• I've got parenting orders - how do I enforce them?

    It is infuriating when, once Parenting Orders have been negotiated, often after much work and expense, they are breached.  So what can you do?

    Sometimes the reason for the breach is ambiguous wording in Orders.  It may be that Orders simply have to be rewritten by consent or in a worst case scenario one party has to apply to a Court for a variation to clarify the Orders.

  • Lost earnings may be covered during a compulsory acquisition

    Generally compensation in land acquisition matters is governed in Victoria by the Land Acquisition & Compensation Act 1986. Under the Act, it is possible for a person holding an interest in land that is acquired under the Act, to claim compensation for lost future earnings from a business that has been impacted by the acquisition. 

  • Different ways to run parenting cases

    If you are unable to resolve arrangements about your children with your former spouse or partner, since 1 July 2007 unless there are issues such as urgency, child abuse or family violence, you must first participate in family dispute resolution counseling.  You cannot go straight to Court.  If you do not settle your dispute in counselling (whether or not the other parent attends) you will receive a certificate to confirm your attendance.  This must be filed with your Court Application.  The next question is, which Court?

  • Duty on Leases

    Recent amendments to the Duties Act 2000 have now imposed duty on certain leasing transactions.  The amendments became law on 7 July 2009 with retrospective effect to 21 November 2008.

    Duty is now chargeable on the granting of any lease for which there is consideration other than rent and usual property outgoings.  If a tenant pays the landlord a premium to obtain the lease, a transfer of a lease, an option or right of first refusal to purchase the land, duty is chargeable on the amount paid or the market value of the property whichever is the greater. 

  • Bankruptcy and the Family Court

    Sometimes in Family Law Act proceedings, one spouse (now including de facto partners) is, or becomes, bankrupt.  Since 2005, the Family Court and the Federal Magistrates’ Court have had the power to determine bankruptcy matters relating to a bankrupt spouse in family law proceedings.  This helps avoid the expense of running two cases in separate Courts and the unfair nature of the trustee in bankruptcy and the non-bankrupt spouse rushing to their respective Courts to try to beat the other there.

  • Adverse Possession

    Occupation of land without the consent of the owner for a long period may enable the occupier to obtain a legal title to the land.

    Possession is 'adverse' when the owner has been expelled by a trespasser which may be established by proving that the occupier has had exclusive possession of the land in an obvious way.

    A common example occurs when fences are constructed outside the title boundary and remain in such location for over 15 years. 

    Aitken Partners has extensive experience in successful claims for land by adverse possession.

  • Equal time for parenting

    In 2006 the new Family Law (Shared Parenting) Bill became law.  It confirmed that in most cases, both separating parents should remain equally responsible for and try to agree on long-term issues regarding their children (called “equal shared parenting responsibility”). 

  • Options to Renew - notification by Landlord

    The Retail Leases Act 2003 requires a landlord to notify the tenant of any right to renew the lease.  Failure to give the tenant such notice results in the lease provisions continuing until six months after such notice is received by the tenant.

  • Things to think about when moving in

    The law regarding de facto (including same sex) couples has been changing and it is likely that more claims will be made between partners.  There are all sorts of methods available, both simple and formal, to protect yourself if your relationship breaks down.

  • New de facto laws - no ring, no problem!

    The Family Law Act 1975 now provides that de facto (including same sex) partners can make claims based on their future needs.  If one partner cannot earn as much as their former partner, has the care of children, is otherwise likely to be worse off financially than them in future, the Court can increase the size of that partner's entitlement to a share of the asset pool to attempt to compensate for the differences.