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The Family Court - Implications for Structuring & Estate Planning

Published on 23 Apr 2009 | Took place at City West Receptions, Perth, WA

This event was aimed at Lawyers and accountants who want a basic understanding of the extent of the Family Court's powers, and potential problems which may arise in practice.

The Family Court is arguably the most powerful Court in Australia and has:

  • jurisdiction to deal with both married and de facto couples
  • the ability to “lift the corporate veil” of companies, trusts and other structures in which spouses have an interest
  • use of the Corporations Act as necessary
  • the power to make orders against third parties such as banks, financiers, business associates and extended family
  • exclusive jurisdiction in the area of bankruptcy if one spouse is insolvent
  • accrued jurisdiction to deal with any other controversy that is collateral or attached to the marriage dispute of the parties.
The extent of this reach and power continues to be underestimated or misunderstood by accountants, commercial lawyers, financial advisers and others when considering estate planning, business relationships, corporate structures generally and the problems that may arise on the breakdown of a relationship.

This event considered the matter in more detail to provide delegates with the knowledge to advise clients on how to deal with, and maybe avoid, the Family Court.

Individual sessions

The Family Court - Implications for structuring & estate planning

Author(s):  Andrew DAVIES

This paper covers:

  • property settlement under the Family Law Act
  • what is property?
  • general powers of the Court.
Materials from this session: