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DECEMBER 2014

I

LSJ

89

CASE NOTES

GENERAL PRACTICE

FAMILY LAW

By Robert Glade-Wright, founder and senior editor of

The Family Law Book,

and

Zoë Durand, family lawyer, Legal Aid NSW (page 91)

Property – De facto relationship

existed despite absences in the US by

one party – Separation by email

In

Cadman & Hallett

[2014] FamCAFC 142

(11 August 2014) the Full Court (Strickland,

Ainslie-Wallace & Aldridge JJ) dismissed

an appeal by Mr Cadman (brought by

his case guardian) against a decision of

Rees J as to the duration of a de facto

relationship between he and Mr Hallett. Mr

Cadman had alleged that the relationship

ended in 2000 and Mr Hallett, in2010.

Between 2000 and 2009, Mr Hallett often

travelled to the US to facilitate his studies

and exhibit art overseas. The Full Court

(at [26]-[28]) found no error in Rees J’s

finding that ’many emails between the

parties … demonstrated clearly [the parties’]

commitment to each other and their

shared life … notwithstanding the time that

Mr Hallett spent in the United States‘ and

holding, on the authorities, that an email

from Mr Cadman to Mr Hallett in 2010

saying ‘[l]iving with me in Town N is not

right or an option‘ signified his intention to

end the relationship.

Children – Order for supervision of

father’s time with child set aside

In

Garraghan & Westerfield

(No. 2) [2014]

FamCAFC 96 (6 June 2014) Ryan J,

exercising appellate jurisdiction, allowed

the father’s appeal against an interim

order for supervision of his time with his

young child. The parties had separated

after the father assaulted the mother. For

two years the child lived with the mother

and spent time with the father, supervised

by the maternal grandparents. When the

father applied for parenting orders the

mother stopped contact. In 2011 the

father pleaded guilty to an assault on the

mother, although no AVO was made and

the mother’s concern for her safety was

such that she o ered to supervise the

child’s time with the father at her parents’

home. She disputed that the paternal

grandmother was a suitable supervisor,

asserting that she had a poor relationship

with the father’s parents (at [21]).

Judge Monahan had ordered that the

father spend four hours with the child on

Saturdays (at a public place supervised

on alternate Saturdays by a contact

service one week and an accredited

supervisor or either one of the parties)

and Wednesdays supervised by an agreed

person or the mother or her parents. The

father refused to spend time with the child

at the maternal grandmother’s home.

Ryan J said (at [41]-[43]): ‘The central

challenge … is, how could the primary

judge determine the nature of supervision

without considering the nature of the risk

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