13 September 2012 by

“Dig up Down Under”

It was recently reported in the Sydney Morning Herald that a man was forced to dig up his parents’ ashes after the Family Court in Australia ordered his former wife retain the family farm as part of the divorce settlement. The husband had to demolish the memorial garden he had established, which included removing headstones over buried urns containing his parents’ ashes.

Both parties wanted sole rights over the farm but when deciding how the parties’ joint assets should be carved up the Court cited the transportability of the husband’s mementoes as weighing in the wife’s favour. The Court acknowledged that the farm had much sentimental value to the husband, however commenting that the ashes were not interred and the headstones were not immovably fixed, gave the husband 14 days to dig up the urns and remove the headstones, together with a bronze sculpture of the husband’s father.

The husband had told the Court that despite earning $160,000 a year in a managerial position he wished to take over the property and generate income as a farmer. The wife proposed to make a living by running a hospitality business on site. Despite the wife not having had a job since 1994, the Court accepted her case that she had established a network of friends and become enmeshed in the local community, further it would be beyond her financial capacity to acquire similar property in that area.

Regrettably for the husband, the Court doubted he could make the property profitable as a commercial farm and in accepting the wife’s case forced the husband to look elsewhere for a farm to buy on which he could re-bury his parents’ ashes.

17 August 2012 by Yezdan Izzet

To fund, or not to fund, in commercial litigation…

Embarking on any litigation carries risk and can be a long and costly process for the parties and more often than not, it is not always clear at the outset whether or not there are high prospects in succeeding on a claim.

13 September 2012 by

Divorce laws lambasted as “incomplete and uninformative”

The Law Commission has launched a further Consultation Paper ‘Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements’ as part of its project examining a number of different aspects of the law relating to the financial consequences of divorce and the dissolution of civil partnership.

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