The Family Flyer is a free community service by Michael Lynch Family Lawyers. The publication is designed to be informative and topical and to assist you in understanding the ever-changing field of Family Law.
This edition includes:
Coming Soon - Compulsory Mediation
Under the "Shared Parenting" amendments to the Family Law Act that commenced on 1 July 2006, there will soon become a requirement for compulsory mediation.
As of 1 July 2007 an Application to the Court for a Parenting Order will not be possible unless the parties have obtained a Certificate confirming they have attended a family dispute resolution meeting and made genuine attempts to resolve the matter. There are some limited exceptions to this requirement.
We are pleased to announce the recent promotion of Elizabeth Millar as Associate at our office. Elizabeth practices exclusively in Family and Relationship Law.
Elizabeth's elevation and expertise reinforces our position as one of the largest Specialist Family Law firms in Queensland.
Changing a Court Order
Since the "Shared Parenting" changes to the Family Law Act there has been a renewed interest in people trying to change previous Court Orders to take advantage of the new legislation.
The law states that a Court Order cannot be changed unless there is a "significant change in circumstances" and for Orders made before 1 July 2006, the new "Shared Parenting" legislation does not in itself establish such a change.
So what is a "significant change in circumstances"?
The Court recently considered such a case, i.e:
The Court stated that:
The Court held that:
Superannuation Death Benefit Nominations
The changing nature of families, including complex family relationships, offspring with multiple partners and growing numbers of "adultescents", means that sorting out member's Superannuation Death Benefits has become increasingly onerous for Super Fund Trustees.
Everyone with a Superannuation policy is urged to update their Death Benefit nomination when their family circumstances change.
The Australian Superannuation Fund Association has produced a Best Practice Paper on Death Benefits and states that the laws surrounding payment of a Superannuation Death Benefit are often quite different from inheritance law. Trustees have to deal with a wide variety of claims from every permutation of relationship, including adult children of a previous relationship against infant children of a current relationship, parents of a deceased adult child who was living with them and even flatmates.
The Association's experience has shown that complex family situations are more likely to result in disputes over a member's Death Benefit.
What is a "Reasonable Excuse" when a Court Order is Contravened?
The Court has recently considered a Mother's defence to a Contravention Application of a Parenting Order and found that she had a "reasonable excuse".
The facts were:
The Court found that:
Michael Lynch Family Lawyers
* Queensland Law Society
Accredited Family Law Specialists
Telephone: 07 3221 4300
Facsimile: 07 3221 9454
Address: Level 6
193 North Quay
Brisbane Qld 4000
Post: PO Box 12027
George St, Brisbane Qld 4003
This document contains general comments only and should not be relied upon as specific legal advice. Readers should contact this Office for detailed information or advice on any topic in this document. Changes to the law occur regularly, no responsibility for any loss or damage caused to any person acting in reliance on this document shall be accepted by the Principal of this Office. No part of this document may be included on any document, circular or statement without our written approval.
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