Do pets form part of the asset pool?
Frequently we refer to pets as our ‘fur babies’ and we treat them as our children and part of our family, but you may wonder what happens in the event of separation.
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Financial Agreements are still a hot topic, now more than ever. During COVID-19 we were inundated with news segments highlighting the escalating statistics relating to separations and divorces. As a result, our Family Courts are now stretched thin, resulting in extensive delays for parties looking to have their financial matters settled.
As we become more digitally dependant, we also become more reliant on technology. We now live in a digital age, and with this, we have seen an increase in people holding assets referred to as ‘digital assets’. Digital assets are defined as files stored and held electronically, which exist as data and which have value.
In my previous blog titled ‘Guilty until proven Innocent?’, I highlighted one of the most important legal principles in criminal law: Guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In this blog, I will explore how criminal responsibility is determined, and what exactly do the prosecution need to prove in order to convict an accused.
As restrictions are eased one step further, it is becoming clear that the recent pandemic and the associated quarantine will have lasting effects.
In a majority of cases, those effects are, and will be, undoubtedly negative. It heartening to take note of the few areas where the pandemic has resulted in a lasting and positive change. In a Family Law context, one such area is the process for making Applications for Family Violence Restraining Orders (“FRVOs”).
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.
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?
Studies have shown that most Australians under the age of 50 do not have a current or valid Will. Many people believe that a Will is something only necessary in your advanced years. For most this line of thought is incorrect. Having a valid Will can be as important for young Australians as for their parents.
One of the main reasons why everyone requires a Will is our “Intestacy” laws. Essentially, if you don’t have a valid Will, under the Administration Act 1903 (WA) you’ll have no say in how or to whom your estate is distributed.
Daffodil Day falls on the last Friday of August every year. To all those affected by cancer, Daffodil Day represents hope for a future free from cancer. Daffodil Day is a chance for Australians to come together to change the lives of people impacted by cancer by funding research towards its prevention. In 2020, the Daffodil Day Appeal raised almost $1.5 million for life-saving research that aims to assist the 150,000 Australians diagnosed with cancer every year and the many more currently afflicted by this disease.
Trials take place every single day, some lasting a few hours whilst others spanning over several months. Trials are an essential and important part of our justice system and it is imperative that each accused person is given a fair trial.
Recently a woman has sparked a massive debate online after she revealed her husband was refusing to put her name on his house deed because she did not contribute financially. Parties often want to know whether they are “entitled” to a share of their partner’s assets when they haven’t contributed financially and it is a common assumption that once parties are married, they each receive 50% of the asset pool.
What happens if one party makes no financial contributions?
This is a common question asked during Family Law proceedings which has a specific legal answer to it.
Dating in the digital age is already fraught with difficulties. It can often mean that without a guarantee as to the accuracy of a person’s age, a casual fling could unknowingly turn illegal. Although most dating applications require the person signing up to agree that they are at least 18 years of age, unfortunately, this declaration may not be legally binding as proof of the person’s age and whether they are old enough to consent.
The age of consent (in most circumstances) in Western Australia is 16 years of age. The age of consent increases to 18 years of age in cases where one party is in a position of authority. Such circumstances could include teacher/student or employer/employee scenarios, where the other party is under 18 years of age. Having a sexual relationship with someone younger than the legal age of consent is illegal and can be prosecuted in the District Court of Western Australia.
The Christmas holidays are usually a wonderful time of the year where families all get together and celebrate. However, for some separated families with children, these holidays bring about a period of sadness, stress and bitterness that can be managed with proper prior planning.
As Family Lawyers, we see this far too often and sadly, we also see it far too late. The Family Court has a cut-off date for Christmas contact applications. This year, The Family Court is only accepting these applications until 13 November 2020. After this time, it is likely that you may not get a hearing until after Christmas or even early 2021.
In today’s blog, we will suggest some ways to organise parenting arrangements over the Christmas period with a 5-step plan. Hopefully, this will enable children to be able to spend quality time with both parents.
As parents, we spend our lives caring for our children. We try our best to teach them right from wrong, as they navigate their adolescent years and enter adulthood. Whilst we do whatever we can to support our kids, sometimes they just think that they know best and want to make their own choices. This often results with them acting impulsively, making poor choices and acting without thinking of the long-term consequences. When this happens, we quickly realise that our job as parents is never really over.
We have often found that when speaking to those who have been charged with a criminal offence, or assisting someone else who has, they almost always feel the same way: overwhelmed and anxious. Whether it be the thought of imprisonment, the impact of job security, the worry of friends and family finding out about the allegations, or simply the added stress of dealing with the justice system at what may already be a difficult time, most people are terrified at the thought of being charged with an Offence. At a time when clients often feel vulnerable and confused about what to do next, getting advice about the process and what options are available is crucial to providing certainty moving forward.
Yes. Not always, easily or immediately, but yes.
Client’s will often ask whether their charges can be ‘dropped’ and if so, when and how. In answering these questions, it is helpful to have an understanding of what it means to have charges dropped. Charges are ‘dropped’ when the prosecution make an application to the Court to have the charges discontinued. This will happen before the charges are formally determined at a trial by a Magistrate, Judge or Jury.
Depending on the type of allegation police are investigating, they will usually conduct enquiries with a number of different sources. Sometimes they will rely heavily on witnesses such as police officers, complainants, eye-witnesses and experts; whilst other times they will need to analyse physical materials such as CCTV footage and forensic reports.
When speaking to a client for the first time about their charges, there are often a few questions nearly all clients ask. The most common one is usually ‘what am I looking at?’ Even for clients who intend to plead not guilty to their charges, most clients want to know what the outcome is likely to be if they are found guilty.
The world we live in is fragile and subject to unforeseen and unfortunate events. It is a reoccurring nightmare of mine to think about what might happen if, for whatever reason, my daughter was no longer safe or no longer had appropriate care. This nightmare extends to include all children in my life, including my nieces and nephews, my friends’ children, and even one day, my grandchildren.
A recent and riveting development has just unfolded in the lives of some of the cast of Netflix’s popular docuseries, ‘Tiger King’. It has been discovered (and confirmed by two separate forensic experts) that the Will of Carol Baskin’s late husband, Don Lewis, was a complete forgery.
The definition of Family Violence is broad. Family Violence is not just physical abuse. It also includes repeated derogatory remarks, damaging property, financial control or stalking or cyber-stalking. With the advancement of technology, perpetrators are finding new and inventive ways to continue to harass and abuse their victims.
The Mother Always Gets The Children
First and foremost, parents do not have “rights” in relation to their children. Parents have responsibilities. The law presumes that parents have equal shared parental responsibility for their children and that is the starting point for resolving parenting matters.
A new Bill has been proposed to Parliament following the tragic death of Hannah Clarke and her three children. This Bill proposes to clarify the law surrounding Parental Responsibility under the Family Law Act 1975 (“the Act”).
I was recently reminded of the importance of having a valid and up to date Will.
A colleague and I received instructions from the son of one of our clients, who had terminal cancer. The matter was urgent as his father did not have a Will and his Estate would have had to be distributed between him and his mother (pursuant to the laws of intestacy).
I migrated from South Africa to Australia and have been in Perth for a little over a year. I am therefore aware of the stress and planning of migration and I also know that certain things do not make the priority list. One being, finding out if the Will that you made elsewhere is enforceable in Western Australia, or if you need a new Will.
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