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SEPARATION, PROPERTY SETTLEMENT AND DIVORCE – WHAT THESE TERMS REALLY MEAN

SEPARATION, PROPERTY SETTLEMENT AND DIVORCE – WHAT THESE TERMS REALLY MEAN Fri, 5 Apr 19
The family law solicitors based in our Gold Coast office have noticed lately that the terms ‘separation’, ‘property settlement’ and ‘divorce are often used in the incorrect circumstances, especially when someone going through a separation is chatting to family and friends, and the incorrect use of these terms can lead to confusion. To clear up any confusion, we thought we would go over these terms, and explain a little bit more about them in easy to understand language, so if you are going through a separation, you know the general steps involved and what happens at each step along the way.

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FAMILY PROVISION APPLICATIONS - WHO IS A 'CHILD'?

FAMILY PROVISION APPLICATIONS - WHO IS A 'CHILD'? Fri, 8 Feb 19
Following on from our previous articles highlighting the importance of having a current Will and up-to-date estate planning in place, a query that can crop up when providing clients with advice in relation to making a Will is how they can reduce the possibility of a claim being made on an estate after they have passed. The typical nuclear family (dad, mum and two kids) is no longer the most common family structure in Australia, and instead we have a diverse range of family combinations including couples with no children, couples with only one child, same-sex couples with no children, same-sex couples with one or more children who are the natural or adopted child of one of the couple, adopted children, step-children, grandparent-led families, blended families and the list goes on. It goes without saying that the general form and content of Wills have also needed to be changed to keep up with these changing family ideals and a deeper and more thorough contemplation of estate planning outcomes needs to be considered by both client and lawyer.

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WHO PAYS PRIVATE SCHOOL FEES AFTER SEPARATION?

WHO PAYS PRIVATE SCHOOL FEES AFTER SEPARATION? Fri, 8 Feb 19
One of the biggest areas of contention we see in Gold Coast Family Law matters after parties have separated, is who is going to pay for the children’s private school fees. The Department of Human Services (DHS) typically uses a specific formula to assess the amount of child support required to support a child on a day to day basis, taking into account the income of the parents, the care levels of each parent and the estimated costs of children of the child's age (periodic child support). Significant (and out of the ordinary) costs for the child, including, but not limited to, things such as private school fees and medical expenses (non-periodic child support), are generally not assessed by DHS. Therefore, the collection and payment of those types of expenses will likely need to be arranged between the parties themselves, and it is an area where disagreements often arise as parties struggle to process the separation itself as well as trying to navigate life after separation.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Fri, 11 Jan 19
We trust that all of our valued clients, colleagues and associates have had a wonderful break, and are ready to charge into the new year full speed ahead. Affinity Lawyers would like to extend well wishes to you all for a happy, safe and prosperous 2019, and we look forward to working with you in the near future.

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NEW YEAR – A FRESH START FOR YOUR ESTATE PLANNING

NEW YEAR – A FRESH START FOR YOUR ESTATE PLANNING Fri, 11 Jan 19
At Affinity Lawyers, we like to take the start of a fresh new year to remind you that it’s a great time to take stock of your circumstances, and get some of those pesky tasks that you never seem to have time to do – done. For many tasks, including getting an up-to-date will drafted, completing it at the start of the new year allows you to easily remember the date it was completed, and serves as a perfect way for you to remember to review it as it was done on an easily remembered date/occasion.

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SEPERATED FROM YOUR SPOUSE OVER THE CHRISTMAS BREAK? WHAT TO DO NEXT

SEPERATED FROM YOUR SPOUSE OVER THE CHRISTMAS BREAK? WHAT TO DO NEXT Fri, 11 Jan 19
At Affinity Family Lawyers, we understand that separation from a husband/wife or long term de facto partner can be one of the most stressful and traumatic events in a person’s life. Unfortunately, during/shortly after the annual Christmas/New Years break we generally see an increase in the rate of separations. Whether its due to families spending extra time together over the break, or increased family/financial pressures which generally arise with the Christmas/New Year period, it appears that many people decide that they are wanting a fresh break at the start of a new year.

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IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS

IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE CHRISTMAS Wed, 12 Dec 18
It is that time of the year again when people are starting to relax, and are getting ready to enjoy the Christmas/New Year break after the busy working year and start looking forward to 2019. Therefore, we would like to extend to you some carefully drafted Christmas wishes, with an abundance of lawyer humour: Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all . . . and a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2019, and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform, or sexual preference of the wishee.

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AIRBNB AND BODY CORPORATES

AIRBNB AND BODY CORPORATES Mon, 10 Dec 18
The ability for unit owners to rent out their units for short term accommodation via sites such as ‘Airbnb’ or ‘Stayz’ has long been a grey area, with many body corporates attempting to stop these types of rentals from happening by attempting to enforce by-laws which have been explicitly drafted to exclude short term rentals. It has been an ongoing tug-of-war between unit owners and Body Corporates, with each vying for the ‘winning’ position. It appears that the ‘winner’ has now been determined, and the recent decision of the Body Corporate for Hilton Park CTS 27490 v. Colin Robertson [2018] by the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal has provided clarity for unit owners by ruling that they are legally entitled to offer their units for short-term rentals (through schemes such as Airbnb or Stayz) and that any attempt made by the Body Corporate to restrict such use by way of a by-law or other means is invalid and will not be enforceable.

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PPSR CHARGES - ARE YOURS ABOUT TO EXPIRE?

PPSR CHARGES - ARE YOURS ABOUT TO EXPIRE? Mon, 10 Dec 18
Personal property is considered to be any form of property other than land, buildings or fixtures which form a part of that land. This can include cars, boats, caravans, art, machinery and crops as well as intangibles such as intellectual property and contract rights. The Personal Property Securities Register (PPSR took over from the REVS (Register of Encumbered Vehicles) Queensland and Bills of Sale Register in 2012. The purpose of the register is to determine the priority for secured creditors in the event that a debtor defaults or goes into liquidation.

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INTERNATIONAL CHILD ABDUCTION

Fri, 9 Nov 18
Note: This is a very broad and complex area and this article is in no way intended to provide a complete overview of this area of law. If you require advice in relation to this area of law you should contact one of our professional and experienced Gold Coast lawyers to seek advice tailored to your specific circumstances. An issue which can be of concern to separated parents, particularly around school holidays and the Christmas break, is where children are scheduled to be taken on a holiday by one parent, either interstate or out of the country. There are a significant number of parents who are fearful that their children will fail to be returned by the other parent.

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