Women’s Legal Centre (ACT & Region) Incorporated has moved

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The Women’s Legal Centre has moved premises.  The Women’s Legal Centre has now relocated to the new Community Legal Centre Hub on the corner of Barry Drive and Watson Streets, 21 Barry Drive, Turner ACT 2612. Their mailing addresses and phone numbers have remained unchanged.  The Legal Advice Line is open 9am – 12pm, Monday to Friday (02) 6257 4499 … Read More

When can you change parenting / custody orders? Rice v Asplund

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Can you change orders? And if so, when can you change parenting / custody orders?  Rice v Asplund When the Family Law Courts (Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court) make parenting orders (previously known as custody orders), the orders are based on the circumstances that surround the child’s life that were current at the time the orders were … Read More

Extract from ACT Legislative Assembly Hansard

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ACT Legislative Assembly Hansard Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 11 Hansard (18 September) . . Page.. 3423 http://www.hansard.act.gov.au/hansard/2013/week11/3423.htm The young business woman of the year was awarded to Claire Naidu from Claire Naidu & Co Lawyers. Claire is an accredited family law specialist with a master of laws majoring in dispute resolution. She completed a bachelor of commerce … Read More

Keep women in law – Law Council to launch new survey report

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Why women leave the legal profession and do not re-engage is an important issue for the national profession and one which is a priority for the Law Council of Australia. In 2013 the Law Council conducted the National Attrition and Re-engagement Study (NARS) to obtain quantitative data and confirm trends in progression and attrition rates of female lawyers. The research … Read More

New Human Rights Commissioner

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Mr Timothy Wilson has been appointed Australia’s new Human Rights Commissioner. Mr Wilson’s background includes public policy, skills as an advocate and human rights champion.  For the past seven years he has been a Policy Director at the Institute of Public Affairs. He has published and broadcast widely on the topics of personal freedom, liberal democratic values and the rule … Read More

Kavina Mistry – Lawyer

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Kavina Mistry – Lawyer Kavina Mistry is originally from Canada and relocated to Australia in 2009. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Psychology at the University of Alberta in Canada and completed a Juris Doctor (Hons) at Bond University. She completed her Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice on the Gold Coast and then relocated to Canberra in … Read More

DIY Divorce in Australia – DIY (Do It Yourself) Divorce

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Divorce in Australia – DIY (Do It Yourself) Did you know you can file your Application for Divorce online? EFiling of Divorce Applications is available online through the  Commonwealth Courts Portal. For more information see the Guide to using the Commonwealth Court Portal No-Fault Divorce Australia has a No-Fault Divorce system which was established under the Family Law Act 1975.  This means … Read More

Family Law Matters – What happens on the First Court Date?

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What happens on the first court date – Federal Circuit Court – Family Law Matters? The Federal Circuit Court operates a docket system.  This means that the application will usually remain before the same judge from first court date to final hearing. The conduct of proceedings on the first court date is fully detailed in Rules 10.1 to 10.03. On … Read More

Your Family Law Case – How are proceedings Commenced?

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Family Law proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court are commenced by application supported by an affidavit. Part 4 Rule 4.01 outlines the requirements for commencing a proceeding. The person filing the application whether seeking final, interim or procedural orders must file an affidavit stating the facts relied on.  Depending on the nature of the application, there may be additional documents … Read More

Best Family Lawyer in Canberra

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Need to choose the best family and divorce lawyer for your case? Deciding on the best family lawyer to help with your divorce, property settlement and custody matter is a very important decision.  Making the right choice early is crucial to obtaining the best result possible. Claire Naidu, an Accredited Family Law Specialist, offers some tips to help you choose … Read More

Spike in demand for legal aid

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Tasmania’s unemployment rate is sitting a decade-high of 8.4 per cent and the state of Tasmania’s economy is said to be contributing to a spike in demand for legal aid, reports Zoe Edwards from ABC News. The Tasmania Legal Aid Commission has stopped funding a range of family court matters, citing budget constraints following a significant surge in demand for … Read More

Access to justice

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Community Law Australia has approached the political parties to ask them to outline their plans to address the access to justice crisis. Community legal centres provide free legal help to people who can’t afford a private lawyer. They assist with problems such as housing, employment, consumer issues, debt and family violence. Community Law Australia is a campaign advocating for a proper … Read More

Independent Children’s Lawyers Fees

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With effect from 1 July 2013, an Independent Children’s Lawyer appointed to represent a child’s interests in proceedings under the Family Law Act 1975 will be exempt from paying fees in relation to the proceedings for: (a) An interim application; and (b) Issuing a subpoena. The changes were made by the Family Law Amendment (Fees) Regulation 2013.

New Federal Circuit Court Decisions

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New Federal Circuit Court Decisions in the area of Family Law: Newman & Pascoe & Anor (SSAT Appeal) [2013] FCCA 788 CHILD SUPPORT – APPEAL – Social Security Appeals Tribunal – appeal from decision of SSAT – where appellant did not attend court – default of appearance of a party. CHILD SUPPORT – STAY – Application for Stay of the … Read More

How to help your solicitor

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How to help your solicitor The ACT Law Society provides very good information on how to help your solicitor – there are various things you can do to help your solicitor to help you.  The Law Society provides a list as follows: Give full and clear instructions To represent your interests successfully your solicitor needs information. Being candid about your … Read More

Same-Sex Marriage Bill

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On 20 June 2013, the Same-Sex Marriage Bill 2013 SA was introduced in the South Australian Parliament. If the Bill is passed, it will enable same-sex adults who marry in South Australia to be registered with the Births, Deaths and Marriage Office and receive a marriage certificate. South Australia would then become the first Australian state to legalise same-sex marriage.

What is Family Violence / Domestic Violence?

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What is Family Violence / Domestic Violence? Various laws attempt to define Family Violence or Domestic Violence. The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) The Australian Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) has a definition of Family Violence for the purposes of the Family Law Act.  Section 4AB says: (1)  For the purposes of this Act, family violence means violent, threatening or … Read More

What are Section 60I Certificates?

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What is a section 60I Certificate? Section 60I Certificates refers certificates made pursuant to section 60I of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).  The object of section 60I is to ensure that people who have a custody or parenting matter make a genuine effort to resolve that dispute by family dispute resolution before they apply for an order from the … Read More

Legal News

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Legal News Family Law Council Family Law Council re-appointments were announced by Parliamentary Secretary Shayne Neumann.  Professor Helen Rhoades was re-appointed as Chairperson, and Judge Kevin Lapthorn, Dr Rae Kaspiew and Mr Jeremy Culshaw were re-appointed as members of the Family Law Council.  Council operations and appointments are made in accordance with Section 115 of the Family Law Act 1975. … Read More

Personal Protection Orders

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Personal Protection Orders In the Australian Capital Territory, Personal Protection Orders are dealt with under the Domestic Violence and Protection Orders Act 2008 (ACT).  The principle for deciding an application for a personal protection order is the need to ensure that the aggrieved person is protected from personal violence.  The principles for deciding a workplace order is the need to … Read More

New Family Law Judge for the Federal Circuit Court of Australia

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Former Family Lawyer, Alex Harland, has been appointed Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia. Judge Harland commenced at the Darwin registry on 15 April 2013. Judge Harland was formerly a Legal Aid NSW family lawyer.  She joined Legal Aid NSW in 2011, coinciding with the launch of the Early Intervention Unit’s expansion to the Sydney Registry of the … Read More

Federal Circuit Court of Australia – Family Law Matters

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The Federal Magistrates Court has now been renamed the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.  The new name came into effect on 12 April 2013.  The jurisdiction of the Court still includes family law and child support and the areas of general federal law. The Federal Circuit Court of Australia Legislation Amendment Act 2012 amends the Federal Magistrates Act 1999 and … Read More

Family Law Mediation Pilot

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The Family Law Court in Parramatta commenced a mediation pilot in 2011.  Due to the success of the program, the mediation program is being extended to the Sydney Family Court Registry from today, 2 April 2013. The mediation service is available in family law matters involving children’s issues, where at least one party is legally aided or an independent children’s … Read More

Change of Children’s Surname

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In a case cited as HAYES & YEO [2012] FMCAfam 1502 (delivered in December 2012), the mother sought the change of the children’s surname to accord with her surname.  The children in this case were 17 and 16.  Both of the boys attended with their parents for a child inclusive conference for the purposes of the preparation of a family … Read More

Family Law Courts – Subpoena filing fee

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New Family Law Court fees were introduced on 1 January 2013.  As part of the new fees, a subpoena fee is required when request that the Court issue a subpoena.  In some circumstances, an application for exemption can be made, but the situation with Independent Children’s Lawyers were not so clear, and they have been charged the fee (currently $50 … Read More

High Court Justice Patrick Keane swearing-in ceremony

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The High Court is the highest court in the Australian judicial system. Today, High Court Justice Patrick Keane was welcomed to the bench at a swearing-in ceremony at the seat of the High Court is in Canberra. Justice Keane previously served as Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia from 2010.  Prior to his appointment as Chief Justice of … Read More

Forced Marriage

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A Forced marriage is a marriage in which one or both of the parties is married without his or her consent or against his or her will. There are new laws that criminalise forced marriage and these new laws were passed by the Australian Parliament on 27 February 2013. There will now be a maximum penalty of seven years jail … Read More

Family Law TermFinder – translating family law into plain language

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The Australian Attorney-General’s Department has released a new resource for use by families, legal professionals, practitioners, services and clients who have an interest in the family law system. Family Law TermFinder is a plain language translation tool of the most common terminology used in family law and can be found online at http://lawtermfinder.mq.edu.au. Information provided by Family Law TermFinder is … Read More

Japan to join international child abduction treaty

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Japan is yet to ratify the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, however Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says that he intends for Japan to join the international Hague Convention on child-custody and abduction.   Prime Minister Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) have approved bills to ratify the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International … Read More

Australia Welcomes Three More Countries to the Hague Child Abduction Convention

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The 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction facilitates the return of abducted children to the country where they normally live so that issues of residence and contact can be resolved by the courts of that country. Three additional countries have just become signatories which will assist in the resolution of international parental child abduction and … Read More

Family Law Case: Same-sex relationship and orders permitting two women to be name as the parents on the birth certificate

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Family Law Case: Same-sex relationship and orders permitting two women to be name as the parents on the birth certificate   In a recent case published by the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia, Dent & Rees [2012] FMCAfam 1303, two parents who had been in a same sex de facto relationship for 17 years were in a family law dispute.  … Read More

Recent Family Law Case – Sole Parental Responsibility to the Mother and no contact for the father

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  In a recently published family law case, Carden & Carden [2012] FMCAfam 1463 (17 December 2012), the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia made orders allocating sole parental responsibility to the mother and provided for no contact orders to the father. The father did not attend court and orders were made in his absence. There were issues relating to alcohol, … Read More

Marriage, families & separation

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Marriage, Families & Separation The Family Law Courts of Australia publish a brochure regarding Marriage, Families and Separation.  The brochure provides information for those considering, or affected by separation or divorce.  It provides general information and is not  legal advice. If you have a legal issue, you should contact a lawyer before making a decision. If you click on the … Read More

New Family Law Court filing fees

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The following fees apply in the Family Law Courts from 1 January 2013 The Fees are set by Federal Government regulations – Family Law (Fees) Regulations 2012. Family Court of Australia $145 Application for consent orders $1135 Application for declaration as to validity/nullity $305 Initiating application (family law) $500* Initiating application (children and financial orders) $305 Response to initiating application … Read More

Urgent Family Law Assistance – Christmas and New Year

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If you require urgent family law related legal assistance over the Christmas and New Year period,  contact us.   We are available for urgent enquiries.  Click here for our contact details.   We can help you with: Recovery Applications Location Applications Divorce and Separation Property disputes and complex property litigation Consent Orders Parenting Arrangements and Parenting Plans Custody disputes and … Read More

New Judges appointed to the Family Court of Australia

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Judges of the Family Court of Australia are appointed by the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia under section 22 of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth). Judges usually appointed from the legal professional, although an appointment can be made whereby reason of training, experience and personality, the person is a suitable person to deal with matters of family law.  … Read More

Recent Family Law Cases

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There are a number of recent family law cases published by the Federal Magistrates Court.  A few of these family law cases are included below.   Salway & Hackley & Anor [2012] FMCAfam 1209 FAMILY LAW – Parenting dispute over child under two years’ old – mother Balinese and in Australia on temporary visa – possible final return to Bali … Read More

Judicial Misbehaviour – New Laws for complaints against Federal Judges

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The Judicial Misbehaviour and Incapacity (Parliamentary Commissions) Bill 2012 and the Courts Legislation Amendment (Judicial Complaints) Bill 2012  were passed today. The Judicial Misbehaviour and Incapacity (Parliamentary Commissions) Bill 2012 provides a mechanism to assist the Parliament’s consideration of the removal of a judge from office under paragraph 72(ii) of the Constitution.  It provides details about investigations of Commissions under Part … Read More

New Judge appointed to the High Court of Australia

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The Honourable Patrick Keane has been appointed Australia’s new Justice of the High Court of Australia. The Honourable Patrick Keane is currently the Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia and his appointment to the High Court will follow the retirement of the Honourable Justice John Dyson Heydon AC on 1 March 2013.