child Abduction Convention) Regulations 1986 – reg 16 – Return Order. 

  • Elderton & Boston [2021] FamCA 103

    02 Mar 2021

    FAMILY LAW – PARENTING – Where the father has been sentenced and is imprisoned for the sexual assault on the mother’s youngest daughter from an earlier marriage and who has always been a member of the mother’s household – Where the subject child does not presently have a meaningful relationship with the father – Where the child has been sheltered from knowledge of the assault on his sister and others in the father’s past – Where the mother is fearful that upon the father’s release from gaol he will act punitively towards herself and the child – Where an order has previously been made by consent for the child to live with the mother – Where the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility does not apply – Where there is no benefit to any form of time and communication in the circumstances – Where the mother seeks to change the surname of the child – Where the father expressed opposition to a change of the child’s surname – Ordered mother to have sole parental responsibility for the child extending to change of surname of the child – Ordered no time and communication between the child and the father – Ordered father be restrained from approaching the mother and the child in all settings. 

  • English & Eklund [2021] FamCA 89

    26 Feb 2021

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Interim parenting – Where at this interim stage the parties agree that the child should continue living with the mother and only dispute the time the child is to spend with the father and whether an order should be made for parental responsibility – Where the mother contends that the father sexually abused the child in the past, and thus a risk of sexual abuse arises in the future – Where the mother also contends that there is a risk to the child’s physical and psychological wellbeing arising from the father’s alleged neglect of the child’s diet in his care – Where father denies that he poses a risk of harm to the child on any basis – Where expert report is yet to be prepared in the proceedings – Where mother seeks interim orders that the child spend no time with the father pending the expert becoming available and that there be a further interim hearing following its release – Where father seeks interim orders to re-establish a relationship between he and the child – Where the ICL supports the mother’s position but contends that if the Court finds that it is in the child’s best interests for her to spend time with the father, that such time be supervised by a private supervision agency until a place becomes available at a contact centre –Where upon weighing the probabilities it is unlikely that a finding of sexual abuse by the father will be made by a court at final hearing– Where the Court considers that the child receives a benefit from having a meaningful relationship with both parents and that any risk the father may be found to pose may be properly mitigated by orders that the child’s time with him be supervised – Orders made as proposed by the father as to the time he is to spend with the child and communicate with her and as proposed by the ICL in relation to other matters.

    FAMILY LAW – Restraints – Where concerns were raised about the child’s medical care and in particular the sheer number of health professionals involved over the years – Where restraints on certain health practitioners are also appropriate in order to have a fresh lens through which the child’s health needs and any required treatment can be assessed.

  • Molina & Sanchez [2021] FamCA 84

    26 Feb 2021

    FAMILY LAW – NULLITY – Where a declaration of nullity is sought – Where the applicant wife was still married to another party at the time of the subject marriage – Declaration of nullity made.

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Whether parties should be referred to the Commonwealth Attorney-General following a declaration of nullity on the grounds of bigamy – Where it is not appropriate to make the referral.

  • Kashif & Pires [2021] FamCA 81

    26 Feb 2021

    FAMILY LAW – Parenting –Whether the Family Court of Australia is an appropriate forum to determine the parenting dispute – Orders made for the child to return to Singapore – Mother’s application stayed.

  • Scott & Munayallan [2021] FamCA 79

    26 Feb 2021

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Abuse of process – Where the applicants seek to set aside orders of Justice Berman alleging them to have been obtained by fraud pursuant to rule 17.02 of the Family Law Rules 2004 (Cth) – Where the counts of fraud alleged by the applicants are not made out – Where the Court found the application was brought by the applicants for an ulterior purpose namely an attempt to re-litigate proceedings determined to finality in the Supreme Court of New South Wales inter alia – Finding of abuse of process – Applications dismissed.

  • Cummins & Magro [2021] FamCA 90

    25 Feb 2021

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Interim property orders – Interim costs – Injunctions – Appointment of a single joint expert – Where wife appears to be unemployed – Where husband and Second Respondent jointly operate business – Where wife unable to pay legal fees – Where husband’s financial circumstances more flexible than that of the wife – Orders made for husband to pay to the wife $40,000 for the purposes of settling her legal fees. 

  • Tedd & Tedd [2021] FamCA 64

    18 Feb 2021

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – where the husband perpetrated significant family violence upon the wife and her son during the marriage – where the husband’s mother advanced the parties a significant sum when initially purchasing their home – where the wife’s parents made financial advancements to the wife and parties during the marriage and post-separation – where the wife is likely to be the sole parent for the parties’ son aged nine into the future – where the husband has the superior earning capacity and superannuation entitlement to that of the wife – where it is unlikely the child and father will be able to retrieve their relationship – wife entitled to 72.5 per cent of the matrimonial property and the husband the remainder – no superannuation splitting order sought.

  • Nasr & Dunlop [2021] FamCA 62

    18 Feb 2021

    FAMILY LAW – Where the Applicant seeks a declaration pursuant to s 90RD of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) that she and the Respondent were in a de facto relationship – Where the Respondent seeks a declaration that a de facto relationship never existed between the parties – Where the Court finds no de facto relationship ever existed between the parties – Application of the Applicant dismissed and declaration made as sought by the Respondent.

  • Viduka & Colak [2021] FamCA 49

    18 Feb 2021

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – where the wife made the superior financial contribution at the commencement of the relationship – where the wife wrongfully removed the children from Croatia to Australia resulting in Hague Convention proceedings brought by the husband – where the husband has not worked since 2016 upon returning to Australia from Croatia – where the husband suffers from a heart condition – where the wife has retained exclusive occupation of the home – where the wife’s family have assisted in paying down the mortgage on the home – where the wife has been the primary carer of the two children of the relationship – order made for home to be sold – order for the wife to receive 62.5 per cent of the nett asset pool and the husband 37.5 per cent.

  • Floros & Floros [2021] FamCA 13

    22 Jan 2021

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Parental Responsibility – Where the parties agree there should be equal shared parental responsibility – Where there is no reason to deviate from the agreed position – Where the mother shall have the final say in circumstances where the parties are not in agreement – Orders.

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – With whom a child lives and spends time with – Relocation – Best interests of the child – Where the mother seeks to relocate with the child to B City in Country C – Where the father opposes the relocation – Where both parties have family in B City – Where the child is 13 years of age – Where the child expresses a strong desire to relocate – Where the child is currently living with the mother and spending limited time with the father during the day only – Where the child has a weak attachment to his father – Where the father seeks a continuation of the current time spending arrangements – Where the father is concerned the relocation will further distance his relationship with the child – Where the mother does not oppose the child spending time with the father in Australia or B City – Where the current quality of relationship between the father and child will not be diminished – Where the child suffers from a medical condition requiring day to day management – Where the father has had little involvement in the child’s health management and education – Where there are medical professionals in Country C who can appropriately treat the child’s condition – Where the father is concerned the child will struggle to transition into the Country C education system – Where the child’s level of proficiency in the Country C language will improve over time – Consideration of the impact of COVID-19 – Orders.

  • Agassi & Ayari (No. 4) [2020] FamCA 1138

    23 Dec 2020

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Stay of Orders – Where wife seeks stay of costs orders pending the outcome of an Appeal filed by the wife – Application opposed by the husband- Application granted

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Application in a Case filed by the husband seeking orders that the wife be referred to the Director of Public Prosecutions in relation to material in the Substantive Proceedings – Application dismissed.

  • Pugh & Pugh [2020] FamCA 1125

    17 Dec 2020

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Best interests of the children – Parental responsibility – Where the mother alleges that the father sexually abused the parties’ daughter and finding sought by the mother that this occurred – Where insufficient evidence to support a finding that the father sexually abused the daughter and many inconsistencies in the evidence before the Court – Where the mother alleges that the father was a perpetrator of serious family violence including financial and sexual abuse towards her throughout their relationship – Where significant reservations are held about the reliability of the mother’s evidence and the Court is not satisfied that the father perpetrated family violence as alleged – Where significant concerns are held about the mother’s psychological functioning on the basis of her lack of insight into risks posed by her partner towards her and the children, as well as certain vulnerabilities that appear to affect her judgement and actions in relation to the children – Where Court accepts expert’s opinion that issues with mother’s psychological functioning present a risk to children – Where notwithstanding concerns held about mother, children are otherwise in a secure, settled relationship with her and a change in living arrangements would be emotionally painful for them – Where children’s relationship with father is equally positive and the children benefit from regular and consistent time with him – Where appropriate that parties equally share parental responsibility and orders are made that children live with mother and spend significant and substantial time with father.

    FAMILY LAW – INJUNCTIONS – Personal protection – Where a significant domain of harm to the children arises from the mother’s partner due to manipulative and predatory behaviour by him – Where father and Independent Children’s Lawyer propose a restraint on mother from permitting the children to come into contact with the mother’s partner – Where the father further seeks that the mother’s time with the children be reduced so that the restraint on mother’s partner be more likely to succeed – Where findings are ultimately made that the mother’s partner has engaged in a process of grooming towards mother and daughter, and the Court contemplates that it is likely ongoing – Where the Court accepts the expert’s opinion that a restraint on contact between the children and the mother’s partner and strict adherence thereto by the mother best mitigates risks of harm posed by the partner – Orders made restraining the mother from bringing her partner into contact with the children.

  • Lewis & Lewis [2020] FamCA 1081

    17 Dec 2020

    FAMILY LAW – Parenting –Where the mother seeks orders for the children to live with the her – Where the mother seeks orders that the children spend no time with the father – Where the father seeks equal shared responsibility for two of the three children – Where serious allegations of family violence have been made – Where the eldest child has severe mental health issues and deeply hostile attitude towards the father – Where the eldest child has expressed suicidal and homicidal ideation in relation to the father – Where the eldest child has threatened possible suicide, self-harm or homicide of his younger sisters are ordered to spend any time with the father – Whether the Court should await release of Single Expert family report before further considering if younger sisters should spend time with the father – Turns on its own facts

    FAMILY LAW – Spousal maintenance –Where the mother seeks orders for spousal maintenance –Where both parties will receive $150,000 after sale of former matrimonial home –Where the mother has no present source of income – Claims that due to care of children she will find it difficult to find work – Where the father contends that he also does not have capacity to pay any spousal maintenance – Where the father has greater income but higher expenses – Where payment of $100 per week ordered.

  • Cornett & Hext (No. 3) [2020] FamCA 1069

    15 Dec 2020

    FAMILY LAW – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE – Interlocutory property and parenting applications prior to resumption of a part heard trial – where the wife seeks a further interim property distribution to enable her to fund her legal costs to conclude the trial – any further distribution opposed by the husband on the basis that the wife’s eventual entitlement to property would be exceeded by further distribution – no consideration of superannuation entitlements – order made for further partial property distribution to the wife – wife consents to a variation of previous parenting orders to enable the husband to have an uninterrupted weekend once per month but seeks make up time – make up time ordered.

  • Harvey & Harvey [2020] FamCA 1101

    14 Dec 2020

    FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Rice & Asplund threshold hearing – previous final parenting orders made by consent –Where the father seeks to re-open proceedings and to have new parenting order made including affording him sole parental responsibility for one of the children - Where the father failed to establish that there had been any material change in circumstances pursuant to the principles in Rice & Asplund (1979) FLC 90-725 – Application dismissed.

  • Artinos & Artinos [2020] FamCA 1077

    14 Dec 2020

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Where it is just and equitable to make orders for property division – Where the contributions are assessed as 55 per cent to the husband and 45 per cent to the wife – Where it is appropriate for an adjustment to be made under section 75(2) of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) – Where the wife has the primary care of the children and has spent 12 years out of the workforce – Orders for an adjustment of 20 per cent.

  • Roy & Yalden [2020] FamCA 1026

    07 Dec 2020

    FAMILY LAW – PROPERTY – Final property orders – Relatively short period of cohabitation and marriage – Where the wife seeks orders for a just and equitable distribution of property under s 79 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) – Where the husband opposes any alteration of the parties’ respective property interests – Where the husband asserts that monies advanced to him by members of his family and family companies constitute liabilities to be included on the balance sheet – Whether the purported loans are legally enforceable – Where the husband seeks a declaration that real property owned solely by the wife is held on trust for the wife and the husband as tenants in common in unequal shares – Where the husband made contributions to the purchase of the real property when the parties were in a de facto relationship – Court finds that the husband has an equitable interest in the property – Orders made for distribution of property in favour of the husband – Order made declaring the wife as sole owner of real property in law and in equity.

  • Kasan & Kasan and Anor (No. 2) [2020] FamCA 1135

    20 Oct 2020

    FAMILY LAW – ORDERS – where the second Respondent seeks an amendment of the orders that prevented the parties from dealing with certain proceeds of sale – approach best likely to protect the pool of property – risks associated with potential fire sale – orders made to permit the Respondents to apply the proceeds of sale to the repayment of debt.

  • Yao & Mei [2020] FamCA 1117

    14 Oct 2020

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – Where application was made by the husband seeking a costs order that the wife pay his cost of and incidental to the Initiating Application filed by the wife on 19 September 2017 on a party/party basis in the sum of about $128,000 – Where costs were awarded in a fixed sum.

  • Zhou & Mei [2020] FamCA 1116

    14 Oct 2020

    FAMILY LAW – COSTS – Where application was made by the husband’s mother, who was a party to the proceedings, seeking a costs order that the wife pay her cost of and incidental to the Initiating Application filed by the wife on 19 September 2017 on a party/party basis in the sum of about $213,000 – Where costs were awarded in a fixed sum.