Coercive control: Should it be criminalized?

Coercive Control A little over a year has passed since Hannah Clarke and her three children had passed away.[1] This event has captured significant public attention which has led to discussions regarding the need to make legislative changes to prevent the recurrence of such a horrific act of violence. A particular point of discussion raised … Read more

The Lighthouse Project

The Lighthouse Project is an initiative of the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia (“the Courts”) to better protect parties and children involved in family law proceedings who are experiencing family violence and/or other safety risks.   How does it work?  The Lighthouse Project involves the following process:  Screening  When a party files an Initiating … Read more

“Live with” Arrangements for Children

The Legislative reforms in 1996 removed the words ‘custody’, ‘access, and ‘guardianship’ from the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) (“the Act”) to further discourage parents to view children as possessions and to encourage them to focus not on legal intervention but on the fundamental need for children to develop a close and meaningful relationship with both parents whenever … Read more

What is a primary carer in family law?

A primary carer in family law is the person with whom the child spends the most time with. Most often, this is a parent, however, a primary carer can also be a child’s grandparents, aunts, and uncles.   In some parenting matters, the court may need to assess who a child’s primary carer is as this may assist the court in determining … Read more

Case Note: Biondi & Koen [2020] FamCA 201

The case of Biondi & Koen [2020] FamCA 201 was urgently listed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.[1] Background The Mother was an international student who arrived in Australia from Brazil in 2015. The parties had a brief and casual sexual relationship in April 2016. The Mother fell pregnant with the parties’ child. The … Read more

Will the Court make me refinance?

Long & Peng Case Note Recently, the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia at Brisbane (“Family Court”) decided an interesting case involving property matters. In this case, the Family Court dismissed an appeal from the Federal Circuit Court on the basis that there was not sufficient evidence to sustain the appeal, the original … Read more

Parenting Arrangements during COVID-19

COVID-19 has certainly thrown parents some ‘curve-balls’. Amongst these are an increased need for separated parents to negotiate on temporary alterations to parenting arrangements, in what might otherwise have been a settled situation. For other parents, COVID-19 has been used an excuse to stop children from spending time with their other parent, or for one … Read more