The 8th edition of the Australian Master Family Law Guide provides up-to-date information on recent developments in family law. In particular, it covers the significant changes that have occurred in the area of case law since 2016.
This Preface excerpt provides a brief overview of these changes. For a more in depth analysis, order your Australian Master Family Law Guide and its companion Australian Family Law Act 1975 with Regulations and Rules and automatically save 15% with our store-wide discount!
Changes Covered in the Latest Edition
The Legal Practice Matters chapter has been updated to include new actionable checklist items, cautionary notes on the use of addresses, detailed commentary on the obligations on advisers and commentary on case law. There are also expanded affidavit drafting tips. Sheehan & Sheehan (1983) FLC ¶91-352 is discussed. In that case, the affidavits of the wife and her son were removed from the file because of their excessive length and the court considered it oppressive for the husband to be put to the expense of answering them.
The Parenting Orders, Plans and Guidelines chapter has been updated to include Mackenzie  FamCA 610 where a child wanting to undergo irreversible stage 2 treatment for gender dysphoria was found to be Gillick competent which meant that authorisation by the Family Court for the treatment was not required.
The Principles for Conducting Child-Related Proceedings chapter now includes detailed commentary on s 11F reports (reports prepared by family consultants) and the functions of family consultants.
A new chapter on Surrogacy covers the different state and territory legislation with respect to domestic surrogacy arrangements. This chapter also covers how international surrogacy arrangements are dealt with by the Family Court.
The Major Long-Term Issues chapter has been updated to include cases such as Browne & Keith  FamCAFC 143 where the mother was successful in an appeal against an interim order requiring her to relocate the child’s residence from Western Australia to New South Wales. The trial judge was found to have misstated the law applicable to interim relocation cases.
The Child Abduction chapter has been updated and includes further case law. The list of countries which are parties to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction has been updated. Since 1 July 2015, Australia has accepted the accession of the Republic of Korea to the Convention.
The Children and Relationships chapter has been updated. There are additional checklist items for questioning adult clients including questions about violence and abuse. There is an updated list of illicit drugs and findings from new data and reports. New case law has been included such as Walters & Fleetwood  FamCAFC 235 in which the Full Court dismissed an appeal against a decision in which the residence of a child was changed from the mother to the father, and the mother was restrained from seeing the child for two months.
The Property chapter has been updated to include new commentary on the effect of death of a party to property proceedings, the power of a court to adjourn property proceedings and the timing of contributions. The form of property orders required where there is to be a sale so as to achieve a certain percentage outcome was discussed by the Full Court in Trask & Westlake (2015) FLC ¶93-662. Commentary on Rodgers & Rodgers (No 2) (2016) FLC ¶93-712 as to whether both parties should bear the tax liabilities of one party to the relationship and Fields & Smith (2015) FLC ¶93-638 with respect to the assessment of contributions have been added.
The Maintenance chapter has been updated to include life expectancy cases such as Fontana & Fontana (2016) FLC ¶93-688 and the High Court’s consideration of the meaning of a ‘‘financial resource’’ in Hall & Hall (2016) FLC ¶93-709.
The Bankruptcy and Third Parties chapter has been updated to include new case law including Sievers & Sievers  FCCA 3326 in which the Federal Circuit Court transferred the hearing of a creditor’s petition to the Family Court. Grainger & Bloomfield and Anor (2015) FLC ¶93-677 is also discussed which looks at the rights of creditors and trustees in bankruptcy in proceedings for the setting aside of a financial agreement.
The Taxation Considerations chapter has been updated to include new commentary on excluded assets and transactions when calculating CGT, new CGT events, discount percentages on CGT of a trust, new income threshold figures for the current year, duty payable in the Northern Territory and changes to taxation rulings.
The Property Orders chapter has been updated to include costs implications in contested matters should the claim be unsuccessful.
The Superannuation chapter has been updated with cases on splitting orders in favour of a deceased estate and dealing with a non-compliant self managed superannuation fund. Commentary on Campbell v Superannuation Complaints Tribunal (2016) FLC ¶93-724 has also been included. The Federal Court determined that a superannuation scheme which was a defined benefit scheme, had become an accumulation interest after the payment phase commenced due to the member becoming eligible for a pension as a result of injury.
The Financial Agreements chapter has been updated to include case law such as Saintclaire & Saintclaire (2015) FLC ¶93-684 which considered the distinction between duress and undue influence, Raleigh & Raleigh  FamCA 625 about the giving of legal advice and the force of a certificate and Reed & Reed  FCCA 1338 regarding the joinder of a law firm to proceedings with respect to the setting aside of a financial agreement. There is a detailed appraisal of how advice should be provided, practical tips and detailed new commentary on mistake and misrepresentation.
The Child Support and Maintenance chapter has been updated to include 2016 figures, updated examples and further commentary.
The Evidence chapter has been updated to include tips on application preparation and affidavits in interim proceedings relying on hearsay evidence.
The Court Procedure chapter has been updated to include the protocol for the division of work between the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.
The Costs chapter has been updated to include changes to court fees and new case law such as Farmer & Panshin (2014) FLC ¶93-587 which looked at offers to settle and costs orders and Medlon & Medlon (No 6) (Indemnity Costs) (2015) FLC ¶93-664 in which the Full Court confirmed that impecuniosity was not a bar to a costs order and the wife, as a legal practitioner, ought to have been aware that her claim had no chance of success.
For a detailed analysis of the significance and potential application of these changes in case law, order your copy of the Australian Master Family Law Guide – 8th edition today.