Wife given exclusive possession of family home
Family Law | Property | Sydney
A judge of the Federal Circuit Court in Sydney recently granted our client – the wife exclusive possession of the family home.
Living separately under the same roof were the wife, the husband and two of their adult children. The wife was a home-maker and the husband a businessman.
Ownership of the family home was in the sole name of the husband.
Upon returning from an overseas trip, the husband attended the family home accompanied by police. He told the police that he was the sole owner of the property. Police asked the wife to leave.
Feeling frightened and intimidated, the wife left the family home with a few of her possessions to reside with one of her adult children.
Upon the wife contacting our Liverpool family law team, our solicitors immediately lodged an application with the court seeking an interim order that our client have possession of the family home to the exclusion of the husband.
At the interim hearing, our family lawyers adduced evidence from the wife and three of her adult children. Serious allegations of domestic violence were made by the wife.
Her honour ordered the husband to vacate the family home within 28 days, from which time the wife would have exclusive possession of it. There was no reason why the husband could not live in a vacant granny flat on another property he owned, the judge reasoned.
AVO Application withdrawn on first court date
Criminal Law | AVO | Parramatta
Our client had been exchanging text messages with a close friend with whom he had lived with in the past.
At one point, the friend started sending messages making fun of our client’s marital status. Our client responded by sending sarcastic messages.
The messages worsened to a point where our client sent a message which could have been construed as harming the friend’s children.
No threat or harm had ever been intended by our client to his friend or the friend’s children.
A police complaint was made by the friend to the police.
The police applied for an Apprehended Violence Order against our client and took out a Provisional AVO against him.
Our client approached our Parramatta criminal lawyers before the first court date of his matter.
Following negotiations between our Parramattal AVO lawyers and police, police agreed to withdraw the AVO on the first court date.
It is crucial to obtain advice about an AVO from the best criminal lawyers who specialise in AVOs as soon as you are contacted by police. This will ensure that your legal costs and your time spent in court and preparing documents for court are minimised; and that you get the best possible outcome.
Section 32 Mental Health order made at second attempt
Criminal Law | Mental Health | Liverpool
Our client was charged with multiple offences, including being carried in a conveyance without the consent of the owner (joyriding), possess prohibited drug, goods in custody and possess prescribed restricted substance.
She had made an application pursuant to section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Proceedings) Act 1990 through her previous criminal solicitor. That application was refused.
There was no dispute that our client was suffering from a mental illness.
Upon the client contacting our criminal lawyer in Liverpool, we entered into plea negotiations with the police. Our criminal attorney made representations which were successful. The most serious charges were withdrawn and the most damaging claims in the police facts sheet were deleted.
At the sentence proceedings, our criminal defence barrister made a further application for our client to be dealt with under section 32. He submitted, among other things, that given the withdrawal of the most serious charges and the facts now agreed to, it was now more appropriate to deal with our client under section 32 rather than at law.
Despite strong objection from the prosecution, the magistrate agreed with our submissions and proceeded to deal with our client under section 32.
The effect of the decision was that no criminal conviction was recorded against our client.
An application under section 32 can be made at any time, including before or after hearing and before or after sentence.
From 27 March 2021, all mental health applications will be dealt with under the section 12 of the new Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Forensic Provisions Act 2020. Applications made before that date will continue to be dealt with under section 32.
Our highly experienced criminal lawyers appear in all metropolitan local courts including Liverpool Local Court and Parramatta Local Court.
Family Court throws out claim for spousal maintenance
Family Law / Property / Melbourne
A judge of the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne has dismissed a wife’s application for spousal maintenance. She had made the claim against our client – the father in family law proceedings.
Our client was an IT specialist earning a six-figure salary. The wife was not working and was caring for an infant child of the parties. Claiming that she could not support herself, the wife sought the sum of $624 per week in spousal maintenance from our client.
Opal Legal’s team of family lawyers carried out a forensic investigation in Australia and overseas of the wife’s finances. As a result, we obtained damning evidence of the financial resources of the wife. This included:
- Interests in companies in India
- Term deposits in India
- Interests in shares in India
- Ownership of properties in India
- Provident Fund assets
When cross-examined by our family lawyers, the wife:
- Maintained that she signed a share sale agreement transferring her interest in her family business to her mother in front of two witnesses in India on 25 February 2017. But she was unable to explain why her passport showed that she was in Australia on that date.
- Could not explain how she obtained the husband’s confidential bank records from India.
- Conceded that she had lied in her resume.
- Agreed that she had lied about working in her father’s business.
- Could not explain the disappearance and intermingling of vast sums of money through transactions between her, her family members, her family company, her provident fund, her term deposits and her shares.
- Was evasive about multiple trips she had made to India.
- Gave inconsistent evidence about her earnings.
- Claimed, contrary to the evidence of her father and sister, that her sister had lent her $109,000 for legal fees.
In a scathing indictment of the wife’s credibility, the family court judge observed:
- “…Her (the wife’s) attitude appeared to be that lying on a resume was nothing. I disagree. The wife’s deceit gave her an advantage that she wanted and to which she was not entitled. One can only conclude that the wife would lie to secure any other advantage that she wanted, such as an advantage in this proceeding.”
- “The share transfer was also alarming… However, the more likely explanation is that the share transfer was a complete fabrication designed, as the husband suggested, to conceal the wife’s true asset position.”
- “The obtaining of the record of the husband’s Indian bank accounts goes to another level. It suggests not only unlawfulness, but also perhaps corruption of an officer of the bank. … Her claim under cross-examination to not know where the record came from was patently false, in circumstances where it was emailed to her by her father and she attached it to her affidavit.”
Dismissing the wife’s spousal maintenance application, her honour concluded:
“All in all, I am not satisfied that the wife is a credible witness, or that her financial position is as she claimed. The wife has not persuaded me that she is not able to adequately support herself…”