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Butlers News

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. The Butlers Blog makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site & will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Ending the Transactions of Abuse

The definition of Family Violence is broad.  Family Violence is not just physical abuse.  It also includes repeated derogatory remarks, damaging property, financial control or stalking or cyber-stalking. With the advancement of technology, perpetrators are finding new and inventive ways to continue to harass and abuse their victims.

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  199 Hits
199 Hits

New Domestic Violence Bill – In Memory Of Hannah Clarke

A new Bill has been proposed to Parliament following the tragic death of Hannah Clarke and her three children. This Bill proposes to clarify the law surrounding Parental Responsibility under the Family Law Act 1975 (“the Act”).

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  207 Hits
207 Hits

Last Minute Wills – When Time Is Of The Essence

I was recently reminded of the importance of having a valid and up to date Will.

A colleague and I received instructions from the son of one of our clients, who had terminal cancer. The matter was urgent as his father did not have a Will and his Estate would have had to be distributed between him and his mother (pursuant to the laws of intestacy).  

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  242 Hits
242 Hits

Have you migrated to the land Down Under? Does that mean you need a new Will?

I migrated from South Africa to Australia and have been in Perth for a little over a year.  I am therefore aware of the stress and planning of migration and I also know that certain things do not make the priority list.  One being, finding out if the Will that you made elsewhere is enforceable in Western Australia, or if you need a new Will.

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  285 Hits
285 Hits

Financial Agreements because 'Sometimes it Lasts in Love but Sometimes it Hurts Instead'.

Adele has been trending lately, for two reasons.  The first being her extreme weight loss, which is not the topic of this blog, and the second being her divorce and property settlement.

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  288 Hits
288 Hits

Why is this Still Happening in 2020!? - An Open Letter on Domestic Violence in Australia

Sadly, domestic violence can affect everyone, men, women and children and can leave scars that may take a lifetime to heal. Domestic violence comes in many forms ranging from physical attempts to harm to intimidation, control and manipulation. 

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  319 Hits
319 Hits

The Future of Electronic Signatures on Wills in WA

You may have read some of our other recent blogs about how to sign your Will during COVID-19, when to review your Will, and the importance of having a valid Enduring Power of Attorney and Enduring Power of Guardianship.

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  108 Hits
108 Hits

International travel and children in the current and post-Covid-19 world

It is no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected Australians in ways that could never have been predicted.  From the immediate closure of our favourite restaurants, bars and clubs to the crippling and devastating effect it is having on our economy, our health, both mental and physical and our social lives.  

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8
  310 Hits
310 Hits

A Post Pandemic Legal System

As a result of COVID-19 and the strict social distancing laws, the Courts have had to change and modernise many of their procedures.

Some of the changes the Courts have made include:

  1. Electronic filing of some Court Documents;
  2. Posting originals of Documents for filing;
  3. Hearings being conducted over the telephone or by video;
  4. Allowing Documents to be served via email; and
  5. Enabling Restraining Order Applications to be lodged online.
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  335 Hits
335 Hits

LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day - #ImHereForYou

LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day - #ImHereForYou

Today is Australia's first LGBTI Domestic Violence Awareness Day.

This day has been established, with the support of the Prime Minister, to acknowledge those within LGBTIQ+ communities who have been victims of domestic violence.

According to recent studies, up to 62% of LGBTIQ+ people have experienced domestic violence in their relationships. However, the instances of violence being reported to the police are still incredibly low. 

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  480 Hits
480 Hits

Oops I Did It Again... When do I review my Will?

I recently received a notification that I have used 75% of my iCloud storage.  After a bit of digging I found several, dare I say “never seen before” videos, photos, and memes.  Of course, a lot of them were Covid-19 related and were instantly deleted.  Jokes about gaining weight during lockdown were obviously also very popular.  

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16
  352 Hits
352 Hits

Business Planning - from surviving to thriving

In recent weeks small businesses have been hit hard by the Federal Government restrictions in reaction to COVID-19.  Doors were shut overnight, and businesses were forced to adapt and adjust their trading systems in the blink of an eye, or risk becoming insolvent.

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11
  436 Hits
436 Hits

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, Madness… and MISCONCEPTIONS!

(Spoiler Alert – Proceed with Caution!)

Tiger King is the must-watch Netflix crime documentary of the year. However, it’s characters and content have caused much controversy with its exploration of Big Cat breeding, and the mayhem arising from the eccentric characters of its inner circles.

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  551 Hits
551 Hits

COVIDSafe – Are you?

In the first 24 hours of its launch, the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe Application was downloaded by more than 2 million users. 
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  545 Hits
545 Hits

Reconciliation and what it means in Family Law - Part 3

RECONCILIATION AND DIVORCE

Following the first 2 Parts of our Reconciliation Series, this blog now explores the impact of reconciliation and divorce. 
Firstly and most importantly, where parties were married for less than 2 years, section 44(1B) of the Family Law Act requires them to “have considered a reconciliation” with the assistance of a specified person or organisation prior to applying for a divorce.
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  89 Hits
89 Hits

Reconciliation and what it means in Family Law - Part 2

RECONCILIATION AND PROPERTY PROCEEDINGS

Hopefully you have read Part 1 of our Reconciliation Series, which explains the court’s obligation to consider the possibility of parties reconciling.  If the court considers that there is a reasonable possibility, it may adjourn the proceedings so that the parties may explore this. 
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  199 Hits
199 Hits

Reconciliation and what it means in Family Law - Part 1

Thanks to the current social-distancing regulations, many of us find ourselves spending most, if not all, of our time alone. 

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  402 Hits
402 Hits

Ideas to entertain your children during lockdown

For many of us, spending prolonged days isolated at home with our children is not the norm. With majority of entertainment venues closed and with strict social distancing rules, you may be finding that your beloved children are driving you a little insane. 

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  17157 Hits
17157 Hits

George Pell, Bombshells & Evidence in the Family Court

Yesterday, 7 April 2020, the High Court handed down it’s decision granting Cardinal George Pell’s application for special leave and unanimously acquitting him of his conviction for child sexual abuse, which was previously upheld by the Supreme Court of Victoria.  Most of you will be familiar with this high-profile case and the December 2018 conviction that resulted in George Pell’s sentence of six years imprisonment, with a non-parole period of three years and eight months. 
 
Following the Supreme Court of Victoria’s decision, Cardinal Pell’s lawyers appealed to the High Court of Australia, arguing that the Appeal Court failed to take proper account of evidence which cast doubt upon his guilt.  On appeal, the High Court stated that the Victorian Court of Appeal judges “failed to engage with the question of whether there remained a reasonable possibility that the offences had not taken place”.  Furthermore, the High Court found that other witnesses’ evidence was “inconsistent with the complainant’s account”. 
 
In essence, the High Court found that there were flaws and inconsistencies in the evidence provided. As a result, the High Court found that the jury should have had reasonable doubt that the events could have occurred, or did occur, in the manner alleged. 
 
Generally, a Court will give consideration to two primary factors when reaching a decision:
  • Firstly, the relevant legislation;  and
  • Secondly, the facts presented which are relevant to the matter at hand, how those facts apply to the relevant legislation, and whether or not those facts share common traits with case law.  
 
The facts and documents which the parties present to a Court, (in other words, their evidence), is the basis upon which Court decisions are made.  However, there are strict rules for what is, and is not, admissible as evidence in Court.  These rules are designed to ensure the proper administration of justice and, especially in criminal matters, avoid wrongful conviction.  
 
In the Family Court of Western Australia, decisions are made by Judicial Officers, not a jury.  Judicial Officers are aware of the rules of evidence and what evidence may be admissible.  Lawyers often argue about the admissibility of evidence, and the Judicial Officer decides whether or not it is admissible.  This is different to criminal matters before a jury, where the Trial Judge provides direction to the jury about how the evidence is to be considered.  Despite this direction from the Trial Judge, juries may still be swayed by having heard evidence which Judges may find is inadmissible. 
 
However, given the personal nature of Family Law matters, it may not be possible for the rules of evidence to be applied.  Therefore, the Family Court adopts a more relaxed and flexible approach to the admissibility of evidence.  Judicial Officers utilise broad discretion as to what may or may not be admitted as evidence.  This approach within the Family Court is often confusing and frustrating for parties, practitioners, and those unfamiliar with the Court and the presiding Judicial Officer’s role.  
 
If you are involved in Family Court proceedings, it can relieve a lot of this frustration and stress if you have a basic understanding of the differences between how the Courts function.  It is worth your while to consult with your lawyer to discuss, understand and agree about how your evidence is best presented to the Court to gain the best result in your case. 
 
Contact us today to speak with our experienced and skilled Legal Team. 
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  519 Hits
519 Hits

The Sparks of Covid-19. How Do I Sign My Will?

The Coronavirus has sparked an increased fear of dying.  Over the past few weeks we have been flooded with instructions to draft and to update Wills.  

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  27283 Hits
27283 Hits

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