Michael Lynch Family Lawyers


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:

  • Seminar Series – On Now!
  • Additional Income and Child Support
  • Beware DIY Kits
  • Close-up – Edition
  • Long Service Leave in Property Settlements
  • Severing a Joint Tenancy
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Seminar Series – On Now!

Our final Seminar Series for this year is underway!

For tips and advice and a package filled with information, the $20 attendance fee is great value!

Read comments from previous attendees and don’t miss this opportunity:

  • Tuesday, 20 October, 6 – 7.30pm – “7 Secrets to Protecting Your Assets” – Michael’s Restaurant, Eight Mile Plains;
  • Wednesday, 21 October, 6.30 – 8pm – “Surviving Separation – Understanding Family Law” – Riverglenn, Indooroopilly;
  • Tuesday, 27 October, 1 – 2.30pm – “7 Secrets to Protecting Your Assets” – Chifley at Lennons, Brisbane City;
  • Wednesday, 28 October, 6 – 7.30pm – “Surviving Separation – Understanding Family Law” – Runcorn Tavern, Calamvale.

For details visit www.mlfl.com.au/seminars.

Phone 3221 4300 to book your seat now!

Additional Income and Child Support

Parents can exclude any additional income they make from their Child Support assessment for up to 3 years.

This additional income can be used to re-establish themselves following separation and can come from increased work hours from an existing job, or a new second job.

Beware DIY Kits

The Law Council of Australia has recently issued a media release cautioning couples from entering into Financial Agreements (Pre-nuptial Agreements) with do-it-yourself kits.

The release stated that “they may initially appear cost effective, but don’t be fooled they could come at a great cost down the track because you must have legal advice for an agreement to be enforceable”.

As our recent articles ave indicated Pre-nuptial Agreements are increasing in popularity and it is essential that they be completed correctly. If you have any queries regarding a proposed Pre-nuptial Agreement or how to document a Property Settlement call us for a fixed-cost initial consultation on 3221 4300.

Close-up – Edition

Determining a Property Settlement involves identifying property at the date of separation but valuing it at the date of settlement. During the global economic crisis and the volatility in asset values, it is important for separated couples to clearly identify the date of separation.

That may seem straight-forward – but almost all couples differ as to the date and the Family Court recently had to consider a case where the spouses were 6 years apart! The Edition’s “Close-up” is“Am I Separated?”

Michael Lynch Family Lawyers

Long Service Leave in Property Settlements

The determination of a Property Settlement involves identifying and valuing the property and then considering the relevant ‘elements of contribution’ to determine an appropriate percentage division.

Identifying the property is not always as simple as it may seem.

The law regarding the appropriate treatment for long service leave and annual leave in Property Settlements was set out recently by the Full Court of the Family Court which stated that “they are not property, only financial resources”.

As a “financial resource” it becomes a factor in considering the parties respective ‘elements of contribution’ to then determine an appropriate percentage adjustment. The Court has stated that it will adopt the view even where the employee spouse is not likely to retire and receive a lump sum payment, in lieu of the leave.

Severing a Joint Tenancy

There are two ways that couples can own real estate, either as joint tenants or tenants in common. When couples separare they must be very careful as to what arrangements are in place.

Owning real estate as “joint tenants” means that if one of the parties dies then their interest automatically passes to the other owner regardless of the provision in their Will.

If someone holds an interest as “tenants in common” and they die, then the future ownership of their entitlement will be determined in accordance with the Will.

Most couples hold property as “joint tenants”, therefore if separation occurs people are well advised to look at severing the joint tenancy. This is a straight-forward process that then creates a “tenants in common” ownership. To do this the consent of the other party is not necessary.

Severing the joint tenancy does not attract stamp duty. It is a process that goes through the Titles Orrice and you should obtain Specialist Family Law advice in considering your circumstances.

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If you have any comments regarding the Family Flyer – in response to articles or suggestions for new articles – we want to hear from you! Please email us at [email protected].

Contact details

Michael Lynch Family Lawyers

Michael Lynch*

Senior Associates
Helen Bryden*
Kirstie Colls*

Elizabeth Millar
Amelia Trotman

Clare McCormack
Amy Honan

* Queensland Law Society
Accredited Family Law Specialists

Telephone: 07 3221 4300
Facsimile: 07 3221 9454
Email: [email protected]
Web: www.mlfl.com.au
Address: Level 6
193 North Quay
Brisbane Qld 4000
Post: PO Box 12027
George St, Brisbane Qld 4003




Copyright 2009


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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