What could be the harm in taking your children on a well-earned holiday? The answer to that may depend on whether the children are the subjects of Family Court proceedings or parenting orders and you are planning a trip outside Australia.
Szabo & Associates News & Updates
As reported in The Australian in September, children experiencing gender dysphoria (i.e. where a person experiences distress because of a difference between their biological sex and gender identity) and wishing to undergo hormone treatment may be able to do so in future without the approval of the Family Court, as result of a landmark case which started in Sydney in late September. Children wishing to access irreversible hormone treatment have had to seek approval from a Family Court judge. Families argued this is a lengthy and expensive process that can affect the mental health and wellbeing of the child at a time they are rapidly maturing and experiencing puberty. Legal costs can amount to thousands of dollars and waiting for a hearing can take more than ten months. The case, Re Kelvin, as it is known, was brought by the father of a 16-year-old who was born female but has identified as male since the age of 9. Kelvin was diagnosed with gender dysphoria and, although both parents had given consent to administering hormone treatment, court approval was still needed.
Letters of Administration grant authority to administer an estate of a deceased person. They are granted where the deceased dies intestate (without a Will) or where there is no executor of a Will to apply for Probate. Interested parties, such as beneficiaries, banks and insurance companies, will require someone to be granted Letters of Administration before funds from the deceased’s estate are released.
While the recent introduction of same sex marriage legislation has led to many couples being able to plan their long-awaited weddings, for one couple the new provisions are a cause for celebration for an entirely different reason – they are now able to legally end their marriage.
The Supreme Court of Western Australia recently considered an unusual situation, the first of its kind in Australia. The case involved Brent Mack who, in 2012, had been convicted of his mother’s murder and is currently serving a lengthy custodial sentence. At the time of his conviction, the judge found that his main motive was access to his mother’s money. Ms Mack left no Will, so under the State’s intestacy laws, her estate would normally go to her two sons equally, meaning Brent and his brother Adrian Mack would benefit. However, under the Rule of Forfeiture a person cannot benefit from an estate where they are responsible for the death, and so Brent forfeited his share. The Forfeiture Rule is based on the principle that it is against public policy to allow a criminal to claim a benefit by virtue of his or her crime.