Family Law Library

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Mathews Family Law has created many detailed articles answering the most common questions people have in relation to their rights and Australian Family Law.


Popular Articles

Why is the divorce rate declining?

By 2016 the marriage rate in Australia had declined from 9.3 marriages per 1,000 residents to 4.9 in 2016.

The divorce rate has also been in steady decline since its height in 1976 (for obvious reasons) to 1.9 in 2016.

I wonder if the reasons for the declines set out in this American study – that who gets divorced is a function of who gets married – are applicable to the Australian social context?

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2018/09/millennials-divorce-baby-boomers/571282/

A Curly Case for the Commissioner of Taxation

A CURLY CASE FOR THE COMMISSIONER OF TAXATION

CAO & TRONG AND ANOR [2018] FAMILY COURT OF AUSTRALIA

There is no escaping the Family Court and the Commissioner …

The wife filed an application for a final property settlement, including an order that:

1. The husband indemnify her against ‘against any liability present or contingent including tax … in respect of E Pty Ltd’; and
2. The husband be responsible ‘for all income tax assessed on income received or deemed to have been received by the husband’.

In the period 2005 -2012 the husband incurred a tax liability of $5,519,200 (unpaid).

The Commissioner of Taxation sought leave to intervene in the property settlement proceedings and an order that the court first make provision for the payment of taxation liabilities to the Commissioner prior to any property distribution to the parties.

Before the matter could be determined by the court, the parties effectively withdrew their respective applications for final property settlement orders.

The wife advised the Commissioner that there was therefore now no basis for it to intervene.

The Commissioner was successful in its application for an order that the court does have the jurisdiction and power to determine an claim against a creditor pursuant to section 79 property settlement proceedings – even if the parties have withdrawn their applications.

The case was run by the Commissioner of Taxation as a ‘test case’ and confirmed that even when the parties themselves no longer seek the assistance of the court to achieve a final property settlement, if the Commissioner has already intervened in those proceedings, the court has jurisdiction to make an final order in its favor – and the liabilities owed to it enforced as an order of the Family Court.

In other words – there’s no avoiding the Commissioner – no matter what agreement the parties themselves might ‘agree on’, there’s no way around their obligations to it.

I hope that the year is treating you well – even though it is flying by.

We continue to offer a free 15 minute telephone consultation to your clients in need of family law advice – they can call me on 9804 7991 or email enquiries@mflaw.com.au to book a time.

And remember, we’re always happy to help you out with your own ‘curly cases’.

Stay in touch,

Vanessa and the Team at Mathews Family Law

‘Alienation? Myths, Complexities and Possibilities … ‘

‘Alienation? Myths, complexities and possibilities …’

Dear Friends

Last weekend I attended the AFCC Australian Chapter conference in Adelaide.

The conference topic was ‘Alienation? Myths, complexities and possibilities …’.

The calibre of the papers was excellent.

I was particularly interested in the workshop offered by Dr Philip Stahl, Psychologist, on domestic violence differentiation, personality disorders and unconscious bias.

Also of great interest was the current research on high conflict separations, alienation and children resisting contact with parents.

Early identification and intervention is the key to avoiding the escalation of ‘mere conflict’ into alienation and the devastating impact on children (regardless of age).

We heard from our local well-known Psychologists Dr Jenni Neoh and Ms Lisa Bottomley in particular about their respective intervention programs for complex family matters.

We often work with families facing experiencing particular difficulty with their post-separation parenting – with young and old children. We will be recommending Jenni and Lisa’s very special approaches to these clients in the hope of achieving an early and effective resolution.

The AFCC website provides a wealth of excellent resources, including conference papers http://afccnet.org.au/ . You may like to consider becoming a member.

We continue to offer a free 15 minute telephone consultation to your clients in need of family law advice – they simply need to call us on 9804 7991 or email enquiries@mflaw.com.au to book a time for one of our family law specialists to speak with them.

And remember, we’re always happy to help you out with any questions you may have.

Stay in touch,

Vanessa and the Team at Mathews Family Law

Legal Capacity and Family Law

Legal Capacity and Family Law

As the issue of mental health continues to gain more traction within the area of Family Law, at a practical level, and without holding the necessary expert qualifications required to properly identify and diagnose mental health conditions, at what point does a practitioner (legal or otherwise) determine if a client has the capacity to provide appropriate instructions? …read more

Family Violence and Children at Risk

Every day in my practice as a family lawyer, family dispute resolution practitioner and mediator, I hear stories of family violence and children at risk.

Whilst family violence is a tragedy in and of itself, more tragic is the suffering caused to the children who are exposed, …read more