How we might do better (Family law isn't about winning - one lawyers opinion)

What follows may not win me many friends however I hope it stimulates debate and action.

The lack of resources available in the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia to hear and determine family law disputes in a timely way, has gathered more public interest.

With access to legal representation also diminishing, the issue of funding those courts has drawn much public comment. Those writing about this issue have made a very clear point, that more funding is required to meet this growing problem. I don’t dispute that.

The Business Valuation

The typical family run business dynamic often presents challenges within the context of a mediation. The difficulties arise where;

Awards- Can you appeal?

An award – can it be appealed ?

One common question that arises during our seminars is, “Can the award be appealed ?”.

The first concept to understand is that there is no provision for an “appeal” of an award but rather a review of the award (sec.  13J) or by setting aside the award (sec. 13K)

The grounds for setting aside are mostly self evident;


R U OK? University of the Sunshine Coast Law Student’s Association R U OK Day Mental Health Forum.

Last night, I was invited to be a panelist at the University of the Sunshine Coast Law Student’s Association R U OK Day Mental Health Forum.

ASIC launches new divorce and separation resources

ASIC launches new divorce and separation resources to support financial decisions

'A relationship breakdown changes many aspects of a person's life, including their finances. This can leave people feeling stressed and overwhelmed and make it difficult to focus on financial decisions', said Mr Peter Kell, ASIC Deputy Chairman.

CASEWATCH-Full Court decision handed down today

In a decision handed down 16 August 2016, the Full Court has restated and clarified the power of a Court to make coercive parenting orders where the primary carer of children is not in dispute.
The media neutral citation is not yet available.

Binding Financial Agreements - A Cost Saving Measure ?

A binding financial agreement (BFA) ousts the jurisdiction of the family law courts with respect to property settlement and spousal maintenance provided that certain requirements are met. The developing jurisprudence in this area of law has shown that practitioners and clients embarking upon this process need to attend same with caution and due diligence. Some practitioners simply do not draft or sign off upon BFAs through fear of being sued by their client when the agreement is determined not have been binding or is otherwise set aside.

Arbitration - Why It's Right For Your Client

Australians have lead the way in terms of utilising mediation as a means of resolving family law disputes but have been slow to embrace the arbitration of those disputes.

Whilst arbitration is significantly and successfully employed in commercial law jurisdictions to the extent that there is uniformity in commercial arbitration acts, family law clients appear reluctant to utlise this cost and time effective alternative dispute resolution model.