Family Law

  • The Step Children Conundrum

    Families – sometimes you can’t live with them, but you wouldn’t be living without them. As social demographics adjust and non-nuclear families are becoming more and more prevalent, the so-called ‘solutions’ from a legislative standpoint create some interesting outcomes. An important consideration in super death benefit planning is ensuring death benefit proceeds get paid to the desired beneficiary with the least potential chance for a challenge.
     
    Please see the Melbourne Divorce Network for the full article.
  • Dowry Law changes need education

    As part of the Victorian Royal Commission into family violence a law has now been proposed to tackle the controversial issue of dowry.

    To deal with this issue, it has been suggested that section 6 of the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic) be amended to “…expand statutory examples of family violence to include forced marriage and dowry-related abuse [within 12 months]”.

    It seems that this proposed change to the law has generated discussion within communities from the subcontinent with advocates for and against the proposed changes.

  • 60 Minutes 'Child Recovery' Fraught with Danger

    The media has recently been providing consistent coverage of Tara Brown and the 60 Minutes crew who are held in custody in Beirut for attempting to assist Ms Faulkner to recover her children off the streets of Beirut.

  • Back to School Issues for Separated Families

    As the 2016 school year dawns upon us, many children will be looking forward to their first day at a new school.  Unfortunately, what should be a straight forward process and focussed on ensuring a seamless transition may turn into difficult and tense negotiations when it involves separated families.

  • Update on Royal Commission into Family Violence

    With the Royal Commission into Family Violence in the throes of hearing submissions from various stakeholders, one is hard pressed to view a news report which does not touch on the issue of family violence. For many, the Royal Commission is long overdue but it is nevertheless a forum through which victims of family violence and those who work in areas relevant to family violence can have a voice and be heard.

  • Sperm donors may no longer be anonymous

    Amendments to the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Act 2008 (Vic) in relation to Donor Information

    As a part of Law Week, we attended an information session entitled, ‘The legalities of donor linking: bringing recipients, sperm donors and offspring together’ held by Latrobe University.

  • What happens to frozen embryos in the event of the breakdown of a relationship?

    Our interest was piqued recently in relation to the issue of what happens to frozen embryos in the event of the breakdown of a relationship. This was in light of the recent Sofia Vegara and Nick Loeb matter in the United States in which Loeb is suing Vegara for control of two frozen embryos. In that matter, Vegara alleges that Loeb signed a contract allowing the embryos to be destroyed in the event of the breakdown of their relationship; however, Loeb claims that destroying the embryos would be contrary to his pro-life values and that he was pressured into signing the contract.

  • Gender Dysphoria: The Family Court’s approach to cases relating to transgender children

    Gender Dysphoria is a diagnosis given to persons who have the biological and physical characteristics of one sex, but identify themselves emotionally and mentally as being the opposite sex. People whom have been diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria often report feeling a lack of identification with their biological sex from a very young age. 

  • Can You Reverse a Care Order?

    A Court will not likely entertain an application to reverse an earlier care order.

    The Family Court says there is mischief in so doing, as to do so would invite endless litigation for change.

  • Childbirth maintenance - an often overlooked section of the Family Law Act

    It is not widely known that the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (“the Act”) makes provision for a Mother to claim ‘childbirth maintenance’ if she and the Father of the child are not living together in the period leading up to the birth of the child.

    The relevant law for child-bearing expenses is set out under section 67B of the Act, which provides that the Father of a child who is not married to the child’s Mother can be liable to contribute towards: