Butlers News

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We're separated, I can apply for Divorce at any time, right? - Common Misconceptions Part 2

Unlike Kim Kardashian, in Australia, you cannot marry someone on one day, only to decide that was the wrong decision and file for divorce 72 days later.

Instead, the law recognises the fragility and “ups and downs” of relationships, requiring that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. Contrary to popular belief, it is not relevant why the relationship broke down, just that it has. This means that the Court does not consider factors such as infidelity.

To show that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, it must be shown that the parties have lived separately and apart for at least 12 months before being able to apply for a divorce. If one person moves out but moves back in, to give the marriage another shot, for example, this is taken into account when determining the required 12 months of separation. If the couple lives together on one occasion for less than three months, or any other not substantial period of time, that time is not calculated in determining the 12 months period.

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507 Hits

Defacto relationships - Common Misconceptions Part 1

One question that lawyers often find unmarried people ask outside of work is “if we broke up, would he/she be able to make a claim on my assets?”

This answer to this question comes down to whether or not you are in a de facto relationship. Unfortunately, that is not always as cut and dry as it may seem and the topic carries with it a lot of misconceptions. The main one being that there is no set timeframe from which you can definitely say that you are in a de facto relationship. Rather, the legislation simply indicates that you are in a de facto relationship if you are not married, and you live together in a marriage-like relationship. Understandably, what one person considers to be “marriage-like” may be vastly different to what another considers that to be.

So at what point are you in a de facto relationship? Have you been unwittingly in one without even knowing it?

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262 Hits

The deadline for applying for Children's living arrangements over Xmas is fast approaching!

For almost every family, Christmas is a happy but stressful time. Whether it is ensuring there are no gift double-ups, Santa’s true identity remains undiscovered, or that there are no pistachios in the salad as Aunty Laura’s allergic, chaos is an expected part of the end of the year.

When mum and dad are no longer together the co-ordination and logistics become even more challenging. And that’s when they are getting along!

When parents are embroiled in a Family Court dispute, how children spend their Christmas, New Year’s Eve and the lengthy summer school holidays often become issues which cannot be resolved by discussion alone.

Because so many estranged couples seek the assistance of the Court to determine how their children will celebrate the holidays and spend their school break, the Court has strict rules regarding such applications. This year, all applications seeking orders regarding children’s living arrangements for the 2018/2019 Christmas school holiday period must be filed before 4pm on Friday 9 November 2018.

However, with the current backlog at the Family Court, it is recommended that you file your application well in advance of any proposed holiday or additional time with the children. Once your application is filed, it may be 6 weeks (or more) before a Court Hearing is listed. Accordingly, any urgent applications should specifically state the urgency in a detailed, yet concise, covering letter. 

The Family Law Team at Butlers are experienced in preparing and filing such applications and are ready to help. Don’t leave it too late, contact us now!

 

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614 Hits

R U OK?

As a firm specialising in family law and wills and estate matters, we see the impact that separation, death and family disputes have on people of all walks of life, every day. There is a known link between serious life events such as these, having a substantial impact on personal wellbeing, often for prolonged periods of time.

These issues permeate our society and today, we would like to remind our clients and our wider network that it is okay to talk, and there are always avenues and people who are willing and able to help you.

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887 Hits

Family Violence Restraining Orders - what might happen and how do I deal with it - Part 1

The Scenarios….what might happen and how do I deal with it?

There is an overlap with Family Law and Criminal Law in the form of Family Violence Restraining Orders (“FVRO”). At Butlers, we are able to assist you with obtaining an FVRO or can represent you, if you are the person receiving the FVRO. Over the next four blogs we outline some of the common scenarios faced by people who obtain or receive an FVRO.

Part 1 - Criminal Law and Family Law Intersection

The neighbour next door is divorcing his wife.

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958 Hits

Family Violence Restraining Orders and Children's Issues - Part 2

Part 2 - Restraining Orders and Children’s Issues

So, you can no longer see your children, because you are subject to a Family Violence Restraining Order (“FVRO”) that extends to, and protects, your children.  What are your options?

There is an exception allowing you to live with, spend time with, or communicate with your children, as long as there are Family Court Orders in place, allowing you to do this.

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811 Hits

Privacy and my Lawyer.... how far does that go?

It's true that any communication between you and your lawyer is confidential.  It cannot be divulged, discussed or provided to other people or the Courts. This concept is known as Legal Professional Privilege or for the sake of this blog, LPP.  It's the backbone of the honest relationship a lawyer and their client must have at all times.  But did you know LPP can be waived or lost? Did you know that your former-wife, husband or partner may be able to access the entirety of your Family Law file once you die? Here’s how and, more importantly, how to prevent it.

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1045 Hits

MARRIED AT FIRST SIGHT - WHAT COULD GO WRONG?!

Married at First Sight – what could go wrong?!

Married At First Sight – the series we all love to hate and hate to love. With many people sick of choosing the wrong person for themselves time and time again, often via their online dating accounts, you can forgive some for thinking that, just maybe, these modern-day arranged marriages are the way of the future. And who can blame them with unlikely love birds like Telv and Sarah flaunting their love on national television?!

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1831 Hits

Financial Agreements – what’s the position now

The long awaited decision in Thorne & Kennedy has today been delivered by the High Court.

Background

The case concerned Ms Thorne an Eastern European woman living in the Middle East who, at 36 met Mr Kennedy, 67, online. Mr Kennedy was estimated to have personal wealth of between $18 million and $24 million.

They embarked on a relationship, with Ms Thorne moving to Australia to marry Mr Kennedy having been told that she would “have to sign paper”. Ms Thorne bought no assets with her.

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2112 Hits

Facebook - She said what??

Are you one of the 17 million Australians using Facebook? Have you ever vented on Facebook in a moment of anger or frustration? Be warned - your electronic communications can be readily accessed and used to your detriment in the Family Court.

Social media platforms are public forums and, depending on privacy settings, whatever a person shares on social media forms part of the public domain and can often be accessed by anybody at any time.

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1766 Hits

Deadline looming - Orders regarding children’s living arrangements for Christmas!

Deadline - Did you know that the Family Court have a deadline for Orders regarding children’s living arrangements for Christmas?

For most every family, Christmas is a happy but also stressful time. Whether it is ensuring there are no gift double-ups, Santa’s true identity remains undiscovered, or that there are no pistachios in the salad as Aunty Laura’s allergic, chaos is a part and parcel of the end of the year.

When mum and dad are no longer together the co-ordination and logistics are even more challenging. And that’s when they are getting along.

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2328 Hits

Why bother with a Financial Agreement?

Picture this…. you’re invited to speak on a local radio station about nuptial agreements following a recent government paper seeking to establish the key principals of such agreements for, not only the legal profession, but also the public. This is your first radio interview and so, you spend the evening ensuring you are familiar with the paper and the proposed plans. You’re introduced to the audience, and during that introduction the presenter summarises almost everything you read the night before. His first question to you…..”these agreements….you’re married….do you have one?”.

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2198 Hits

SPOILER ALERT - The Bachelor - who will get the ring?

SPOILER ALERT - The Bachelor - who will get the ring?

And so, another season of “The Bachelor” is in full swing, a sign of hope to anyone who’s single that they too could find love, so long as their willing to go on national television and date 22 people at the same time? Or maybe they’d rather be one of the lovely ladies playing house with their 21 competitors. Either way, people across Australia will be watching as all 22 girls fall for Matty J, hoping that a shiny rock awaits the lucky lady who wins his heart.  

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2231 Hits

Drugs, Family Law and the increasing responsibility on Grandparents

Drugs, Family Law and the ever-increasing responsibility on Grandparents

First, let’s talk about ordinary Family Law circumstances, with a loving set of parents, who simply didn’t make it as a couple. Grandparents do not have an automatic right to see their grandchildren. However, the grandchildren have a right to continue to spend time with their grandparents with whom they are close. In short, if it’s in the best interests of the child that they continue to have a relationship with a grandparent with whom they already have a great relationship, then the Court will take a long hard look at that.

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2477 Hits

Surveillance vs Snooping - The Fine Line...

Surveillance vs Snooping

Going through a separation has a way of making even the most private and intimate of affairs seem all of a sudden very public. Unfortunately, this exposure of personal details, coupled with an angry ex, can result in uncovering more than a few skeletons in the closet.

There are different ways of accessing private information and there are drastic differences between surveillance and snooping – one being legal, and one not. 

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2519 Hits

Butlers awarded Doyle's Guide 2016

Doyle’s Guide is considered a prestigious recognition in the Legal Industry as an independent guide to the legal profession in Australia that awards the best lawyers, barristers and law firms in the industry.  Within each area of law, and for each State, rankings are allocated, identifying pre-eminent, leading and recommended practitioners.  Further, the guide recognises law firms specialising in specific areas of law.  What makes the guide special is the process by which these rankings are decided.   Feedback is gained by counsel and peers practising in Australia, who identify firms and individuals through surveys, telephone and face to face interviews.

Butlers are proud to be recognised in Doyle's Guide for Leading Family & Divorce Law Firms – Western Australia, 2016 and John Butler, personally in Leading Family & Divorce Lawyers – Western Australia, 2016. 

We look forward to continuing to offer our Clients exceptional service in all areas of Family Law and Wills & Estate Planning in Western Australia.

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3084 Hits

The law doesn't care if you're separated but not yet divorced... How your ex can end up with your money after you're long gone..

 

A relationship breakdown is one of the most traumatic things you’ll ever have to deal with in your life. Life as you know it is tossed completely upside down, and not only do you have to grieve the loss of the relationship, but you probably have to move, open new bank accounts, learn where everything is in a new supermarket, and sometimes even stop seeing some of your friends because your former partner got them in the split. While you’re sorting through 3 years’ worth of bank statements and trying to get your ex to agree that the kids can stay with you until 2.00pm on Christmas Day instead of 1.00pm, it might not feel like there’s much time to get your head around anything else.

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4065 Hits

The Family Court - A System in Crisis

One of the most frequently asked questions by people who have ever filed anything at the Family Court is ‘what’s the hold up?’.

The Family Court process is a slow one, and there are delays across the board - from the ‘simpler’ matters such as divorces, to litigated matters that are heading towards a trial. Divorce hearings currently have a wait-time of about three months. Similarly, it is not uncommon for litigated matters to run for 18 months to 2 years before the trial itself. Tack on another 6 months for the decision to be handed down once the trial has been completed, and you can understand the frustration, with people often feeling like their lives are ‘on hold’ pending the final outcome.

So, what’s the hold up?

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4516 Hits

Expert Evidence - You’ve got an opinion? Are you sure about that?

You’ve got an opinion? Are you sure about that?

Are you an expert?

If I had a dollar for every time that someone told us here at Butlers, “I think my ex has bi-polar” or “He definitely has narcissistic tendencies. I Googled it and he absolutely fits the description” or “I am telling you, she has OCD. I am sure of it. She just hasn’t been diagnosed yet” or something along those lines, I probably wouldn’t need to be working so much.

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5396 Hits

The Conference

The Conference

While the title sounds like something John Grisham would write, I can assure it is nothing of the sort.

In fact, I will tell you right now, if you’re expecting intriguing characters with deep rooted unresolved issues, or cliff hangers, you won’t find it here.

The Conference I’m referring to is the Conciliation Conference, which is an initiative of the Family Court as a form of Alternate Dispute Resolution.

I think every now and then it’s important that people are aware of the various processes and steps in the Family Law process.

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4430 Hits