CMS Legal - Family Lawyers


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Samantha Padfield Joins the CMS Legal Team

Samantha Padfield Joins the CMS Legal Team

It is with great pleasure that we announce the most recent appointment of Ms Samantha Padfield Read More

Investing in the Future

Investing in the Future

Over the last few months CMS Legal Family Lawyers has had the privilege of hosting College Read More

Keep Beauty Real Campaign

Keep Beauty Real Campaign

When our solicitor Marilyn Krawitz is not attending to clients at CMS Legal Family Lawyers, Read More

Confidentiality in the Family Court of WA

Confidentiality in the Family Court of WA

It's common knowledge that the media cannot publish the names of the parties in Family Court Read More

Court Grants Widow Right to Use Dead Husband's Sperm

Court Grants Widow Right to Use Dead Husband's Sperm

For most new parents, having a child is one of the most special times of their lives. However, Read More

Growth Sees New Appointment

CMS Legal is pleased to announce the appointment of Nelson Chibwe to our family law team.

Originally from Zambia, Nelson studied his Bachelor of Law at the University of Notre Dame and after completing his Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice gained a wide variety of experience in Commercial Law, Criminal Law, Property Law and Family Law.

Now practicing exclusively in Family Law and VRO's, Nelson brings a keen mind and warm manner to guiding clients through their VRO, property, children's and divorce matters.

Nelson says,

"I am pleased to have joined the team at CMS Legal. They are a highly regarded and well respected family law firm in Western Australia. As a Solicitor I am passionate about working in an innovative, learning and growing environment that values initiative and hard work. They are dedicated to providing a high quality and cost-effective legal service, tailored to client's unique circumstances."

Outside of the work environment Nelson enjoys spending time with his wife, family and friends. He enjoys traveling, good food and from what we have recently discovered is a die-hard fan of the Chelsea Football Club.

We asked Nelson, 'What should clients expect from working with him?'

       "My goal is to understand each client's unique situation, providing the best advice possible, while being approachable, honest and understanding."

We believe Nelson will be a great asset to CMS Legal and welcome him to the team. If you would like to contact Nelson to discuss your VRO or Family Law Matter please contact our office.

Friends With Benefits

Justin Timberlake & Mila Kunis star is the romantic comedy ‘Friends With Benefits’. The story of two friends who naively believe that adding sex to their friendship will not lead to complications.

The Family Court of Western Australia has now entered this great debate as to the much talked about topic.

In a recent decision of the Family Court of Western Australia, Justice Crisford ruled that an arrangement between two parties over a 14 year period involving a shared living space and having regular intimacy was not a de facto relationship, but “in common parlance, they were friends with benefits”.

This case illustrates that in certain circumstances, and I say certain circumstances, that Friends with Benefits can well actually be more than just that and they can be deemed to be in a “relationship”. It goes to show that the colloquial saying of Friends with Benefits can just mean that, but it can also mean so much more in the Family Court context when dealing with parties’ financial affairs.

Her Honour stated:

 “there was never a period of time of the requisite length that these parties were in a relationship in the nature of marriage. I accept there were times when the parties were more fond of and closer to each other but I do not accept they were ever in a marriage-like relationship”.

The Sunday Times, Emily Moulton details the above mentioned case in more detail in her article of October 2012.

For more information or clarification on a Family Law matter please contact our office on 9207 1866.

So they're Cheating! Can I make them pay?

"You've just found out that your husband/wife/partner has been cheating on you for years.  Will the law punish them for that?  What are your rights?"

When the Family Law Act1975 was passed in Australia, the principle of ‘no-fault’ divorce was established to reduce the hostile nature of divorce.  

This means that for a couple to apply for a divorce in Australia, one party need not prove that either party is ‘at-fault’ for the breakdown of a marriage. There is no need to assign responsibility for the relationship’s demise as the Family Court does not consider the actions of one party in contributing or causing the breakdown of a marriage.

The only relevant ground for divorce is the 'irretrievable breakdown of the relationship' and a couple now only has to show that they have been separated for 12 months in order for a divorce to be granted.

If you would like to know about your rights in relation to Divorce, please follow on the link:  CMS Legal - Divorce

The Law of Coffee

For some people the smell of fresh coffee is all they need to experience heaven on earth.

For me and many others it's the jumpstarter to the cars battery. This thing just wont move without coffee. I love Saturday mornings, enjoying freshly brewed 'Five Senses Coffee' and the weekend paper.

For our Principal Craig Scott, coffee runs thick in his veins. Once known for his three shot coffees, we've managed to wean his seven coffees a day down to a more managable and less shakey one or two.

At CMS Legal we've ditched the 'instant' and jumped on to the 'Nespresso' Glory Train. Its not poured by our local barista, but it sure walks all over the lesser alternative. There are 19 different varieties and blends, from a full strength 'Arpeggio' to lighter 'Volluto' and everything in between.  It's a great quick and easy way to enjoy coffee.

Be sure to enjoy one at your next appointment.

On those occassion we decide to get coffee out, we head to the guys at 'Hotshots' for the best local coffee.

What Happens to the Pets?

A number of our staff recently joined in the RSCPA event, Million Paws Walk in May to support the valuable work to prevent cruelty to animals.

So in this blog we thought an interesting question would be:

What happens to the pets when parties separate?

The Family Courts have been quite loathe to deal with pet ownership disputes upon the breakdown of a relationship.

The Family Law Act 1975 (and the equivalent De Facto Legislation) does not deal with pet ownership and the Court takes the view that pets are, in fact, property of the marriage.

Accordingly, in a property settlement, your pet is dealt with as personal property much the same as the Court would deal with your motor vehicle or camper van.

It might seem somewhat harsh to deal with your pet as merely personal property; however, the Court will not entertain any argument as to what is best for your pet in the way the Court would do with respect to children.

Click here for more information on the Division of Property.

Photo - Apollo by Tanya Haroutiun ©