Family law property orders – change of name of property owner

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In the recent family law case of Wunderly & Waugh, [1] Family Law orders were made for the husband to transfer to the Wife his interest in a property.  There were difficulties for the wife in securing the property in her sole name.  This was partly because:

–          the husband had left Australia and appeared to have returned to China permanently; and

–          the family law orders had referred to the husband as Mr W, however he had previously been known as Mr L (before he was made an Australian Citizen) and the property was registered in the name of Mr L.

The wife brought an application to the Federal Magistrates Court and the Court found that it was appropriate to make Orders varying the original Orders so that the wife may make the necessary arrangements to transfer the title into her name. There was evidence that the husband had been served her application and had not filed a Response or any document opposing the orders sought.

Orders were made:

(1) That the Husband, [Mr L] (also known as Mr W), within 42 days of the date of the final orders in this matter do all acts and sign all documents necessary to transfer all his right title and interest in the property, to the Applicant Wife.

(2) That if the Respondent Husband, [Mr L] (Mr W), refuses or neglects to execute any deed or instrument within fourteen (14) days of being requested to do so then the Registrar of the Federal Magistrates Court be appointed pursuant to section 106A to execute such deed or instrument in the name of such party and to do all acts and things necessary to give validity to the operation of the deed or instrument.


[1] Wunderly & Waugh [2012] FMCAfam 905 (20 August 2012) – family law property orders – variation of orders – where respondent changed his name on acquiring Australian citizenship – necessity for order to reflect the name on the certificate of title.


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