Insurance - why it matters!

There is often confusion about who is responsible for the property insurance for the period between entering into a Contract and the settlement date.

When you sign a contract to buy a house or a unit or even vacant land, one of the first things you will be told is – take out insurance.

“Why is it so important?  I don’t even own the property yet”, you might ask.

Read more: Insurance - why it matters!

Relocation with Children

It is a misconception of some separated parents that relocating to another area with children is a relatively simple affair.  You find another house, book the removalists, enrol your children in a new school and you inform the other parent that time arrangements have now changed to holiday periods.  Right?  Well….no, actually.

Read more: Relocation with Children

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