Each month Katrina will be providing you with information as to what has been “happening” at Oner Family Law. This will highlight the many different areas of family law in which we practice.
- We represented a father at mediation for both property and children’s matters, where the mother had been highly controlling of the father’s time with the children, and where the mother had sole parental responsibility of the children. At mediation, the father was provided with shared parental responsibility and regular time with the children was agreed to. Property matters were also finalised, with the father receiving his just and equitable entitlements.
- Finalised drafting Court documents for a mother where the father has had primary care of the children due to medical issues, and with the father then separating the children and placing one child with the mother, but refusing to unite the children in one household. The mother’s application seeks that both children live with her. Awaiting a hearing date.
- We returned to Court on the matter where judgment was received below in November 2017. The Court appearance was for the Judge to see how the children were transitioning. The parties disagreed as to how well the children were doing in the father’s care, but the children remain with the father. A final, one day hearing will take place in due course to finalise the matter.
- We managed to settle a high conflict children’s matter for a mother on a final basis at mediation that had been running for three years. The children had not spent much time with the father, with the father’s time on a final basis with the children being limited, at the father’s election. The father’s choice suited both parties and the children, given the father’s lack of involvement in the children’s lives.
- We were unusually busy with new initial consults this month. Kept us busy with new file work, and trying to resolve these matters by agreement.
- We finished preparing trial affidavit material for a property matter where the husband’s mother is very wealthy, and the question arises as to whether the husband’s mother’s wealth should negatively impact the husband’s property settlement entitlements. We are awaiting trial dates.
- We settled a property matter for a husband at mediation, in circumstances where the parties had previously agreed to an informal property settlement which had not been properly documented through the Family Court. As a result, the husband had to pay the wife more than what had originally been agreed. This would not have occurred had the initial agreement been properly documented from the outset.
- Our most exciting news this month is that our Law Clerk, Mikaela Jordan, was admitted as solicitor on 5 February. Mikaela is now employed full-time as a family law solicitor with OFL and is doing an amazing job. We are lucky to have her.
- We received instructions to act on behalf of a father who was seeking equal time with his twin children, which had also been recommended by a Family Report writer. The mother refused to agree by consent to this happening. The high-school at which the twins were to attend at was also in dispute. After preparing our client’s material, we spent many hours negotiating a final agreement the day of the allocated Court hearing date. The mother ultimately agreed to the children living with their father on a 50/50 basis, with the father compromising on the school issue.
- As happens every year, January was a very busy month with new consultations, with clients who had been holding off separating until after the festive period, seeking advice as to their family law issues.
- We attended at a property mediation with our client where the majority of the net asset pool had been gifted to the parties by the husband’s family. We were unfortunately unable to resolve the matter on a final basis, with the matter now being prepared for a final hearing. It will be interesting to see how much weight the Court will place on the contributions from the husband’s side of the family.
- We finally managed to a settle a very high conflict property and children’s matter which had taken some two years to resolve. This resulted in the wife receiving her property settlement payment just in time for Christmas, and the children’s arrangements being finalised once and for all, with certainty being provided for everyone.
- The team at OFL enjoyed a very much deserved break, with the office shutting down for the festive period.
- After serving the father with the urgent Court documents referred to at October above, the father immediately agreed to the return of the child to the mother, and final Orders by consent were entered into by the parties, without the Court hearing date being required.
- We received judgment on the matter referred to at March above. We were successful in obtaining an Order that the children live with the father, even though the mother had been the children’s primary carer their entire lives. The Judge made this decision on the basis that the mother was unable/unwilling to foster a relationship between the children and their father, and found that if the children did not live with the father, they would never have a relationship with him.
- We prepared urgent Court documents for a mother whose young child had been removed from her primary care and relocated by the father from the city where she lived, after she was “tricked” by the father, who failed to return the child to the mother at the end of his time with her. We managed to obtain an urgent hearing date from the Court.
- We appeared in Court on behalf of a defacto husband who made very significant financial contributions by way of an inheritance in the millions received during the defacto relationship. At this Court appearance, we managed to convince the defacto wife to agree to a six month adjournment of the matter so as to allow pressing financial matters the defacto husband was dealing with to be resolved, prior to property matters between the parties being negotiated.
- We attended at Court again with regards to the father referred to at August above. The mother failed to appear, and all Orders sought by the father were made in his favour on a final basis. The children will remain with their father.
- We represented a father at mediation where the mother had unilaterally stopped the children seeing their father each weekend as had been agreed with the mother and which had been occurring for months. The mother agreed to reinstate the weekly time. The father is now commencing proceedings to seek equal week on/week off time with the children. Will keep you posted.
- We received judgment on the relocation matter referred to at January and February above. Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in the mother being permitted to relocate due to a number of reasons. Despite this, the mother was very happy with our service and sincerely expressed her gratitude.
- We attended at Court on behalf of a father regarding his children remaining living with him on a final basis. The father has been the children’s primary carer, with the mother deciding to stop attending at Court or involving herself in the proceedings at all. The Judge advised that if the mother did not attend on the next occasion, the Orders sought by our client would be made in her absence on a final basis.
- The team at OFL attended the annual Family Law Residential at Sheraton Mirage Gold Coast. We attended two full days of seminars exclusively educating us further on family law matters.
- We attended at Court for the passport hearing referred to at May above. the father attended, and agreed to sign the passport application at Court which then allowed the mother to take her overseas trip.
- We attended at a property mediation on behalf of a wife which unfortunately did not settle, purely due to the stubbornness of the applicant husband on the other side. The matter will now need to proceed through Court. We are likely to obtain a costs order in favour of the wife.
- We prepared Court documents for a mother seeking that the requirement of the father’s signature being required on a passport application for a passport to issue for their son be dispensed with. The mother wished to go on an overseas holiday with the child. The father refused to sign the passport application for no good/legitimate reason other than to be difficult. The matter is to be heard in June.
- We were very busy this month with new initial consults covering a broad range of issues regarding both property and children’s matter.
- The final hearing of a children’s matter took place this month where we acted on the father’s behalf. The father was spending 6 nights out of every 14 with his 3 young children (6/8 in the mother’s favour). The father was seeking equal time with the children (7/7). The Family Report prepared in the matter was against the father and recommended his time be reduced to 4 nights out of every 14. The mother sought Orders in accordance with the Family Report recommendations that the father only spend 4 nights per fortnight with the children on a final basis. The father did very well in the witness box during the final hearing in comparison to the mother. Judgment was handed down soon after the final hearing. The father was successful in his application for a 7/7 arrangement. The mother has appealed this decision. We will keep you posted.
- We appeared on behalf of a wife regarding enforcement of property Orders. The wife had a final Consent Order in place whereby the parties agreed the husband was to pay the wife a certain sum of money to buy her out of the former matrimonial home. If the husband was unable to do so, the home was to be sold. The husband failed to pay the wife out and refused to list the house for sale as per the terms of the parties’ agreed Court Order. The wife was forced to file an enforcement application against the husband so as to enforce the terms of the Order. The husband attended at Court and finally agreed to do the right thing and follow the terms of the Order. The wife received her payment a few weeks after the Court date. The wife was also awarded costs as against the husband given his failure to comply with the Order and forcing the wife to Court.
- We had an unusually high number of Application for Consent Order documents to draft this month. This is great news as it means separating couples are resolving their matters amicably without litigation.
- The trial of the above matter we were preparing for in February took place this month. It was evident during the trial the mother does not want the children to have any relationship with their father due to her own personal issues. A tough one for the Judge, as for the children to have a relationship with both parents, they need to be removed from their mother, who has been their primary carer their entire lives. If the children are not removed, the father will not see them again. We are awaiting judgment.
- The trial of the relocation matter referred to above took place. The trial was difficult for all involved as serious allegations of domestic violence formed a major part of the case. We now await judgment.
- We finalised the drafting of trial affidavit material on behalf of a father who has no choice other than to pursue full-time care of his children who live primarily with their mother. The father’s case is that the mother is unable to foster a relationship between the children and their father, evidenced by the fact the children have not seen their father for a couple of years. This is despite a Court Order being in place allowing for the father to spend regular time with the children.
- This month the OFL team continued to keep up their knowledge in the developing area of family law by attending at family law seminars covering a number of family law topics.
- This month the OFL team were busy dealing with a high number of new enquiries with people having put separations on hold, proceeding in the New Year after the Christmas period. The OFL team are dedicated in helping separating clients during this emotional time.
- We finalised the filing of trial affidavit material on behalf of a client who wishes to relocate intrastate with her children. The relocation is opposed by the father who seeks that the children remain in Brisbane. These matters are always very difficult as at the end of the day, one of the parties will inevitably be bitterly disappointed with the outcome.