Category: Family Law

The latest news about Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon and Forbes Rich List’s wealthiest person in the world, could have a lot of people re-thinking whether a timely prenuptial agreement may just be a very good idea. Bezos, whose net worth is estimated to be, on last count, around $136.7 billion, announced earlier this month that he and his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, are heading for the divorce courts. And guess what – they don't have a pre-nup in place. That means some judge is going to have to work out who gets what, and there's a whole big bunch of lollies on the table.
Before you can become a plumber or a carpenter you have to undertake years of technical training, work under close and exacting supervision, sit for exams, and earn your ticket. No one gets to be a doctor, lawyer or accountant unless they first qualify for university, then study day and night for years, sit regular and sometimes arduous examinations, and pass with flying colours. But to become a parent, all you have to do is find a partner, cross your fingers, and hope for the best.
Recent legislative changes in New Zealand introducing 10 days paid leave for victims of domestic violence, are likely to throw up some thorny issues on both sides of ‘The Ditch.”
The Six Degrees of Separation being what they are, you almost certainly know someone, or someone who knows someone, who’s currently undergoing fertility treatment. It may or may not come as a surprise to you, but thousands of couples undergo fertility treatment in Australia every year. The latest data on Assisted Reproductive Technology in Australia and New Zealand shows 77,721 treatment cycles were reported in 2015. Of those, 92% were from Australian clinics. That means a whole lot of laboratory fertilisation procedures are happening out there. But the question is: who owns all those sperm and eggs?
We all like to be kept in the manner to which we are accustomed. Under the Family Law Act 1975, when a married couple breaks up, each is expected to maintain his or her former spouse to the extent they are reasonably able, if their former spouse is unable to support themselves adequately. It’s called spousal maintenance.
A lot of criminal and family lawyers are these days complaining that a big chunk of their practice is now being spent dealing with civil protection order applications under Queensland's Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act. It seems a conspiracy of events and consequential political and policy considerations has created a booming new niche area in legal professional services, and the magistrates courts are run off their feet to keep up.In the wake of a series of shocking domestic attacks, in recent years the Queensland Police Service has clearly instructed its troops in the field that whenever there is any suggestion of violence between spouses, protection application proceedings are to be launched in the court, regardless of what denials may be proffered or what evidence may be revealed.
Marriage breakdown can be tough. Even when separating parties are more than pleased to wave their erstwhile better half goodbye, they are still faced not only with the job of carving up their previously-joint property, but also the jolt of severing their attachment to the physical accoutrements of the relationship. Where children are involved, of course the stress goes up exponentially, as the children’s physical and emotional needs, and the disruptive impact of the separation on their daily lives, become the paramount consideration.
Nyst Legal is recognised as one of Queensland’s leading criminal and regulatory law firms.Whilst we have been based on the Gold Coast for the past four decades we have always practised extensively in all Brisbane courts, as well as those in other metropolitan and regional centres throughout Queensland and New South Wales. We have now established a presence in the Brisbane CBD at Level 27, Santos Place, 32 Turbot Street, Brisbane, to service and build on our Brisbane-based clientele, particularly in criminal and regulatory matters.
It seems like people can always find something to fight about, even at Christmas time. I guess that's why most lawyers love January so much. After a week or so of full-on festivity, soaking up the ho-ho-ho’s in the sweltering summer sun, cooped up with the ever-loving spouse and those dear sweet visiting in-laws, eating too much, drinking too much, staying up too late and waking up too early, if folk can’t find a good reason to consult a lawyer first thing in the new year, chances are they never will.
When couples are separating, and negotiating who gets what from the joint property pool, pets (most frequently dogs and cats) are often front and centre in the equation. Usually, the parties are able to negotiate an informal, mutually-acceptable agreement as to custody of their four-legged friends. But it’s not always the case. Sometimes formal orders or agreements are needed to lock down precisely who gets Poochie and on what terms. Dedicating court time to determining the custody of cats and dogs may be thought by some to be an inefficient use of valuable resources, but the fact is family pets often have a profound emotional value to their owners, and that just can’t be ignored.
We work all our lives to create a nest-egg that will hopefully sustain us comfortably in our retirement, and in this day and age most of us jealously consider our superannuation investments to be our own precious, private nest-egg. To some extent it’s true. Superannuation funds are held in trust, and therefore they can't generally be attacked by creditors, even a bankruptcy situation. But that doesn't mean they are unassailable.
In the mid-1960’s around 10% of all Australian marriages ended in divorce. According to the Australian Institute of Family Studies today that figure has ballooned to around 40%. Relatively little is known about de facto relationships, but their rates of failure are estimated to be even higher. Sadly, marriage breakdown has become a growth industry.