Family Law

Step-Parent Adoption – Obtaining Adoption Orders

  • January 31, 2013

Where a step-parent has been performing the role of an absent/disinterested biological parent for a long time, the urge to “normalise” the relationship understandably holds strong.  One way to achieve this is through step-parent adoption. Part 1 of this series discussed the effect of an Adoption Order.  In this instalment we discuss the process by which…

Step-Parent Adoption – Effect of an Adoption Order

  • January 31, 2013

Statistically, one fifth of separated families these days eventually transform to include a full time step-parent following the re-partnering of one or other of the biological parents. For some of these families, non-participation of the other biological parent may lead to the step-parent becoming the only “other” parent figure in the children’s life. Not surprisingly…

Divorce – How do you pay for the Lawyer?

  • October 12, 2012

Behind space exploration and warfare, it might seem hard to imagine any other endeavour that could be quite as expensive as Family Law litigation.  Sadly, the financial and psychological impact of these forms of disputes are almost entirely negative and can affect some people for years if not decades.  The good news is that statistically…

Long Distance Parenting

  • September 21, 2012

Considering the vast distances dividing Australia’s major population centres, the advent of high speed internet connectivity and the highly mobile nature of the Australian community as a whole, it is little wonder that the breakdown of family relationships bring many parents into conflict over where the now separated family is to live. Work commitments or…

Paternity Issues and Child Support

  • June 29, 2012

Following the breakdown of a relationship, any parent who retains the care of a child under the age of 18 years is entitled to receive financial support from the child’s other biological parent to assist with the day to day cost of living.  These payments are assessed and child support assessments can add up to…

Who keeps the engagement ring in a property settlement?

  • May 25, 2012

When asked for advice from a young women set to break off an engagement about any obligation to return the engagement ring, Hollywood socialite Zsa Zsa Gabor once famously said “of course you should return the ring darling – but make sure you keep za stone!” Questions about inclusion or exclusion of jewellery in the…

Supervised Contact of Children

  • May 25, 2012

Introduction The area of residence and contact litigation is often fraught with highly emotional opinion.  When involved in such litigation it is important to consider first and foremost the best interests of the children. According to law in Australia, the children have the right of contact on a regular basis, with both their parents and…

How long does it take?

  • May 10, 2012

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the shortest war in history occurred in Zanzibar in 1896. Hostilities were called off after 45 minutes when three British war ships showed up! The longest war lasted 116 years between the British and the French ending in 1453 with Britannia eventually conceding France to the French!…

Anulling a Marriage

  • April 27, 2012

Henry VIII petitioned Pope Clement VII for one in the 16th Century.  He was refused but eventually circumvented the problem by establishing the Church of England.  Basketball royalty, Dennis Rodman, successfully obtained one in 1998 on the grounds “he was too drunk to understand the wedding ceremony”.  Six years later, pop diva, Britney Spears, repeated…

Time Wounds All Heals

  • March 29, 2012

It is generally accepted that the grieving cycle of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance is the common emotional experience which follows the breakdown of a relationship. Whilst for some, the grieving has been done “on the inside” for many years before informing the other partner about ending the relationship, for others,  this news can…