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!
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".
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”.
Part 4 - Tactical Family Violence Restraining Orders and Ethical 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.
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.
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.
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.
Team Pitt or Team Jolie?
Remember when Hollywood's newest couple brought the great debate of Team Aniston or Team Jolie? Well, now there is Team Pitt or Team Jolie.
Since the couple announced their split in September 2016, various articles about the state of their relationship have flooded media sites.
Big win or big loss? Post-separation lottery wins and other windfalls
Imagine this – you and your husband, wife or partner have separated. You haven’t obtained a Court Order specifying who keeps what because you simply don’t think you need one, or, maybe you just haven’t gotten around to it yet. You check your Oz Lotto ticket to find you’ve won – big. Or, perhaps a loved one has passed on and left you an inheritance in their Will. You’re thinking “Surely my ex doesn’t have a right to this money…. Do they?”
The answer depends – in some cases they will, and in others they won’t.
How to get the work/life balance is a never-ending debate and, in my mind, there is no right or wrong answer! The majority of us are at least able to work and live in the same town, city or country and can return home to our families and loved ones after a day at work… however long that day may be!
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.
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?!
It is a common scenario here in Western Australia to hear of two parents from different continents. It’s likely you all know someone, or someone who knows someone from England, Ireland or Scotland who has moved over, settled down with an Australian and had a couple of kids. Let’s face it for a while there us pommes were taking over.
However, what happens when things go wrong and one parent decides to move home, with the child?
Have you ever thought about who would look after your children if you die?
If you have a properly drafted Will and one that nominates a testamentary guardian for your children there is no need to read much further, but please take some time to review your Will if it is more than 3 years old or your circumstances have changed since drafting it.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would be aware that late last year, the Marriage Act was amended to change the legal definition of marriage from being a “union of a man and a woman” to a “union of two people”. On the face of it, this seems like a fairly simple change.
When the Family Court has to be involved in the medical treatment of children, it is unlikely that there will be an easy (or happy) outcome.
This year, in the United Kingdom, the case of Charlie Gard attracted a significant amount of media attention. Many public figures and celebrities sent tributes to Charlie’s parents, including Pope Francis, after learning of Charlie’s passing.
If you have not heard about it, here is a quick summary:
On 4 August 2016, Charlie Gard was born to new parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates;
The long awaited decision in Thorne & Kennedy has today been delivered by the High Court.
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.
Avoid legal limbo - create a valid will
The Public Trustee has revealed that 50 per cent of Western Australians over 40 do not have a valid will. With litigation regarding wills increasing in Australia, it’s become more important than ever to create a valid will using a suitably qualified, experienced solicitor.
(c) 2017 Butlers Lawyers & Notaries