Wed, 6 Dec 17
As Christmas is fast approaching (again!) we thought it was timely to discuss one of the queries that we are often asked by our clients in the lead up to the Christmas/New Year break relating to children, namely, how is time with the children organised between separated parties over the break? We have visited this topic numerous times in the past, however it is still a common question that arises, and we want to ensure that we equip our clients with as much information as possible to allow this period to be as fun and stress free as it can be. While Christmas and the holidays are often a happy and joyous occasion, where families spend some quality time together, this isnât always the case for those who have recently separated with children involved.
Wed, 6 Dec 17
In a landmark decision by the Australian public, the âYesâ vote to change the Marriage Act 1961 to legalise same-sex marriage trumped those against the proposed amendments with a 61.6%/38.4% result, announced on 15 November 2017. While many were rejoicing at the outcome of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, the scope and extent of the changes to be made to the Marriage Act 1961 were still up in the air, with an active debate continuing between the political parties concerning the wording to be used, the nature and extent of religious protections to be included as well as how refusals and objections to participating in a same-sex marriage is to be dealt with, particularly in light of Attorney-General George Brandisâ comment that an amendment which allowed both civil and religious celebrants to refuse to marry same-sex couples would have his support.
Thu, 9 Nov 17
The recent high profile case heard by the Supreme Court in Victoria between actress Rebel Wilson and German media giant Bauer Media has come to a dramatic conclusion, with Justice Dixon finding that Bauer Media had maliciously defamed Ms Wilson. Ms Wilson was awarded a large sum of $4.5 million dollars in damages, resulting in the largest known defamation win in Australian history. This case is also believed to be the first case where the statutory cap of $389,500.00 in place for assessing damages for non-economic loss has been disregarded. Justice Dixon made a statement to the effect that when assessing Wilsonâs damages for non-economic loss the cap was able to be disregarded due to the circumstances of the aggravation in this case. Although the scope of this case is generally outside the realms of what could be expected in a less publicised/non-celebrity court battle, it is still sending a very timely and important message for the general population that what you publish online, or in social media, can be classed as defamation. Individuals need to be very careful about online presence and activity or they may be at the receiving end of an expensive law suit.
Mon, 14 Aug 17
One of the most common myths when it comes to separation is that âall family disputes go to the Courtâ. However, this couldnât be further from the truth as a vast majority of cases are resolved without the need of going to Court, and of those matters that do end up in the Court room, only 4% proceed to a final hearing (a trial). Here at Affinity Family Lawyers, we pride ourselves on providing cost effective legal services, and encourage our clientâs to resolve matters amicably through alternative dispute resolution options, such as negotiation and mediation.
Sat, 8 Jul 17
Where there has been a relationship breakdown and there is real property involved (for example the matrimonial home or an investment property), then depending on how the property is held by the parties, a caveat may need to be lodged over the property to protect your rights and interests in it before your ex has a chance to sell or further encumber the property without your knowledge. If you are not listed on the title to the property as a registered owner, then there is a risk that the registered owner can sell the property or encumber the property (by way of loan/mortgage) without your consent.
Sat, 8 Jul 17
One of the questions that we are posed by many of our clients, time and time again, is âwhy canât we just use one of those $20 will kits from the newsagent?â. In fact, in our experience many people are hesitant to pay for a lawyer to prepare their will properly, instead preferring just to âdo it themselvesâ. However, there are many fundamental problems with this course of action â and the least of our concerns as lawyers is the loss of a couple of hundred dollars in fees because you âchose do it yourselfâ.