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Significant cases published July 2021

Family Court of Australia – Full Court

Langley & Tarelli (No. 4) [2021] FamCAFC 107 (5 July 2021)

APPEAL – PARENTING – Appeal against final parenting orders which provided for the first respondent mother to have sole parental responsibility for the child and for the appellant father to spend limited supervised time with the child – Failure to consider the effect on the child of a move from the father’s care to that of the mother – Consideration of expert evidence – Best interests of the child – Delivery of judgment – Inadequate notice – Principles of open justice – Unfairness – Appeal allowed – Further submissions sought as to interim parenting arrangements – No order as to costs.

APPEAL – APPLICATION IN AN APPEAL – Reopen proceedings – Supplementary submissions filed by the parties – Where none of the issues the focus of the reopen application are new – Application dismissed.

APPEAL – PROPERTY – Appeal against final property settlement orders – Arguments against initial and post-separation contributions – Considerations of family violence, the parties’ earning capacity and their respective financial positions – No error of law – Re-determination of parenting proceedings may impact on the property settlement orders – Unjust for the property settlement orders to stand – Appeal allowed.

Family Court of Australia

Theodore & Theodore (No. 3) [2021] FamCA 452 (2 July 2021)

COSTS – where application for costs made by the Independent Children’s Lawyer – where consideration of applicable principles – where proper for an order that the father pay the whole of the Independent Children’s Lawyer’s costs.


Messina & Obelink [2021] FamCA 471 (30 June 2021)

FAMILY LAW – PARENTING – high parental conflict.

FAMILY LAW – PARENTING – urgent parenting injunction sought in context of COVID-19 pandemic – where mother seeks to restrain father from removing child from Victoria whilst spending school holiday time with child.

FAMILY LAW – INJUNCTION – where scope of court’s injunctive power in relation to children is confined by requirements that the injunction be made with the best interests of the child as the paramount consideration and that the injunction is appropriate.

FAMILY LAW – INJUNCTION – where mothers concerned about risk to child of contracting COVID-19 in transit and within a zone designated as active for COVID-19 infection – where removing child outside Victoria will make mother anxious and may require her to quarantine child at home once child is returned to her care – where injunction granted.

FAMILY LAW – PARENTING – where parents required to give one another at least 7 days’ notice prior to any change of residential address or contact details.

Federal Circuit Court of Australia

Jaeger & Gaspari [2021] FCCA 1466 (30 June 2021)

FAMILY LAW – parenting jurisdictional contest following Orders made in the NSW Children’s Court – Mother seeking permissions from the Minister to commence proceedings – limited consent initially given – Mother later changed Application to re-visit wider suite of Orders – Ministerial consent then withdrawn – where Mother had option to seek a review of Orders in the Children’s Court but instead sought change in parenting Orders in this Court – improper course by Mother to pursue in the light of the Minister’s denial of consent to the proceedings under s.69ZK – Application dismissed.