Dividing Finances Equitably After Divorce

Dividing Finances Equitably After Divorce

Before you can get a divorce you need to have been separated for 12 months. Family lawyers will tell you that this does not have to be in different accommodation; you can be separated while still living in the same home if moving would cause financial difficulties.  However, one way to prove to the court that you are separated is to have separate bank accounts.

So on the day you separate, you should set up an account in a bank or other financial institution in your name only. Even if you have no money, you can often simply set up the account with a zero deposit or a low deposit of one dollar. After that, if you are on a government pension or benefit, you can to go to Centrelink and have them pay the money into your new account.

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eBooks and iRecords – Director’s Duties in the Cloud

eBooks and iRecords – Director’s Duties in the Cloud

Cloud storage, cloud accounting packages and similar applications for communication and recording of information have changed the face of business forever. Before you run off to your lawyers in a panic, please read some of the following information.

While these advances have been beneficial to company directors who can discharge their duties at greater speed and from almost any location, we should pause for thought about whether or not these advances can potentially place directors in breach of their duties to the company.

Financial Information

Good commercial lawyers in Perth can explain and advise on Section 286 Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) (“Corporations Act”) requires the company to maintain records of financial information that accurately reflect the financial position of the company.  The records can be kept electronically on the proviso that the electronic records can be converted into paper records within a reasonable time after a request is made (s288).

Pursuant to s289 the company can decide where to keep its financial records, however if they are kept outside of Australia the company is required to keep sufficient information to allow preparation of accurate financial information inside Australia; and notify ASIC of the place where the records are kept.

The cloud implications of this are clearly the location of the records.  More often than not, the cloud server on which your data is stored will be located in a low-cost jurisdiction, generally not inside Australia.   Financial information, pursuant as defined in s9 Corporations Act includes all source documents, statements, entries and adjustments in books of account.

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Electronic Signatures, How Valid Are They?

Electronic Signatures, How Valid Are They?

There is no escaping the rapid advance of technology. People are interacting in ways that would have been completely alien to businesses and their employees just decades ago. Keeping in step with technological innovation, people are always seeking easier and faster ways to carry out their business. Doing business with people all over the country leaves little room for physical documents, or the signatures that are commonly used on them.

The electronic signature is commonplace now, but there is still concern about just how valid they are. Would they be legally binding in court, for example? According the the law in Australia, electronic signatures are in fact considered valid for signing agreements. Trouble arises when it becomes difficult to identify who actually signed a contract, or whether they were aware of the implications of signing. There are special tools that can identify the parties, and these can help to reduce the risk of a signature being declared invalid in court.

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Misleading Product Promotion

Misleading Product Promotion

Misleading Product Promotion Leads Federal Court to Order Significant Fines

It pays for businesses to get advice from lawyers and be careful with the way they promote their goods and services. In the case of ACCC versus Reebok Australia in 2015, the Federal Court gave Reebok Australia a fine of $350,000. They were found as having falsely advertised their footwear in Australia. In addition to these fines, there were also restraining orders issued, an order to correct the advertising, and $45,000 in legal costs. This was paid to the ACCC. Of particular interest is the fact that Reebok’s parent company, Reebok International, had already been dealt with for similar conduct in the United States.

The Federal Trade Commission, which fills a similar role to the ACCC in Australia, investigated the issue of false advertising and dealt with it accordingly. Reebok Australia was fully aware of the problem with false advertising, but did nothing to bring the practice to a stop, as far as the Federal Court viewed the matter.

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Court Fees Deter Average Australians from Seeking Litigation

Court Fees Deter Average Australians from Seeking Litigation

Australian citizens often do not appreciate having access to a fair legal system. Being able to have a hearing is something that should be available to everyone. However, the costs associated with legal trials is often a deterrent to people who do not earn high incomes. Steep increases in litigation costs are one factor that is making it harder for “average” Australians to seek their own justice. And then there are the alternatives for dispute resolution, which seemingly work to encourage people to forgo litigation.

A problem arises because there is a risk that people who have enough money, including government bodies and large corporations, have access to litigation. If they cannot use mediation to get what they want, this is a viable option for these groups. On the other hand, people without the monetary means are left accepting alternative dispute resolution (ADR) decisions. Even when your average person wants to pursue a matter with litigation, they often just do not have the money to do so.

It does save a lot of time and money, when people are encouraged to seek mediation to solve their disputes. It can also save people the hassle of entering a courtroom, and dealing with a full-blown trial. Using the high costs as a way to drive people toward ADR could be creating a two-class system in regards to the law. Read more on Alternative dispute resolution

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Do You Think Your Lawyer Has Overcharged You?

Do You Think Your Lawyer Has Overcharged You?

While the majority of workers in the legal industry will deal with clients in an ethical manner, there are those who might take advantage of their clients. The average person relies heavily on the expertise and skills of their lawyer, to make sure that they do not wind up in serious legal trouble. They also depend on their lawyers to disclose costs, and deal with them fairly regarding fees. Since the costs for legal matters can become exceedingly high, there are laws in place to protect clients.

These laws are intended to allow sanctions against any lawyers who charge overly high fees. Costs are also able to be reviewed by independent bodies. Under some circumstances, agreements regarding costs can even be set aside.

Overview of Costs Disclosure Requirements

When starting a professional relationship with a legal representative, it is best to get the retainer in writing. This serves as the work contract, but it is not a prerequisite. However, ensuring that you do get it in writing is a smart idea. This will allow future costs to be compared to what the lawyer claimed they would be in the beginning.

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Australian Man Files 50 Lawsuits, Prohibited from Filing More

Australian Man Files 50 Lawsuits, Prohibited from Filing More

The average person might only file a handful of lawsuits in their lifetime. Many will never file a single one. Over a period of 10 years, an Australian man filed an astounding 50 lawsuits. The result is that he is now somewhat prohibited from filing any more. The man’s name is Mr  Rahman, a science teacher who is a resident in Sydney. Justice Michael Adams made the ruling, stating that the man had been using using the legal system to “harass” and “annoy” people, among other things. He is only the 12th person to be put on the register for vexatious litigation.

While Mr Rahman is still allowed to start a litigation proceeding, he must get permission from the courts first. And since he has proven himself to be such a nuisance in their eyes, that is not expected to be forthcoming. Some of his offences include attempting to re-litigate matters where a decision had already been made. In addition to that, he also sued his very own legal representatives. The result of that lawsuit was that Mr Rahman was ordered to pay them more than he had already owed.

Rahman has spent more than $500,000 in the process of filing all of these lawsuits. He is also said to be in danger of losing two houses that he owns. However, even after being placed on Sydney’s vexatious litigant register, he is still not giving up his fight. He claims that the ruling is a “crime against humanity”, and that he will go to the International Criminal Court if necessary.

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Main Issues to Consider In a Commercial Lease in Australia

Main Issues to Consider In a Commercial Lease in Australia

If you are thinking of setting up a business, then either you have your eye set on a property or are scouring the market for the suitable commercial setup. If you don’t have the finances to buy the property at once, then you must surely be looking through different leasing options on offer. Commercial leasing in Australia for small businesses is quite common, and that is why there are many options available to accommodate the needs of different businesses in the segment.

While commercial leasing is a good option for anyone trying to setup a new business, there are also some important issues and regulations linked with the process. If you want to make sure that there are no legal irregularities, then you need to pay close attention to meeting all the requirements without error.

Some of the important issues related to commercial leasing for small businesses in Australia, include the following,

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Death Caused by Dementia in the Elderly and Testamentary Capacity in Creating Wills

Death Caused by Dementia in the Elderly and Testamentary Capacity in Creating Wills

With the number of elderly citizens increasing in Australia, more people are dying as a result dementia, as well as other similar disorders. Since people are continuing to live longer on average, they are also able to build up greater amounts of wealth. This can often lead to some difficult litigation, by people claiming that wills were made by those without the capacity to make proper decisions.

The appropriate court is the only entity with the jurisdiction required to decide on these matters. They will generally use a specific test, which includes the following requirements:

  • The person making the will needs to understand the legal significance related to creating the will.
  • They must be at least generally aware of the extent, nature, and value of their assets.
  • They must understand who might be able to claim their accumulated wealth, as well as why and how such people can make claims.
  • They must be able to decide the validity of people who make claims for the aforementioned wealth. No “disorder of the mind” should be able to skew their decisions.

In these types of circumstances, it is sometimes too easy for disgruntled beneficiaries to appear, and start litigation to overturn a will. Without proof as to the mental well-being of the deceased, these cases can be particularly trying. Even if your will is upheld in the end, the legal costs might have taken a toll on your intended beneficiaries.

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Leaving a Charitable Gift in Your Will

Leaving a Charitable Gift in Your Will

People often think about those who are closest to them, when making a will. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing that, many Australians are starting to leave money to charities in their wills. When doing so, it is essential that legal requirements are all fulfilled, to ensure that the gift is going to actually get to your charity of choice. Simply writing down the name of a charity that you remember is not a good idea. There are more things to consider.

Things to Consider

When naming a charity in your will, it is important to consider the following:

  • The charity’s name must be included, or the name of the association.
  • You must indicate if it is actually a charity, or some other body.
  • Your charitable bequest needs to be made in the form preferred by the charity, if there is one.
  • You must find out whether you need to account for any taxes or estate regulations that might be imposed upon your gift.

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