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Significant cases published February 2022

Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia – (Division 1)

Eacret & Eacret [2021] FedCFamC1F 300 (14 December 2021)

FAMILY LAW – INTERIM PARENTING – Independent Children’s Lawyer appointed to represent the interests of the 16 year old child.
FAMILY LAW – INTERIM FINANCIAL RELIEF – Where the husband has access to income from various corporate entities and trusts in his legal possession or under his control – Orders for the husband to pay the wife $285,000 by way of interim costs – Orders for the husband to meet the wife’s application for spousal maintenance and child support with the option of those payments being made by way of trust distributions.
FAMILY LAW – CHILD SUPPORT DEPARTURE ORDER – Where the husband’s sole control of the income of the marriage and he’s being able to notionally distribute income to the wife so as to distort the application for child support constitutes a “special circumstance” – Application for child support departure order granted.

Che & Don (No 2) [2021] FedCFamC1F 304 (14 December 2021)

FAMILY LAW – CONTEMPT – circumstantial case – whereabouts of child is unknown – orders made for the mother to provide information to the Court about the child’s location – where the mother has provided information to the Court – where the child is purportedly living with an associate of the mother – police investigation of the mother’s associate – sloppy police investigation – whether the mother’s associate is a fiction – investigation of mobile phones owned by the parents –whether the mother is guilty of contempt of this Court – whether the mother has flagrantly breached orders to provide information to the Court about the child’s whereabouts – mother’s deliberate intention to frustrate court orders – mother guilty beyond reasonable doubt of contempt of this Court.

Cranage & Hernandez [2021] FedCFamC1F 259 (7 December 2021)

FAMILY LAW – INTERNATIONAL RELOCATION – Where both parents agree that it is in the child’s best interests to continue to live in Australia and be parented substantially in accordance with the parenting arrangement agreed in early 2013 – Where the mother seeks the child relocate to live with her in the Philippines in the event that she and the child’s sisters are removed from Australia by the Department of Home Affairs – Where the father opposes the relocation – Where it is in the child’s best interests to live with the mother – Where, if it is not possible that this occur in Australia because the mother is removed from Australia, it is in the child’s best interests to continue to live with the mother outside of Australia – Where the mother’s application to restrain the Minister for Home Affairs from issuing a notice in relation to the visas by which she and the child’s sisters continue to live in Australia is dismissed.

Blesing & Blesing [2021] FedCFamC1F 230 (26 November 2021)

FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Interim order – With whom a child spends time – Best interests of a child – Risk – Whether exposure to father’s religious beliefs, views on vaccination and conspiracy theories constitutes risk – Religious beliefs unable to be assessed as indicators of risk – Position on vaccination unable to be assessed on evidence available – Speculative views not anchored in fact potentially productive of harm – Father consents not to discuss certain matters with children – Indicators of likely compliance with orders – Overnight time and communication with father permitted – Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) 68B injunctions imposed – Consideration of interaction between Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and Family Violence Act 2016 (ACT).

Cornish & Gilholm [2021] FedCFamC1F 208 (19 November 2021)

FAMILY LAW – CHILDREN – Parental responsibility – With whom the child lives – Role of grandparents – Where the father alleges that the grandmother has subjected the child to emotional harm and seeks sole parental responsibility and for the child to live with him – Where the maternal grandmother seeks equal shared responsibility parental between herself and the father and for the child to live with her – Where the mother seeks equal shared responsibility between the three parties and for limited time with the child, initially supervised by the grandmother – Where the ICL supports the grandmother’s position – Where there has been significant involvement of child protective services – Where the child was removed from the care of the mother when he was about 7 months old and placed with the grandmother – Where the father had limited involvement with the child for the first three years of his life – Where the child was removed from the grandmother’s care and placed with the father when he about 3 years old – Where the mother and the grandmother allege the child has been neglected in the father’s care and this is denied by the father – Where the evidence from the child’s school and his treating medical practitioners raise no concerns and suggest the child is progressing well – Where it is found that the grandmother has subjected the child to emotional harm and that it is in the best interests of the child for the father to have sole parental responsibility, subject to an obligation to consult the mother and the grandmother, and for the child to live with him and spend four nights a fortnight with the grandmother and supervised time with the mother, moving to unsupervised time pending her engagement with mental health professionals and drug testing – Orders made substantially in the terms sought by the father.


Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia – (Division 2) Family Law

Kafler & Magnan [2022] FedCFamC2F 198 (16 February 2022)

FAMILY LAW – INTERIM PARENTING – where Father opposes COVID-19 vaccination – where Mother supports COVID-19 vaccination – orders made for Mother to have sole parental responsibility for medical decisions including COVID-19 vaccination.

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