Family Court of Australia Full Court

Gong & Wei [2017] FamCAFC 55 (4 April 2017)
Interim parenting orders – where the mother appeals against interim parenting orders which provide for equal shared parental responsibility, remove the previously ordered supervision of the children’s time with the father and increase that time – where the primary judge did not err in her consideration of family violence allegations – where the primary judge’s obligation to consider s60CG and s61DA of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) was met – appeal dismissed.
Application to adduce further evidence – where the mother seeks to adduce the Children and Parents Issues Assessment of the Family Consultant provided subsequent to her Honour’s orders – where the further evidence would not have produced a different result from that under appeal – application dismissed.
Costs – mother ordered to pay the father’s costs of the appeal – where the mother seeks to stay any costs orders made against her pending determination of the property proceedings – where there were no grounds for making such an order – no order made.


Family Court of Australia

Cord & Cord [2017] FamCA 235 (18 April 2017)
Evidence – Section 69ZT(3) – ruling – where order sought by wife involves international relocation – where there would be a significant alteration to the nature of the husband’s contact – where experts provide conclusions without factual foundations – evidence excluded – s135 Evidence Act 1995 (Cth) – consideration of lay opinion evidence.

Hampton & Heath and Ors [2017] FamCA 132 (8 March 2017)
Parenting – best interests of the children – where there is an unacceptable risk of harm to the children in the care of each parent – where the children should have a connection to their Aboriginal heritage – where the Department of Family and Community Services is to have sole parental responsibility for the children – where the children spend time with each parent


Federal Circuit Court of Australia

Drew & Jensen [2017] FCCA 656 (13 April 2017

Interim parenting – where ex parte recovery order obtained in Local Court – circumstances when ex parte recovery orders should be ordered – duty on lawyer in ex parte proceedings – duty on lawyers for applicants for recovery – duty of disclosure on applicant for recovery – where father’s evidence in support of recovery is less than frank – where father’s own evidence as well as independent material raises serious concerns about family violence – where children should live with mother and spend time with father.

White & Ingle [2017] FCCA 509 (20 March 2017)
Parenting – Interim Application to change children’s residence as a result of Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin testing results showing elevated levels of alcohol consumption by a parent – Application refused – early Final Hearing allocated.

Chandra & Chandra [2017] FCCA 451 (10 March 2017)
Parenting –jurisdiction – application for parenting orders where the subject child was born in Australia, is an Australian citizen, but is living in India – consideration of the meaning of “habitual residence” in these particular circumstances – where the court finds that the child is habitually resident in India and that therefore the court has no jurisdiction in this matter.

Howell & Carter (No.2) [2017] FCCA 377 (2 March 2017)
Parenting – Independent Children’s Lawyer – history of appointment of – role of Independent Children’s Lawyer – whether power of appointment of Independent Children’s Lawyer axiomatically carries with it the power to discharge the Independent Children’s Lawyer – review of authorities.
Statutory interpretation – no stipulation in Division 10 of Part 7 to power of removal of Independent Children’s Lawyer – proper interpretation of legislation.
Stare decisis – long standing authority of Full Court of Family Court authorising orders for discharge of Independent Children’s Lawyer – authority too entrenched to doubt its application.
Bias – whether Independent Children’s Lawyer is amenable to removal for bias or for a reasonable apprehension of bias – Independent Children’s Lawyer not subject to rules applicable to courts and tribunals in relation to apprehended bias – father’s application for removal of Independent Children’s Lawyer dismissed.

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