Butlers News

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. The Butlers Blog makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site & will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Making a cheater pay... is it worth it?

It’s an unfortunate reality that cheating is a common reason for couples separating today. If cheating doesn’t immediately result in the end of a relationship, it often causes significant distrust which eventually leads to the breakdown of the relationship.

Continue reading
0
  10 Hits
10 Hits

Wait?! Am I a sperm donor or a parent?

In our previous articles “Who is a Parent?” and “Parenting Orders and What You Need to Know” we discussed what it means to be a parent under Australian Law, and the fact that people who are not ‘parents’ are still able to apply for Parenting Orders in relation to children.

Both of these issues were recently considered earlier this year by the High Court of Australia in Masson and Parsons & Ors. The matter made headlines due to the relative rarity of Family Law issues being heard in Australia’s highest Court and the importance of the findings made for many families across Australia.  

Continue reading
8
  209 Hits
209 Hits

The cost of getting divorced

If you have been separated from your spouse for over 12 months, you may be considering whether or not to apply for a Divorce. There are a number of factors you need to consider before applying for a Divorce, but one thing people usually do not consider is the actual cost to file a Divorce Application.

Continue reading
9
  212 Hits
212 Hits

Family Money- Can I Protect It?

Bank of Mum and Dad

In today’s economy, it is has become increasingly common for parents to financially help their children, especially when it comes to buying their first home.

Parents may loan the money, gift the money, or act as guarantor. While most parents want to help their children as much as possible, this can raise a variety of issues.

Continue reading
4
  178 Hits
178 Hits

Parenting Orders and what you need to know.

In our previous article ‘Who is a Parent??’ we touched on the importance of being a ‘parent’ under Australian Law, and the legal consequences associated with paternity.

You might then find it strange to learn that when applying for Parenting Orders at Court, you do not have to be a parent. In fact, you don’t even have to be a relative. Parenting Orders can cover all aspects of the care and welfare arrangements for a child and are not just limited to who a child lives with and spends time with.

Continue reading
7
  545 Hits
545 Hits

Further protection for families in domestic violence situations

A person who has experienced Family Violence can find themselves dealing with several different areas of law (and processes), all at the same time. The different areas of law include Restraining Orders, Family Law, Criminal and Tenancy Law.

This is because Family Violence is a multifaceted issue and can be experienced by people of all classes, religions, ethnicity, sexual preference, and ages, both inside and outside of the home.

Continue reading
2
  308 Hits
308 Hits

Domestic violence and children

Western Australia has the second highest rate of reported physical and sexual violence incidences. The Northern Territory has the highest.

1 in 6 women have experienced physical or sexual violence perpetrated by a current or previous partner. The rate of abuse for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander women is considerably higher. Furthermore, 1 in 16 men has reported being a victim of family violence (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017).

Continue reading
10
  484 Hits
484 Hits

Who keeps the dog?

It is fair to say that the majority of us here at Butlers are dog lovers, and, most of us treat our pooch like they are one of the family. So we entirely understand it when someone asks us during a separation, “but what about the dog?”.

There is no specific provision in the Family Law Act 1975 that deals with pets. Practically, you can try and reach an agreement between you as to who keeps the dog (or any family pet, including the goldfish!), or perhaps you can agree that you each spend time with the dog, each week. However, if you aren’t able to reach an agreement, the Court will deal with the dog in the same way as personal property.

Continue reading
8
  617 Hits
617 Hits

It’s always 50/50 right? Wrong - Common Misconceptions Part 4

One widely held misconception in family law is that, more or less, all of the assets and liabilities of a relationship will be divided 50/50. Many new clients come to us with the first line “I know that the starting point is a 50/50 split but…” This is not the case.

Continue reading
2
  294 Hits
294 Hits

But it’s MY asset - Common Misconceptions Part 3

Often one party to a marriage or de facto relationship had property or cash before entering into the relationship. In other cases, one partner may have purchased a property or acquired an asset, which they consider to be their own and which they have devoted themselves to maintaining. One common misconception is that an asset that is solely owned by one party does not get taken into account in a property settlement, upon separation. This can also become an issue where one party purchases an asset, such as a property, after separation but before a property settlement has been finalised.

Continue reading
9
  542 Hits
542 Hits

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.

Continue reading
12
  910 Hits
910 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?

Continue reading
12
  604 Hits
604 Hits

Who is a Parent??

Modern families come in all shapes and sizes. The traditional definition of who a ‘parent’ has been challenged by the increasing number of single-parent families, adoptive parents, surrogate parents and extended families.

Recent advances in medical science have complicated things further.  On 6 April 2016, the first child in the world with three parents was born. A Jordanian couple had been unable to start a family for 20 years, due to a rare genetic disorder carried by the mother. Doctors used a newly developed technique called Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy to implant the genetic material of a third person into the embryo, ensuring that the child did not receive the portions of the mother’s genetic material that could cause the disorder. Being the first child in the world born this way, the baby was dubbed the world’s first ‘three parent’ child.

But how many legal parents does the child born on 6 April 2016 have, and why would it matter?

Continue reading
12
  713 Hits
713 Hits

Can I be in more than one de-facto relationship?

In today’s society, de-facto relationships are not so straight forward and “modern relationships” challenge the traditional ideas of a relationship.

In Western Australia, the Family Court Act 1997 (“Family Court Act”) governs de-facto relationships. When determining whether a relationship is de-facto, the Court must decide whether the relevant couple were living in a “marriage-like relationship”. One of the difficulties the Court faces is determining what is “marriage-like” especially in today’s society.

Continue reading
9
  844 Hits
844 Hits

Protecting your present while securing your future

Canadian entrepreneur Gerald Cotton died in December 2018. With him died the ability to access $145 million worth of bitcoin. Cotton’s widow, Jennifer Robertson, says in her affidavit "I do not know the password or recovery key. Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere”. While $145 million may be slightly more than the average asset misplaced when administering an estate, it is not uncommon for executors to struggle to find information regarding a deceased’s assets. Especially for those who take security seriously.
Continue reading
6
  760 Hits
760 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!

 

10
  963 Hits
963 Hits

Should Accountants be Drafting Wills?

Accountants and Will drafting.

Should Accountants be Drafting Wills?

As an Accountant or Financial Planner what would you do if a client asked you to draft their Will?  Do you know the risks?

Whilst the temptation to be holistic in your services to a client is understandable, this blog will offer some guidance, and identify the pitfalls of engaging in a legal practice which could contravene the requirements under section 12 of the Legal Profession Act 2008 (“the Act”).

Lets start with "Only Legal Practitioners may engage in legal practice under the Act".

Continue reading
12
  1012 Hits
1012 Hits

PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE ADMINISTRATION ACT: What you need to know...

PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE ADMINISTRATION ACT:

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

On 27 June 2018, the State Parliament heard the second reading of the Administration Amendment Bill 2018, which would increase the current amounts of the statutory legacies payable on Intestacy. The proposed changes will have a significant effect on what happens if a person dies without leaving a valid Will.

If you die without leaving a valid Will, your Estate will be distributed in accordance with the Administration Act 1903 (WA). This situation is called an “Intestacy”. The person who has died is then said to have died “Intestate”.

Continue reading
11
  1217 Hits
1217 Hits

Part 4 - Tactical Family Violence Restraining Orders and Ethical Issues

Part 4 - Tactical Family Violence Restraining Orders and Ethical Issues

In our first blog regarding Family Violence Restraining Orders (“FVRO’), we provided examples of tactical FVRO’s in the initial stages of a family law dispute.
Our second and third blogs focused on the impact of FVRO’s in children’s issues and financial issues.
With the new amendments to the law relating to FVRO’s, the Court is now able to consider many things, including whether or not a Respondent has committed family violence or may commit family violence in the future.
Continue reading
19
  3835 Hits
3835 Hits

Part 3 - Family Violence Restraining Orders and Financial Issues

Hopefully, you have been keeping up to date with our previous blogs in relation to Family Violence Restraining Orders (“FVRO”).

If not, you can easily access them by clicking here.

This blog will be focused on FVRO’s and how they can affect financial issues.

Continue reading
21
  1050 Hits
1050 Hits