Paper Certificates of Title No Longer Have Any Legal Effect!!

As at 1 October 2019, paper Certificates of Title no longer have any legal effect. A paper CT is now classed as an item of historic or sentimental value only.

It no longer needs to be deposited with the Titles Registry when a transaction is lodged over the title ie. a mortgage & no longer needs to be dispensed for a transaction to proceed ie. the sale of a property!

Read more: Paper Certificates of Title No Longer Have Any Legal Effect!!

How much weight does the Court give to the views of children in family proceedings?

Separation can be a difficult time for not only the parties involved but also their children.  Although we often see that parents' wish to shield their children from the unpleasantness of a family break down, understandably they also want to ensure that the children's wishes are taken into account for parenting arrangements.

This gives rise to the question, do your children have a say in who they want to live with?

Read more: How much weight does the Court give to the views of children in family proceedings?

Ex-spouse ordered to hand over half of his lottery winnings


The recent United States of America case of Rich and Mary-Beth Zelasko & Zelasko demonstrates the importance of finalising your property settlement after separation.

Mr. Rich Zelasko was ordered to pay $15 million to his wife who he had been separated for more than two (2) years. This decision may come as a surprise to many however, there has been similar decisions made in Australia in relation to lottery winnings after separation.

Read more: Ex-spouse ordered to hand over half of his lottery winnings

Sperm Donor Recognised as a "Parent"


In the High Court decision of Masson v Parson [2019] HCA 21 made 19 June 2019, Mr. Masson successfully appealed against a decision that as a sperm donor, he was not a "parent" of a child.  

In 2006 Mr. Masson provided his semen to the biological mother of the child in the belief that he would, as the child's parent, be named on the child's birth certificate as her father and would support and care for her. 

Read more: Sperm Donor Recognised as a "Parent"

Payment of Deposit

Under the Terms of Contract for Buyers of Residential Property

In the majority of Contracts to buy residential property, the Seller will require that the Buyer pay a Deposit. The Deposit is a small fraction of the Purchase Price and shows some commitment that the Buyer is serious about purchasing the Property. It seems pretty basic – the Buyer pays an agreed amount. That amount sits in an account not to be touched again until either the Contract is terminated or settlement is completed. Easy, right? Mostly it is easy, but there are some traps that you can be caught by, if the terms for payment of the Deposit are not complied with.

Read more: Payment of Deposit

Fur baby in family law tug-o-war

The rise of the "fur baby" as an alternative to having children has been highlighted in a recent family law case.

In Downey & Beale (not Beagle), the Federal Circuit Court was asked to determine who was the owner of the dog, (name and breed omitted for privacy apparently so we'll call him Spot).

After a five-year relationship, Spot's parents managed to reach agreement about the division of all of their assets, including their jointly owned home, but neither could bear to part with their fur baby.

Read more: Fur baby in family law tug-o-war

The Importance of Pre-Nuptial Agreements

"Pre-nups" have been made famous by famous people.  You can be sure that the likes of the Kardashians and the Rhineharts and the Murdochs wouldn't walk down the aisle without one.  But does your average wage earner need one, and if they do, are they worth the paper they are written on?

In short, yes and yes.

Whilst we don't have too many celebrities knocking on our door in Toowoomba to draft their pre-nups, they are becoming increasingly common for your average couple.  A pre-nup - otherwise known as a Financial Agreement under the Family Law Act - can be entered into before or during a marriage or a defacto relationship.  We especially recommend them in these scenarios:

Read more: The Importance of Pre-Nuptial Agreements

What happens to your Will when your relationship ends

Up until June 2017, the end of a de facto relationship did not have any impact on any Will which the couple might have made during their relationship.  That meant that if they neglected to make new Wills, their old Wills (which usually left everything to their former partner) remained effective.

We once acted for a son and daughter who were to receive nothing from their late father's Estate as he had neglected to change his Will after the very bitter end of his de facto relationship.  He died eight years after he finalised a property settlement with his former spouse but that had no impact on his Will, which left everything to her.  The result was that his children had to engage in a long and costly legal process in order to get any benefit from his Estate.

Read more: What happens to your Will when your relationship ends

Are you selling your property


As a Seller of residential Property, your main responsibility is to ensure that ownership of the Property can be transferred to the Buyer immediately after Settlement. For Sellers who have a mortgage over the Property, this means that you need to arrange for that mortgage to be released. This blog will explain how you can obtain the all-important release of mortgage, it will take a brief look at the ramifications if you don’t have it available at settlement, and we will let you know the magical, mind-blowing secret to making sure you will have the release ready on time, every time*.

Read more: Are you selling your property

Enduring Power of Attorney:  What is it and do I require one?*


What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

There are two types of Power of Attorney – the Enduring Power of Attorney and the General Power of Attorney.

An Enduring Power of Attorney allows health, personal and/or financial affairs to be dealt with in the way you wish, even (and particularly) if you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself. For example, if you suffer a head injury, develop dementia etc.

Read more: Enduring Power of Attorney - What is it

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