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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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545 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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300 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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1103 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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1886 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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2617 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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5496 Hits

Viva Voce is not a Ricky Martin song

Viva Voce is not a Ricky Martin song

A wise man once said to me that the best lawyers can take the most incredibly complex legal issues and explain them in simple, understandable terms. There’s a lot to be said for that. It’s not necessarily about breaking it down for other people for fear of a lack of understanding – it goes to the understanding and skill of the lawyer, which ultimately reduces the magnitude of the issues, paving the way to resolution.

So what of these legal maxims and jargon which people love to throw about from time to time? Prima facie this, viva voce that… Or my personal favourite – mens rea. Am I talking about an element of a crime, or someone’s backside?

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4109 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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4504 Hits

"Everything is divided 50/50, right?"

“Everything is divided 50/50, right?”

If I had a penny for every time that question was asked, or if that statement was true, I probably wouldn’t be working. Where did this myth start and why is it still floating around? Is it something that is just assumed by virtue of being in a couple?

Anyway, FYI the answer is NO; and neither is 50/50 the starting point.

Unfortunately, it appears this guy understood this common myth to be gospel and literally divided everything in half before obtaining some family law advice:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3129366/I-ve-left-half-Spurned-boyfriend-chops-owns-two-splitting-girlfriend-including-car-TV-iPhone.html

Lucky there weren’t any kids involved.

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6030 Hits

Mediate! How? I don’t trust the Bastard!!!

Mediate! How? I don’t trust the Bastard!!!

Mediation is not about trust but more about understanding betrayal.

Relationships, whether it be in our personal life or our employment and business activities; when it all goes south, how do we approach resolution when we are feeling so hurt and vengeful? How can we get what we consider to be a just result in the circumstances?

Emotional stress erodes our being until we self-doubt and our self-respect seems to be travelling on a different bus. Some of us urge Karma to find the solution. Some bargain with God and/or a less pure entity, but at the end of the day we want it over: EXCISED FROM OUR LIVES; BUT HOW?

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8727 Hits

The To Do's Before the I Do's

THE TO DO’S BEFORE THE I DO’S

Marriage is about more than just the loving union of two people—it’s also about the union of financial assets and liabilities, and families. Or, as some like to say, it’s about halving your rights and doubling your duties.

There are good reasons why you should consider signing a Financial Agreement before you marry or commit yourself to a de-facto relationship. However, not everyone needs a Financial Agreement. Quite apart from the legal issues (which you can discuss with a solicitor), the answer to this question will depend on a number of practical considerations, as follows:

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5237 Hits

Navigating the Family Court

Navigating the Family Court

The Family Court of Western Australia is not the sort of place anyone wants to end up in. However, in some matters, it is unfortunately unavoidable. Should you ever find yourself parking under the Perth Concert Hall, and the only show you’re going to see is your life played out publically in front of you (and your ex-partner and respective Solicitors with front row seats), here are a few hints that may make a pretty tough situation a little easier:

Security Check: When you enter the Court, you will be required to walk through a metal detector, and your belongings will be run through a scanner machine, a la the Airport. I’ve seen the security guards confiscate all sorts of sharp metal objects, so leave these at home. I’m sure that whoever penned the The Little Book of Calm would tell you to also take the opportunity to close your eyes, and pretend that you are about to board a plane to some exotic location. No judgment - whatever works for you.

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5059 Hits

Am I or aren't I? Part 2

Am I or aren't I?  Part 2

For those who have not read Part I of the blog please do so before reading any further Am I or aren't I Part 1.

For those of you who read the blog last week you’ll remember that I had left off with our client dying in hospital shortly after being cross examined.

The next day in Court we had the unfortunate duty of notifying the Federal Magistrate what had just happened and without missing a beat we made an Oral Application that our client’s nephew, as executor of our client’s estate, carry on the litigation. That was always going to be an uphill battle and it was rejected as there was the need for probate to be obtained on our client’s Will. It was a hurdle of course but one that we did not think would be any issue in overcoming. We were wrong. Our Application was met with a caveat in the Supreme Court put on by the other party’s solicitors as a result of our client having other family that was not in the Will. Notice had to be given to the other family members as to whether they wanted to intervene in the proceedings. That was met with responses of none of the family wanting to have anything to do with our client or the proceedings.

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4350 Hits

Why is marriage about Sex?

WHY IS MARRIAGE ABOUT SEX?

Mankind, from the earliest of times, has been driven to live within a community and to have the intimacy of a loving and committed relationship with the person of their choice.

By Christian tradition this relationship would only be solemnised by a Christian Church in the form of marriage if the union was between a man and a woman.

In the mid-19th Century, the Courts defined marriage as “the voluntary union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

S5(1) of the Marriage Act 1961 continues this definition; “the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life”

Why do we as a society, refuse to consider or allow a conscious vote by our elected representatives to determine whether the fundamental right of an individual to choose with whom they wish to enter into a union to the exclusion of all others for life should or should not be solemnised? The Answer must be fear.

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4800 Hits

Am I or Aren’t I?

Am I or Aren’t I?

For all our faithful blog readers out there you have no doubt read our absolutely top notch blogs from my colleagues. In case you haven’t noticed we do things a bit different here at Butlers. We like to make the law easy and accessible to everyone, and it should be.

For all of our first time readers you will find that these blogs are informative and they give you guidance if you’re about to get into a relationship, or are in a relationship or if you’ve just got out of a relationship.

I thought I’d change things up a bit and share a personal experience that I had 2 years into practicing. Now before you feel the need to let out a groan, just give me the benefit of the doubt and have a read.

I’m often met with the response of “Oh wow, that must be so tough” or “I don’t know how you do it” when I tell people that I’m a Family Lawyer.

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8050 Hits