Family Law news and recent cases

Your Streeterlaw Newsletter profiles cases which provide fresh illustrations about common issues confronting my clients. We hope you find them helpful.

Christmas is a busy time for Family Lawyers! Our Office will be closed from 23 December 2011 and reopening on 3 January 2012. We wish you a Happy Christmas and a Joyful New Year.

A Prenup and a $2 million dollar engagement ring


Kim can keep her ring so says Kris, but only if she pays him a handsome US$2 million!  As the celebrity marriage between Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries ends, it highlights for those of us on the side-line the wisdom of a pre-nuptial agreement (called a Financial Agreement in Australia under the Family Law Act).

A prenuptial agreement appears to have been a wise precaution. Did you know that in Australia, Financial Agreements can be made by de facto or married couples before, during or after the relationship?  Financial Agreements provide certainty to the mechanisms and processes by which the parties can separate their affairs if need be. US$2 million for a 20.5 carat ring – the question remains will Kim buy it?

On 7 November 2011 Lawyer Mark Streeter was asked for further comment on this story by nineMSN News.
Mark's response:

it was unusual for an engagement ring to be included in a prenuptial agreement.

"Most prenup agreements don't anticipate the demise of the marriage so quickly," Mr Streeter said. "It seems like that clause was designed to anticipate a short relationship, which is what it turned out to be."

He said case law, at least in Australia, indicated that engagement rings became the possession of the wife once they were married.

"Obviously they went overboard with the ring and they decided to make provision in the prenup to make sure it came back," Mr Streeter said.

Mr Streeter said the clause would have been added by Humphries, not Kardashian.

"He paid for it so his interests are to protect that investment."

Supreme Court decision needed for child's funeral

When couples with children separate it can mean additional complexity over custody and shared parental responsibilities. What if the child dies? Who decides who can arrange the funeral?

There is a NSW Supreme Court judgment resolving a very difficult situation in which the parents of a deceased 14 month old baby were arguing about the organisation of the funeral and the burial site for their little child.

Sadly, each year the Family Law Courts see a number of very serious disputes about the care of children. In this case, the child died as the result of a serious illness. After a coronial and post-mortem examination, each of the parents made separate arrangements for the child’s burial.

Read what the Court decided any why... >> Child funeral arrangement decided by Supreme Court

Binding Financial Agreements – Read before you sign

Feeling duped by his wife’s financial windfall only weeks after the settlement of their binding financial agreement, Mr Nyles made an application to the Court to set aside the binding financial agreement.

Interestingly, despite full and frank  financial disclosure being a fundamental element of justice that applies as much to out of court settlements as it does to contested proceedings, and the fact that the Court found that Mrs Nyles had indeed failed to make a full and frank disclosure of her financial situation,  Mr Nyles application failed as it was found that he had not been induced to enter into the agreement by any misconduct from his wife. He had in fact made an informed decision.

Read carefully before you sign. Intrigued? For a more extensive explanation of this case, click here... >>Share float complicates Binding Financial Agreement

Team Streeterlaw raised $1,900 for MS Australia 

Thanks to our sponsors and supporters for Team Streeterlaw. $1,915 was raised for MS Australia in our ride to the ‘Gong’ on 6 November 2011. See photos on our Streeterlaw facebook page.

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