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RP Emery Blog – Legal Articles

Get down to earth information about how the law affects you personally and in your business life. Our blog is full of practical tips to help you cut your legal costs dramatically.

Are Assets Always Split 50/50 in an Australian Divorce Settlement?

separation are assets split 50 50There is a pervading myth that divorce settlements in Australia split the assets and liabilities down the middle. The Family Court of Australia does not explicitly use a ratio system and instead has a complex and considered process that determines the proportion of assets each party will receive.

How Do You Split Finances When Separating?

split financesThere are a lot of myths about the separation of finances when separating in Australia. Some couples believe having individual bank accounts can protect them during their split, while others think you can separate finances without some form of agreement or court order. It is important to know how the Australian Family Court approaches the separation of finances and the best way to protect your assets during a divorce.

Can You Separate Without Using a Solicitor in Australia?

Family law is a complex area, and it’s important to understand the options available when it comes to separating from your spouse or partner. Many people wonder if it is possible to separate without using a solicitor. In this article, we will explore the process of separation in Australia, the distinction between legal separation and divorce, and discuss whether or not you can separate without the assistance of a solicitor.

Is a DIY Separation Agreement Legally Binding?

legal scalesEngaging the services of a lawyer to draft a separation agreement can indeed be costly, however, reducing the time a lawyer spends on your matter can significantly lower those costs. An increasing number of Australians are using a Separation Agreement template in Australia to minimise the expense of property settlement.

Can I Write My Own Binding Financial Agreement?

can i write me own financial agreementGoing through a separation or divorce can be an emotionally challenging and stressful time. One aspect that often requires careful consideration is the division of financial assets and property. In Australia, couples have the option to create a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA), also known as a separation agreement, to document how their financial property should be divided. In this guide, we will explore the process of writing your own BFA without a lawyer, the benefits of using a template kit, and the importance of seeking legal advice before signing the agreement.

What Is a Financial Agreement in a Separation?

what is a financial agreementIn Australia, the Family Law Act of 1975 provides for the creation of financial agreements which may be made before, during, or after a marriage (or de facto relationship). A financial agreement, by definition, outlines how, in the event of the breakdown of the marriage or de facto relationship, all or any of the property or financial resources of either or both of the parties is to be dealt with.

How Do I Start a Separation Process in Australia?

how to start separation processThe separation process in Australia, fortunately, starts easily. There is no requirement for both parties to agree to a separation, and you are not required to file any paperwork with the court system. The meaning of “separation” in the Family Law Act is simply that the relationship has ended in the eyes of one or more parties. You must inform the other person of your decision and nothing more. You do not need to leave your house to be considered separated.

How Much Does a Separation Agreement Cost in Australia?

questioning womanCreating a separation agreement, or binding financial agreement, can cost an unsuspecting person tens of thousands of dollars. However, if you attempt to divide assets after separation without a binding agreement, it may cost you even more. It’s worth exploring the different options available to you to determine the most cost-effective process for your circumstances.

How Do I Get a Separation Agreement in Australia?

questions financial agreementsIn Australia, a “Separation Agreement” specifically refers to a financial contract that outlines the division of assets and liabilities when a marriage or de facto relationship comes to an end. If the parties are on amicable terms and willing to cooperate, they can save a significant amount of money on legal fees by using a separation agreement template and working together to complete it.

Are Binding Financial Agreements Worth It?

are binding financial agreements worth it?The answer to this question is subjective and depends upon your individual circumstances, and whether you have property that you want to safeguard from potential future claims. We look at the important issues so you can decide if you need a biding separation financial agreement.

What Does Legally Separated Mean in Australia?

What does legally separated mean?When discussing personal relationships, the legal definition of separation is quite specific. There are distinct differences between two parties being legally separated and being divorced. These differences impact your rights and responsibilities as an individual.

What is a Separation Declaration?

Separating couple declarationAt the top of your marriage separation checklist, you should consider creating a “statement of separation declaration”. While this document is not legally binding, it can serve as evidence of the date of separation. Such evidence can be critical if there is a dispute during settlement.

Should You Get a Financial Separation Agreement in Australia?

should i get a separation agreementA person you have separated from can legally make a claim for your assets up to twelve months after a divorce or twenty-four months after a de facto separation. To protect yourself and become financially independent once more, you should enter into a Financial Separation Agreement.

Creating a DIY Separation Agreement in Australia

creating a diy separation agreementA Separating from your partner can be stressful and expensive. If you know how you want to divide your property after separation, creating your own separation agreement before involving lawyers can significantly reduce your legal fees

Navigating Your Separation Agreement Cost: A Guide to Smart Spending

property settlement costMany legal avenues are open to you when looking for a way to divide property after a separation. Each has its own advantages, but for many people, the significant deciding factor is cost.

What is a Property Settlement Agreement?

Wedding rings contractA Property Settlement Agreement, more commonly referred to as a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA) in Australia, is a practical and effective method for officially documenting the distribution of assets and liabilities following the dissolution of a marriage or de facto relationship.

Changes to Fixed Term Employment Contract Rules

changes fixed term contractsStarting from from 6 December 2023, new regulations for fixed term contracts in employment will be implemented. We break down the key points of these regulations.

Reduce Conflict and Provide Stability for Your Children with a Parenting Plan Template

childrenUsing a Parenting Plan Template to document shared parenting responsibilities after you’ve parted ways with your partner is a brilliant way to simplify and make things easier for yourself.

De facto Prenup for Couples living together

de facto prenupIn Australia, de facto relationships have legal implications that are similar to those of married couples. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to de facto relationships, including the rights and responsibilities of de facto partners, the process of making a financial agreement (sometimes referred to a de facto prenup), and the factors that determine whether a couple is considered de facto under Australian law.

Why you need a Product Supply Agreement

Product SupplyIn the complex world of trade and commerce, businesses must take essential steps to protect their interests. One such crucial step is establishing a product supply agreement or Agreement for the Supply of Products or Goods.

Mandatory Vaccination in the Workplace

mandatory vaccination employmentRound up of legal articles about mandatory vaccination in the workplace. What does it mean for employers, employees and your employment?

How to split superannuation with your partner in the event of relationship breakdown

how to split superThe Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) allows for the division of certain superannuation interests between parties to a marriage or de facto relationship. Before making the financial decision to divide your superannuation assets with your partner, it is important that you are aware of the process and what is involved in carrying out each step.

Initial Contributions in Property Settlements

initial contributions property settlementIn this article, we’ll discuss the impact of initial contributions in property settlements (the process of dividing finances after separation or divorce) to help you better navigate the process and avoid any nasty surprises popping up along the way.

Superannuation Splitting and Separation: An Overview

super splitting separation divorceRetirement savings in the form of superannuation funds have become an increasingly important form of family wealth in Australia. But did you know that most separating couples fail to consider superannuation when dividing property after a relationship breakdown? This article will help bring you up to speed with everything you need to know about splitting superannuation contributions with your spouse.

Negotiating a property or financial settlement during the COVID-19 pandemic

covid 19 and financial agreementsSince the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear that separating couples are facing additional challenges. In particular, restrictions on gathering and moving between different places mean that property or financial settlement negotiations cannot take place in person. In this article, we’ll outline the property settlement process and help you better understand your options when it comes to finalising an agreement during COVID-19.

What’s the meaning of a de facto relationship in Australia?

de facto couple kitchenDe facto couples are entitled to much of the same financial, property, and parental rights that the law affords to married couples. In this article, we’ll answer some frequently asked questions to help you understand how the law defines and identifies de facto relationships.

Keeping Pets and Companion Animals in Strata Schemes – recent changes to bylaws

pets and strata bylawsAre you allowed to keep a family pet if you live in an apartment bound by strata scheme bylaws? It is different for each Australian state and the law is changing. Read on for a summary of the recent changes, case law and what to include in an application to keep a pet in a strata complex.

Does the worker get paid for an internship in Australia? 

unpaid internUnpaid internships are gaining popularity but are they legal? Check out this summary of recent articles on unpaid internships.

Married for less than two years? Requirement to get counselling before a divorce 

divorce counselling estranged coupleEnding a marriage is never easy. But before you make a decision, you may want to consider the requirements you will need to satisfy to be eligible to apply for a divorce.

Help with Family and Relationship Issues

help with family and relationship issuesIf you are struggling with family or relationship issues, or feelings of grief, sadness or anger associated with separation or divorce – help is available. Many support organisations exist in Australia offering various services to help you cope with and overcome painful and difficult times in your life. There is no need to suffer in silence.

Wage Theft in Australia – How some employees are getting underpaid for the work they do

wage theft employee underpaymentEmployees have the right to be paid the correct pay rate for all time worked but some employers dodge their legal obligations and underpay their staff – this is referred as wage theft. Wage theft can take many forms – from not paying the right wage, not paying all the hours or not paying other entitlements like super. This article covers wage theft in all it’s forms and new legislation in Victoria that has made wage theft a crime.

Domestic Violence Leave Australia – a look at employee entitlements under the NES

minimum wage order 2021In late 2018, the Federal Government introduced the domestic and family violence leave entitlement to Australia’s national workplace relations system. We examine an employees entitlements under these rules.

Fur-ever friends: Who gets custody of the family pet in a divorce or separation?

help with family and relationship issuesGoing through a separation or divorce and navigating change is a stressful and often overwhelming process. Common matters that arise during the settlement process include working out how to divide property or deciding who gets custody of the kids. But one of the lesser-known challenges is determining which party will get to keep the family pet.

Minimum Wage Order 2021 – increase of 2.5% from 1 July

minimum wage order 2021Fair Work Australia have made a decision to increase minimum and award wages by 2.5% and this increase is effective in three stages for workers under awards. See the article to view the effective date for each group.

The “Gig Economy” – New and emerging technology is changing the way businesses engage their workers

separated couple under one roofAn increase of platform work in the ‘gig economy’ signals a shift away from Australia’s standard employment model. The gig economy is a labour market comprising of independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers and temporary workers. Most notable for its flexible nature, gig work offers individuals an alternative to a conventional 9-5 routine but employers should be aware of the risk of sham contracting to avoid the wrath of the Fair Work Ombudsman.

A new NES entitlement – casual conversion under the Fair Work Act

casual employee conversionIn March 2021, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) was amended to add a new entitlement to the existing National Employment Standards (NES). The changes provide casual employees with the right to access permanent full time or part time employment if a specific set of criteria is met. This process is also known as ‘casual conversion.’

Changes to the Law regarding definition of Casual Employees 2021

change to casual employment lawsOn 26 March 2021, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) was amended to change the workplace rights and obligations for casual employees. In order to ensure your employees are receiving the correct entitlements, it is important that you are up-to-date with these developments.

Separated under the one roof – why more couples are still living together

separated couple under one roofFor anyone considering separation, the thought of living with your ex-spouse under the one roof might seem horrifying and ridiculous! Most people would agree that the idea of having to sharing a home with a person who you have either lost all feelings for – or still have intense, raw feelings for – would be very difficult. Amazingly though, the number of Aussies who are separated under the one roof is much higher than what you might think.

Granny Flat Agreement – do you need one?

senior granny flatIf you have an elderly relative or friend coming to live with you, you might be wondering whether a formal agreement needs to be made, or if it’s easier to stick to a casual arrangement.

How to Onboard new employees more easily

new employee onboardingEmployers can make their workplace less strange by supplying a Welcome Pack or Onboarding documents. This information lessens the mystery of the new workplace and helps your new employee acclimatise more quickly. This means they can feel more relaxed and do their job more effectively sooner.

Small Business owners guide to managing employee performance efficiently

steer shipRunning a business is like being the captain of a ship setting sail for an exotic destination and a pot of gold. As captain, it’s your job to set the course and navigate, keep it from sinking when the unexpected strikes, and get the most of your crew. When it comes to getting the most out of your team, using a system for managing employee performance keeps everyone on track and allows you to spot small issues before they become a big problem.

How to set up a Shared Office Space Agreement Template

shared office spaceIf you’re considering sharing a workspace – such as a room, office or clinic – you may think you need to set up a full retail or commercial lease. However you don’t have to lock yourself and your tenant into a rigid lease agreement to share a workspace. Instead, you can set up a licence to occupy with a Shared Office Space or Licence Agreement.

Burning Question: Commercial or Retail? Which Lease do you need?

commercial or retail buildingUnder Australian Law it can be tricky trying to work out whether your commercial property needs a commercial or retail lease. It’s important to choose the right option for your tenant so you comply with the law. This article helps you work out whether a property you wish to rent out falls under a retail or commercial lease.

Burning Question: Property Managers, Photography and Children

camera lensWe explore your rights as a tenant if your Property Manager takes photos or video of your children during a property inspection.

Minimum Wage Order 2020 – Rise of 1.75%

2019 National Minimum Wage Order Fair Work Australia have made a decision to increase minimum and award wages by 1.75% and this increase is effective in three stages for workers under awards. See the article to view the effective date for each group.

6 things that can go wrong if you don’t have a will

last willA will is a legal document which prescribes what happens to your assets after you die. A validly executed will is the best way to ensure that your family is adequately provided for and that your estate is dealt with according to your wishes. There are 6 things that can go wrong if you don’t have a will!

Get Organised, Recharge and Get Ready for life after Covid-19

de clutter brainIf life was flying by way too fast #beforecorona and you used to wish for everything to stop so that you could catch up, then ‘your wish is granted’!   If you know the feeling of being at capacity, feeling frazzled and overwhelmed, then it’s time to get organised and recharge, so that you can be ready to take off after Covid-19. I’ll cover the benefits of decluttering, four areas to declutter that will ease the sense of overwhelm, and some strategies to re-charge so that you’re ready to hit the ground running.

Dealing with Commercial Tenant Requests for Rent Reduction or Abatement

closed shopThe very knowledgeable Wendy Thomson has shared this excellent article on how Commercial Property managers are dealing with Tenant requests for rent reduction or abatement. If you’re a landlord who manages your own commercial or retail property you can use Wendy’s advice if you’re dealing with the same situation.

Coping with Sudden Change (and Covid-19)

dealing with chaosNow more than ever, we are all very aware of our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing and the need to be resilient and calm in the face of adversity. At a time when peoples’ lives have been thrown upside down, we need to find some structure and clarity so that we are equipped to deal with confusion and rapid shifts. Health and Wellness Coaches faciliate behavioural change so you can have bettr wellbeing, lonegevity and quality of life. Here are their tips for coping in times of chaos.

Business Downturn? Take this essential first step when you have to re-structure your employees

 when is taking photos illegalWith COVID-19 dramatically changing the Australian business landscape, many small and medium-sized employers are finding themselves in unchartered waters. They are having to consider a number of scenarios with regards to their business, such as restructuring, scaling down or even closing down their operations. These are all difficult decisions – and they impact both the employer and the employees. If you are in this position there are essential steps you should take to manage employees correctly in these circumstances.

Creating Co-parenting Harmony by Using a Parenting Plan

children parenting planTired of arguing with your ex over childcare issues? You can create more harmony in your co-parenting relationship by using a parenting plan. A Shared Parenting Plan is a mutually-agreed-upon plan that formally documents the parenting arrangements for children after their parents divorce or separate.

Snapshot on Privacy – when is photography illegal?

 when is taking photos illegalAustralia does not have clear definitive laws when it comes to privacy and photography. We don’t have laws that give you a right to privacy in general, which means there’s no law stating that an image of you can’t be used without your permission.

Photography, privacy and criminal laws – state by state

photo privacy laws state by stateThis article sets out the different laws for taking, viewing or sharing photos for each Australian state..

What does ‘at arms length’ mean legally?

at arms lengthYou might hear the term ‘ at arms length’ thrown about in relation to commercial transactions but what exactly does it mean? We explain in this article.

How a Divorce Settlement Agreement Can Help You Save Thousands of Dollars – Just Like It Helped Jeff Bezos Save Billions

broken heartGoing through a divorce is traumatic. But there are ways to mitigate the financial damage it causes. Find out how to divide your property as peacefully as possible.

Can you legally dismiss an employee by SMS/text?

dismiss employee by text or smsThere’s no doubt that text messaging or SMS is a mode of communication that’s gaining popularity in the business sector. But there’s one business transaction that should never be made via text, and that is the dismissal a staff member or termination of employment. Recent court cases have highlighted the risk that employers who give into the temptation of dismissing a staff member by text rather than providing a face-to-face meeting could be vulnerable to an unfair dismissal claim.

Show me the Money – A Quick Guide to Knowing when to engage a Debt Collection Agency

Cash flow is King in any business but what do you do when your customers aren’t paying on time? How do know when it’s time to stop chasing them yourself and call in a debt collector?

Landlords Guide: What to do if your tenant wants to assign or sublease a Commercial property

There are a variety of circumstances that might lead your tenant to ask for an assignment of the lease or to sublet the leased premises. This article outlines the steps a Landlord of a commercial porperty should take if your tenant asks this question.

How to set up Rent Review Provisions in a Property Lease

increase rent provisions Property lease must contain clauses relating to rent review whether the increase applies to the term of the lease or subsequent terms. We look at a few ways to set up your rent review provisions.

What’s the difference between a Lease and Licence?

lease or licenceLeases and Licences are types of agreements that can be used to allow a person to occupy land or a building owned by another in return for rent or a licence fee. If you are thinking of implementing either a Lease or a License, you should be aware of the differences of each of these documents.

Can I sublease a Commercial or Retail Premises?

Assign or Sublet?Yes, you can sublease commercial or retail premises, provided that the terms of your Lease do not prevent you from doing so. If you wish to sublet part of your space then you need to follow the correct procedure so your sublease is approved by the Landlord.

The difference between assigning and subletting

Assign or Sublet?Assigning and subletting a lease are two very different procedures. We look at the differences.
“Assigning” and “subletting” may sound like interchangeable terms. But as we shall see, they are vastly different.

If you have space in your leased commercial premises (either all or part) that you are thinking of assigning or subletting to another, you should make yourself familiar with the legal effects, the pros and the cons of both assigning and subletting.

Terminating Commercial Leases for Non-payment of Rent – Validity of Law Society Lease Questioned

validity or law sociaty leaseA recent decision of the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Charlie Bridge Street Pty Limited v Petrazzuolo: Petrazzuolo v Charlie Bridge Street Pty Limited [2019] NSW CATCD1) has raised some interesting issues about the right of a landlord to terminate a lease for non-payment of rent without giving notice to the tenant. The decision also found that a provision of the printed Law Society of NSW lease does not comply with section 129 of the Conveyancing Act and is therefore inoperable.

Minimum Wage Order – Rise of 3%

2019 National Minimum Wage Order Fair Work Australia have made a decision to increase minimum and award wages by 3% and this increase is effective from the first full pay period after 1 July 2019.

When can you break a Commercial Lease Agreement?

fruit shop NB2In this economic climate, it is not a far stretch to imagine commercial businesses in the unfortunate position of having to end a lease early. In this article, we consider the ways a tenant may be able to exit a Lease in a commercial setting.

How to make sure your Retail Lease says what you mean

fruit shop NB2Signing a retail lease is one of the most important business decisions you will make. It is therefore essential that your retail lease feature clear and explicit negotiated terms so that both parties are clear on how the lease is intended to operate. In other words you need to make sure that your lease says what you mean.

Separated – Do I need to go to Court?

do i need to go to courtThere is no doubt that the thought of going to court is scary for most people. You don’t know whether your will get your desired outcome or how much it will cost, or even if it’s necessary. Answering the question of what you should do if you separate from a long term partner is complex and dependent on many factors. Read this article to learn more.

6 bottom line issues you must consider before signing a Commercial Property Lease

6 key issues commercial leaseAre you signing or thinking of signing a commercial lease?  As a tenant there are a few key provisions to look out for because they have the potential to make or break your tenancy. This article explains what they are and what you should look for.

Separation and Property Settlement 101

Separation Property SettlementThis article answers common questions about separation and property settlement. It covers separation under one roof, how to document your settlement legally, dealing with superannuation, transferring property, maintenance, divorce applications and more.

Short Term Retail Leasing

Short Term leasingRetail lease transactions are heavily regulated in Australia and in most states and territories, retail tenants have the right to a minimum 5 year lease term. There are circumstances however, where your might want to set the minimum term at less than 5 years. This article explains how this might be done.

Tenant Guide: How to find the Sweet Spot when negotiating a Retail (commercial) Lease

sweet spotNegotiating a commercial lease for the first time can be a little daunting. But like anything, it becomes easier once you’re familiar with the language and customs. We’ve outlined a list of the important factors to consider when you’re thrashing out the lease with your Landlord. It will help you to find that Sweet Spot where you both get a good deal out of the arrangement.

Renovating an apartment? Your guide to body corporate rules

Renovating ApartmentThere are some important differences between renovating an apartment and renovating a free standing property. You don’t want to upset the neighbours or fall foul of the body corporate. You can stay out of trouble by following the tips in this guide to body corporate rules.

Why Leaving your Prenup to the Last Minute is a Really Bad Idea

last minute prenupGetting your prenup done may not be high on your wedding preparation to-do list but we explain why it’s a really bad idea to leave it till the last minute and why it may put the agreement at risk.

Pros and Cons of Subleasing a Commercial or Retail Premises

Pros cons subleasingSubleasing your commercial or retail premises can be a smart move.This article breaks down the pros and cons of subleasing a commercial or retail premises from both the Sublessor and Sublessee’s point of view.

Six vital issues to consider when preparing your shareholder agreement

Shareholders meetingIf you’re setting up a company, your should consider these six vital issues before you sign off on your shareholders agreement.

Landlords Guide: What to do if your tenant wants to assign or sublease a Commercial property

There are a variety of circumstances that might lead your tenant to ask for an assignment of the lease or to sublet the leased premises. This article outlines the steps a Landlord of a commercial porperty should take if your tenant asks this question.

Selling a Business? How to Identify and reach the Perfect Buyer

Target Perfect Buyer When you’re trying to sell your business, the most valuable steps you will take is to consider who your perfect buyer might be and plan your strategy for that perfect buyer. Learn to think like your buyer so your advertisement can be in the places where they are likely to see it.

How to Search for Unclaimed Money in Australia

search unclaimed money Did you know about the unclaimed Money fund? We explain how to search for unclaimed money in Australia to see if you have a nest egg waiting for you somewhere.

Why you should register your Trade Marks

register trademarksHere is a tale of woe that business owners often experience, and which causes them deep frustration and some considerable, unbudgeted-for cost to their commercial activities. Many business owners conduct their business under a business name, company name, and/or logo (trademarks) and they have not registered these trademarks with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) in Canberra.

Leasing Commercial or Retail Property? Do you need a Guarantor?

lease guarantorWhen setting up a lease it’s important safeguard your investment against tenant default. One way is to nominate a Guarantor for the lease. Guarantors are the people (or other legal entities) who agree to be responsible for the debts of the tenant, should the tenant default.

What would you do if your business partner died?

Stressed ClaireEarlier this month I had a call from Steve.  He had been speaking with his friend (Jodie) whose business partner had died recently in a motor accident, leaving her and the business in a tricky situation. What would happen if your business partner died? Have you put a plan in place? Are you aware of the steps you could take to protect your livelihood?

New Unpaid Family and Domestic Violence Leave Entitlement

Fair Work OmbudsmanAll employees can now take unpaid leave to deal with family and domestic violence, following a recent change to the Fair Work Act 2009.

Restraint of Trade Clauses in Employment Contracts

question on custodyA restraint of trade clause is a term commonly included in employment contracts. It operates to protect your confidential information, trade secrets, business operations and client relationships. This article looks at the how you can successfully implement a restraint of trade clause.

Can a parent apply for sole custody?

question on custodyA burning question was sent in asking about the ability of a parent to apply for sole custody and the factors that would influence the success of that application.

Casual employees convert to permanent, what does it mean for business in Australia

Casual employeeDon’t panic! Casual employees have always had the right to request to become permanent. The only real change is the process; which has become more formal and will now be part of most Modern Awards.

Everything You’ll Ever Need to Know about Commercial Lease Agreements in Australia

Commercial Lease AgreementCommercial leases can be a complicated topic. There is a myriad of laws and regulations that govern what you can and cannot do mainly if the premises are primarily used for retail purposes. In this article, we are going to everything you need to know. After completing reading through this article, you will be ready to lease your commercial property with confidence.

Three Reasons why a Poor Property Manager is a Risk to your Sanity and Bottom Line

property managerProspective landlords often believe that trusting a property manager to oversee their investment property is the best course of action. But hiring a poor property manager can be a risky move if they turn good tenants into nightmare tenants. There are three good reasons why a poor property manager is a risk to your sanity and bottom line.

What should I include in a Sales Agency Agreement?

Sales AgencySales Agency agreements are used when a principal engages a sales agent to sell products or services to customers, on the principal’s behalf. We look at the terms and clauses which should be included in a Sales Agency Agreement so that you can protect your business.

Casual Employee Classification – Demystifying the Decision in Workpac v Skene

Court Rules on Casual EMployment Workpac v SkeneThe recent ruling by the Federal Court of Australia in Workpac v Skene has resulted in the potential classification of casual employees as permanent employees. This decision is significant for small businesses, many who employ staff on a casual basis, as staff may now be entitled to additional benefits. In this article, we discuss the impact of the decision and potential impacts on your business.

Reseller Agreements Give You Control – They Provide Clarity, Reduce Potential Disagreements and Unwanted Costs

Reseller AgreementsA Reseller agreement is a binding contractual agreement used to govern the sale, marketing and support for a product in a retail network. A comprehensive reseller agreement will protect you from potential liability claims, potential disagreement between parties or unwanted costs.

What’s the difference between divorce and separation?

difference between divorce and separation We look at the difference between divorce and separation, and what you should do to legally terminate the relationship, including financial and property settlement.

What is a de facto relationship?

What is a de facto couple?Sometimes it is not entirely black and white when you are trying to determine whether you are in a de facto relationship. What does the term de facto relationship mean in Australia and how do you work out whether it applies to you?

Terminating a Contract – what you need to know.

terminating a contractSometimes, the performance of terms under a contract does not go smoothly and you may wish to terminate the agreement. The right to terminate a contract can arise from a variety of circumstances, either under the agreement itself or at common law.[1] Your right terminate will be highly dependent on both the terms of your agreement and the conduct of the other party. In this article, we explore the specific circumstances resulting a right to terminate.

Apartment Owners left confused by Governments vague announcement on Airbnb Reforms

Amanda FarmerThe announcement by the NSW government, made earlier this month, announced a raft of reforms designed to prevent investor owners from using their apartments for short term, Airbnb-style lets. But the lack of detail in the proposed reforms has left people perplexed.

What is a Guarantor?

What is a guarantorGuarantees are used in a variety of situations to secure a loan, lease or the performance of a contractual obligation. However, if you are considering becoming a guarantor, it is important you understand your responsibilities under the agreement, as there are certain risks involved.

What does a Separation Agreement Look like?

what does a separation agreement look like?It can seem overwhelming when you’re separating from a long term partner especially when it comes to dealing with who gets what. Seeing a real life example of a separation agreement will remove the mystery around the separation settlement process and hopefully provide some clarity.

When good intentions to marry becomes a complex issue for de facto couples

CuttlefishIt’s not unusual for a de facto couple to contemplate marriage and you would think the law would make it simple for them to decide how to deal with their assets will be dealt with if the relationship breaks down. But it hasn’t been – until now. We take a look at a recent court case that has opened up the way for de facto couples to make a Financial Agreement that will be valid while they are living together and during marriage.

New Fair Work Employment App – Record my Hours

Record my hours app Keeping good employment records can be tricky for many small business owners, sometimes it just seems like another time wasting piece of paperwork. If this is how you feel, then you might be interested in a new app called “record my Hours” . It helps employees and employers keep track of the hours worked.

How to lend money without the worry

Herbusiness BloggerWhen you’re loaning money to a friend, family member or business associate, missing one simple step could cost you money or the relationship. Read this article to find out what it is.

How to provide an Option to a Sub Tenant

SubleaseSubleasing is quite common but how should you provide an option for renewal in your sublease? We look at the issues involved and the steps you should take.

Distributors and Resellers – Choosing the Best Fit!

distributor or resellerWhat’s the difference between a distributor or reseller and which should you use to get your product to market?

Pay me what you owe me – Hall v Hall – Tales from the High Court

Hall v HallRecently the High Court of Australia determined the case of Hall v Hall [2016] HCA 23 concerning a dispute over the payment of spousal maintenance. We will have a look at what a ‘financial resource’ is and whether no knowledge of that entitlement can impact a claim for spousal maintenance.

Do you hate Planning?

HerBusiness BloggerPlanning is one of those essential business skills that is easy to ignore until you discover how useful it can be. I am a recent convert and this article tells a little of my transformation from being a failure at planning to tasting the sweet fruits of success.

Changes to NSW Residential Tenancy Laws – Rental Bonds Online

Dept Fair TradingFrom the 30th January 2017, all private Landlords and Property agents need to be registered with Rental Bonds Online (RBO). They also need to offer the online service as the first option for the lodgement of bond to all new tenants.

How do I find a good individual or couples counsellor?

Therapists toolkitStarting couples or individual counselling in times of trouble can be intimidating. Ask your therapist these questions to decide if they’re a good fit, and what you can expect out of the experience.

Getting through your first Christmas after Separation or Divorce

first christmas There is no doubt that approaching your first Christmas after a Separation or Divorce can be tough. Even those glad to be free of an unhappy relationship might also feel some sadness about facing the Festive Season as a single person. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to make the Christmas period a little more bearable.

Single Parenting Tips – A Merry Christmas for your Little Ones

childrenIf you are separated or divorced from your children’s other parent, the holiday season can be an extremely difficult time for all involved. You’ll naturally worry about whether you’re being the best parent you can be and trying to find the delicate balance between making your children happy and making everyone else happy.

How to thrive during the Silly Season

Herbusiness BloggerIt’s that time of the year when thoughts turn to Christmas; and depending on your frame of mind, it can cause either panic or jubilation! We look at a few common business issues like employing casuals, managing shut downs and making sure everyone stays safe at the Christmas Party.

What we can learn from Grant Hackett’s prenup mistakes

prenupsEarlier this year, Grant Hackett received more unwanted media attention with reports he was suing his solicitors for preparing a defective Financial Agreement. Whilst we’re not all that interested in his personal life, these events do raise some interesting and common issues regarding prenup’s and financial agreements in general.

Forget the Big Four, First Home Buyers Bank on Mum and Dad

Bank of Mum and DadFirst Home Buyers are becoming increasingly reliant on the bank of mum and dad to get them into their first home. Recent stories in the media look at how this trend is affecting the rates of home ownership, rising real estate prices and the gap between the haves and have-nots.

Answer these questions before you set up a Distributor Relationship

Her Business ArticleThere is no doubt that a distributor arrangement will get your products into the hands of more customers. To maximise the success of this relationship answer the questions outlined in this article.

Update NSW Tenancy Agreement to include Asbestos notification

Update your NSW Tenancy AgreementIf you own a rental property in NSW you need to update your lease agreement to include provisions regarding asbestos after 30 October 2016 – Read article to learn more.

How Mediation is used in Property Settlement

Using mediation during property settlementOne of the most emotion-filled events for which people can use mediation is property settlement during a separation. If you and your ex-partner can’t agree on how you will divide your property then mediation is an excellent way to bypass costly legal proceedings.

Landlord’s rights and obligations when a tenant seeks to sublet or assign a Retail Lease

Retail Lease Assign or SubleaseRetail leasing is quite regulated and if your tenant asks to assign the lease or sublease the premises there are particular actions you should take. We’ve put together a handy table that breaks down the Landlords obligation for each Australian state.

How to Help your Kids Beat the Next Property Price Rise

Parents adult childrenNo matter what age your children are, you’ll inevitably worry about their finances and future security. If your children are adults who have yet to achieve the ‘Great Australian Dream’, then you might be interested in exploring the options that will help your child invest in their own home sooner.

How to deal with Non-Payment of Rent in a Retail Lease

Non payment of rentIt’s a situation every landlord hopes to avoid – non-payment of rent.
And while you do hope it’s not going to happen to you, if it does you need to take a pro-active approach and contact your tenant in the right way at the right time. As retail leasing laws vary from state to state, we’ve put together a page that gives you the information you need.

Is a cohabitation agreement still binding after you get married?

Just married It’s a common question, couples who have been living together and have put a cohabitation agreement in place often want to know if the agreement will be enforceable after the wedding.

How to set up the Paperwork for a shared workspace

Shared WorkspaceIf you’re considering sharing a commercial space – such as a room, office or clinic – you may think you need to set up a full retail or commercial lease. But you don’t have to lock yourself and your tenant into a rigid lease agreement to share a space cooperatively. Instead, you can set up a licence to occupy with a Shared Office Space or Licence Agreement.

How to reduce the pain of chasing people who owe you money

chasing debtorsIt’s easy to put off chasing up a debtor in the hope that the money is on its way but being proactive will show your customers that you are serious about enforcing your credit terms and increase your chances of recovering the debt. We look at some tips that will reduce the pain of chasing debtors.

Is AirBnB considered a sub-lease?

Is airbnb a sublease?As a landlord, you invest time in screening suitable tenants, decide who is best placed to look after your investment property and subsequently enter into a lease agreement. However, with the rise of the sharing economy, you may be unaware of how your property is actually being used. If your tenants sub-let the property without your knowledge or permission, do you have any rights to reclaim possession?

How to make money with your Intellectual Property

make money with your IPSo, you have an idea, invention, design or concept that you’ve registered under Intellectual Property Rights, but now you’re not sure how to cash in on that idea? Read on to discover just how easy it is.


Dispute Resolution Process for Commercial and Retail Leasing in each state

Dispute Resolution Process tableDispute Resolution Process for Commercial and Retail Leasing for each Australian state set out in easy-to-read table format.

Proposed Changes to NSW Residential Tenancy Laws: Domestic Violcence

Domestic Violence changes to NSW tenancy lawsWe examine the proposed changes to NSW residential tenancy laws that are designed to protect victims of domestic violence.

Do you own a house in NSW that was built before 1980?

loose fill asbestos NSWDo you own a house in NSW that was built before 1980? If so, it may be affected by loose-fill asbestos which could mean you are unable to sell or rent your home or investment property in the future.

How to find the “Title Reference” for your Queensland Lease

Commercial lease title referenceWhen you’re completing a lease for a Queensland property where you intend to register the lease then you will need to provide a “Title Reference” number. We show you how to find it.

How an Option to Renew adds Security to your Leasehold

Option to RenewIt’s often the details that make the difference between success and failure. In lease terms neglecting to negotiate an Option to Renew clause can undermine future success and cause chaos for your established business. We explain what an Option to Renew provides and why you should take the time to negotiate it before you sign the lease.

The Tax Facts you need to know – Loans, Dividends and Division 7a

Hand in Cookie JarAs the owner of a private company, it’s normal – and completely legal – to borrow money from your business. However, thanks to Division 7A of the Tax Act, failing to properly record that loan could land you in some serious strife come tax time. Here’s how it works, and how to avoid its impact this end of financial year.

Parents Don’t Live Together anymore – VIDEO by Family Court

Family Court VideoThe Family Court has put together a video for 5-8 year olds to explain what happens if they have to see a Family Consultant.

Minimum Wage Order – Rise of 2.4%

Minimum Wage OrderFair Work Australia have made a decision to increase minimum and award wages by 2.4% and this increase is effective from the first full pay period after 1 July 2016.

Burning Question: About Executors

Choosing an executorChoosing an executor to administer your last Will is an important task. We’ve compiled a list of common questions and answers to help you choose an executor and prepare them for the jobs they will need to do.

Don’t assume your referral partner knows the step to the dance

Referral Partner DanceThere’s no doubt that using referrals to grow your business can significantly boost your brand and income. By creating and maintaining strong referral networks, you’ll gain an invaluable source of advertising that just keeps on giving! Due caution needs to be taken, though, and you should never assume that your referral partner knows the ‘steps to the dance’ and has the same quality performance standards as you do.

Myth of the 50/50 Split Part 4 – Reaching a Fair Agreement

reach agreementOnce you have considered all the factors of the previous three steps – you can decide on a fair agreement for your circumstances – whether it happens to be 50/50 or some other ratio. Your next decision is to determine how you will document the arrangement: whether you will keep control of the process and use a binding financial agreement or enter the legal system.

Myth of the 50/50 Split Part 3 – Considering Future Needs

Future NeedsOnce you have identified the property pool and weighed up the contributions of each party, the next step is to estimate what the future needs of each party is likely to be. As with the previous steps, the answers you get will be based on your individual circumstances.

Myth of the 50/50 Split Part 2 – Weighing the Contributions

Weighing Contributions of the partnersAfter separation, there are four steps tha partners should take to decide how the property pool will be split. After idenitfying the property pool you need to consider the contributions of the parties to the asset pool (s 79(4) of the Family Law Act).

Separation – The Myth of the 50/50 Split

Myth of the 50 50 splitThere are a lot of myths surrounding de facto separation and divorce in Australia. One is that assets are split 50/50 between the parties. But this simply isn’t true. We look at the facts behind this myth and outline the process of how you determine a fair division of the property pool.

Video – Why you should use a Casual Employment Contract

Why use Casual Employment COntractIf you have just filled a casual position you might be wondering whether it is worthwhile putting an employment contract in place. Well, the short answer is yes and this video will explains why a written agreement will give you more control over the terms of the employment arrangement so that you don’t fall victim to the implied terms of a verbal contract.

How to extend a Residential Lease

Burning questionThere are two options to extendng a lease once the tenancy has expired – you can either enter into a new lease or document an extension of lease. Download free extension of lease.

Where to store your Will so your loved ones can find it

Last WillSo, you’re organised, you’re diligent – you make a Will and have all your affairs nicely in order.  Tick, tick and tick. But all this comes to nothing if your loved ones don’t know where you have stored your Will.

Financial Agreements for de facto couples who plan to marry

marriage defactoIn the past, some of our customers have experienced a frustrating technicality when making a binding financial agreement if they were living together in a de facto relationship, but planning on getting married at some point in the future. The courts have recently cleared up this confusion in the case of Piper & Mueller [2015].

Unilateral severance of Joint Tenancy

Sever Joint TenancyMany couples enter into co-ownership of property as joint tenants but sometimes this arrangement is no longer appropriate and it needs to be changed. We examine the circumstances under which you may want to sever a joint tenancy. It is a straight foward process that can be done by either party without the permision of the other co-owners.

Is your Commercial Lease Secure?

Is your tenancy secure?If you are a commercial or retail tenant, you may think that having a signed lease in place with the property owner is all that is necessary to give you security of tenure. However, there are other steps that you need to take to ensure that your leasehold interest in the land is secure.

Questions to ask before forming a Business Partnership

her Business logoThere is no doubt that two (or many) heads are better than one when it comes to tackling a business project. Teaming up with others in a partnership or joint venture can provide the skills, enthusiasm, resources and capital to turbo charge your own individual efforts. And while it’s stimulating to discuss joint goals you might be less enthusiastic about discussing the practicalities of working together. We take a look at the questions you really need to answer before embarking on that new venture.

Burning Question: The Separated Saver who wants to Protect her Daughters Inheritance.

Burning question 3My daughter has had relationship issues with her husband for a couple of years and they now live separately but still under the same roof. They have one daughter. My daughter is a saver and has paid off the mortgage on their house. Her husband is a spender who always runs up debt on his credit card, paying huge interest rates. My daughter is concerned that if anything happens to her, her husband will have her half share of the house as well as his own. She has no confidence that he will look out for their daughter.

Starting a business venture – have you REALLY thought of everything?

Have you thought of everything?Starting a business is exciting and overwhleming – there is so many details to think about and plenty of tasks to cross off your to do list. You may speak to your lawyer about the correct company structure to establish for example whether you should start your business as a sole trader, partnership, director of a company or through a trust. But have you thought about how your private life can impact on your business life and asset pool?

Court upholds mothers decision to leave estate to guru

Court decisionRecently two children challenged their mother’s Will after she left a sizeable portion of her estate to her esoteric healing guru. They challenged on the grounds that their mother did not adequately provide for them in her Estate. The court ultimately denied their challenge.

How to take a Security Deposit for a Commercial Lease

Sweet spot negotiating leaseA Security Deposit or Bond is a sum of money paid by the tenant to the Landlord to secure the obligations they have agreed to under the lease. We look at the procedures of taking and drawing on a security bond.

Financial Agreements: Preparing for the Legal Advice

preparing for your legal adviceWhen a couple enter into any Financial Agreement it is required by law that each party receives independent legal advice. We’ve put together a handy guide to help you prepare for your legal consultation.

How to recognise if your rental property is being used to manufacture illegal drugs

warning signs of a meth labMethamphetamine manufacture is on the rise and poses a risk to landlords due to property damage and expensive cleaning costs. Meth labs have been found operating from homes in the suburbs, high rise apartments and increasingly, in rural locations.  Do you know the tell tale signs that a property is being used as a meth lab?

What is permanent part time employment?

permanent part time employmentQuick summary of permanent part time employment in Australia so that you understand your obligations under Fair Work law. Part time employees have the same rights as other permanent staff, the only difference is that they work less hours.

Changes to pool fencing law in NSW effective April 2016

pool fencing 2016The NSW government mandates strict laws regarding swimming pool fencing to reduce child fatalities. There are new changes taking effect from 29 April 2016 that require all homeowners with a pool to have a valid Certificate of Compliance or relevant occupation certificate before they can sell or rent a home in New South Wales.

Top Christmas Tips

christmas tipsWe’ve trawled through the archives for our top Christmas tips on managing employees, not getting ripped off at the shops, knowing what you can and can’t do to your rental premises if you’re planning a little DIY, and how to avoid losing your sanity over the festive season.

Selling a Business: How to prepare the Must-Have Presale Documentation

Business presale docsSelling a business takes planning, preparation and organisation so you can get the maximum asking price. Give yourself plenty of time to put everything in order – your accounts, systems, people and those must-have presale documents. As a business owner you need to realise that the time spent on preparation and the quality of information you can provide  to a potential buyer will have a major bearing on the success of the sale.

How much should managers drink at Christmas functions?

Christmas party manThe sensible response is not as much as this guy!! If you’re an employer or running the HR department you need to manage the risk of people getting in too much of the festive spirit. This article from HC Online outlines what to do before, during and after the function so that everyone has a good time without causing major headaches.

Three reasons why a Verbal lease can turn into a booby prize

verbal lease booby prizeIt may be seem like a generous act of goodwill to allow your tenant to move in before finalising your lease – but this decision can have big consequences for you down the track. We examine the three main reasons why you should resist the temptation to let your tenant move in before they have signed on the dotted line.

Do you know your Workplace Basics? Take the test!

Workplace BasicsWorkplace Basics is a new online, interactive quiz that helps employers and employees check their knowledge of workplace rights and their compliance with workplace obligations. It makes learning about Workplace compliance alot more fun – if you like quizzes, that is!

How to avoid arguing over Child Support Payments

Child SupportThere are a bunch of grey areas when it comes to managing a separation from a long term partner who is also a parent of your child/ren. Thankfully taking care of child support payments is reasonably black and white. You have two options to choose from – either applying to the Child Support Agency or making a private agreement between yourselves. We explore both options and how they can help you to stop arguing over child support.

Can you rectify a mistake in the terms of a contract?

contractYes, sometimes factors exist which will impact on an otherwise valid contract and if the mistake concerns a fundamental matter, the mistaken party can apply to the courts for relief. We look at different types of mistakes and how a mistake can be rectified.

Should my family lawyer finalise my financial agreement?

family lawyer signOne of our customers contacted us this week, enquiring as to whether his long-term local lawyer, who had acted on behalf of himself and his wife for many years, could prepare and finalise his Financial Agreement. The difficulty with appointing your family’s long-standing lawyer to finalise your agreement is that the same lawyer cannot act for both yourself and your partner. This can raise all sorts of issues for the couple and the agreement.

Advertising and Selling Guide for Small Businesses

Advertising and Selling GuideWhile most small business operators possess many wonderful skills, deciphering the law may not be one of them, and having a lawyer on hand to help interpret and understand the law just isn’t a reality.  That’s why this Guide by ACCC, explaining the Australian Consumer Law in simple terms, is such a helpful resource.

Tenancy Databases: A resource for Landlords

NSW Govt logoWhile real estate agents can utilise tenancy databases in connection with the rental properties they manage, they must follow legislative requirements, Commissioner for Fair Trading Rod Stowe said today. This article outlines the correct procedues for using the tenancy database.

Was unfriending an employee on Facebook really considered bullying?

Facebook unfriendingYou could be forgiven for thinking that employment laws have gone mad following the Fair Work Commission’s decision that facebook unfriending constituted bullying in the workplace. Is it really true? Or did the facts get lost in all the confusion and hype?

Video – Can you live in the same house and be legally separated?

separating under one roofWe answer this common question and explore the actions you should take to comply with Family law.

What is the difference between tenants in common and joint tenants?

joint tenants comparisonIn Australia there are two main types of property ownership – we explore the legal differences between Joint Tenants and Tenants in Common so that you can choose the right arrangement for your investment needs.

Why every Consultant needs to be part Bloodhound

BloodhoundAnyone who exchanges time for money needs to get the most out of every working hour. Few things sap your time (and energy) like dealing with conflict or misunderstandings.

The best way to reduce confusion in your working relationships is to get clear about the scope of the project from the beginning. You need to approach initial discussions with your client as a forensic investigation and scrutinise what they really want, not just what they say they want.

Man wins half share in million dollar property, despite nearly 50 years of separation from estranged wife

Gavel Court caseA recent Canadian Court case highlights the importance of formalising a separation when property and children are involved. In this particular case, a man was able to prove that he still entitled to half of a property he purchased with his estranged wife over fifty years ago.

Is sloppy Social media practise putting you at risk?

Sloppy Social MediaIf you operate a business, chances are you understand the importance of building an online presence through Social Media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. But did you know that the way you conduct yourself on these platforms is affected by Australian Consumer Law (ACL)?

Do you protect your creative darlings?

Protect your IPWhen you create a tangible object – you can say “I made this, I own it, it’s mine.” But when you’re dealing with IP, it can be more challenging to protect your creative material – especially when other people are involved. The term IP is broad and at times nebulous, which is why it is so important to consider the implications of its ownership within a business context.

Adding spousal maintenance to a Financial Agreement

Spousal MaintenanceSpousal maintenance is an issue that can be addressed within a financial agreement along with the division of assets and debt. When doing so, it’s wise to think about how the payments will be terminated.

How to recognise the tenant from hell

bad tenantWhen your rental property is empty it can be tempting to grab the first prospective tenant that applies but this is a rookie mistake. Bad tenants can cause you, the property owner, a great deal of emotional and financial stress. Follow these tips to recognise the tenant from hell before they move in.

Do you wonder how you’re ever going to afford the Great Australian Dream?

australian dreamThe inescapable fact is that house prices keep climbing while wages stagnate. Statistics suggest that Aussies are becoming home owners at a later age and committing to higher house debt than the generations that went before. What can you do to make the most of the resources you have and get your foot in the property ladder?

How did legal lingo become so complicated?

battle of hastingsHow did legal lingo become so complicated? Where did the ‘hereinbefores’, ‘heretofores’ and ‘hereinafters’ come from? To answer these questions, let’s take a little stroll through history to 1066 and the Norman conquest.

6 templates to help you manage employees on Probation

templateProbation periods of weeks or months are used by employers to assess the suitability of a new staff member. Fair Work provides these 6 free templates to help you manage the probation more effectively. It includes letters for successful and unsuccessful probation, checklists and performance plans.

The Crimes we Commit against our Privacy

cafe public wi-fiPublic Wi-Fi is an extremely risky way to access the internet – you know it’s true but the lure of free internet is tempting. The wi-fi provided by your local cafe owner might be just fine but do you know what or who is lurking nearby ready to hijack your data?

Purchasing your business premises with your SMSF

Arms lengthA popular strategy among business owners is to purchase (or transfer) their business premises into a Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF).  The business property is then leased to the business entity (or individual) as the tenant. This is a great way to leverage your assets as long as all dealings between the SMSF and related parties are kept at arms length and on Commercial terms, that is, you have to get the paperwork in order.

Changes to annual leave provisions decided by Fair Work

leave orderThe Fair Work Commission has released a series of changes following its four-yearly review of modern awards.  The changes deal predominately with the issue of excessive annual leave accrued by employees. The changes cover directing employees to take leave, cashing out leave and taking leave in advance.

Airbnb – is the income worth the risk?

AirbnbIt’s tempting to turn your spare room into a stream of extra income, and it’s pretty easy to do with tools like AirBnB. But don’t jump into this venture lightly because there are serious issues to consider.

Ten ways to negotiate a better Commercial Lease deal.

negotiate better leaseWhen negotiating a Commercial Lease it gives you greater power to understand the key provisions that will affect your bottom line. It’s not just the rent, there are a number of different clauses in the lease that contribute to the overall costs. Be aware that there are provisions that provide a little wiggle room and these often provide an opening to reducing the costs when negotiating with the Landlord.

How is inheritance dealt with in a property settlement

burning questions“I inherited some money from my father and a friend separately and some years apart.  I subsequently bought a flat (apartment) for roughly to the same value as both inheritance monies combined. I am now divorced and about to go through the legal process to sort out the assets as both parties cannot agree on a settlement arrangement. Are those inheritance monies considered part of my asset pool from which my ex-wife has a claim?”

Annual Wage Decision – Minimum Wage set to increase by 2.5%

It’s that time of year when Fair Work makes a decision on the minimum wage rates. This year the minimum wage will increase by 2.5% and all employers should adjust their pays for the first pay period starting on or after 1st July 2015.

Selling goods or equipment on terms? Here’s why you need the protection of the PPSR

PPSR screenshotRegistering your interest in valuable goods on the PPSR or Personal Property Securities Register, could be the difference between your financial freedom and financial ruin. Registering allows you to claim the goods back if your customer doesn’t pay for them or becomes insolvent.

Court rules email correspondence is a legally binding contract

email correspondenceBe aware that if you are negotiating by email, as is commonly done in business, the contents of your negotiations may constitute a valid and binding contract, as the court found in this case. It’s a scary thought in this day and age where emails are sent so easily and without considering possible ramifications.

Covering all bases when preparing a Distributor Agreement

DistributorEntering a distribution arrangement is one effective strategy to expand your market reach. But like all business relationships, distribution arrangements work best when they’re effectively managed and monitored – which means putting your relationship in writing.

Court over-rules mining billionaires Will and awards daughter $25 million lump sum

Court decisionRecently, the daughter of mining billionaire, Michael John Maynard Wright, Olivia Mead (19) launched a successful challenge to her deceased father’s Will. Ms Mead claimed that as his dependent, she was not left with adequate provision from her late father’s estate. Under “family provision” legislation in each state, a person who is a “dependent”, may make a claim if adequate provision has not been made for their proper maintenance, support, education and advancement in life.  The court has the discretion to make provision out of the estate, as it thinks fit.

Burning Question – Are prenups absolutely necessary?

burning question prenupsAnna sent in this Burning question – she asks “Why do some say that they are absolutely necessary and others say that they are very easy to break?  Is a good lawyer and prenup non-existent?  Would love to know a bit more about prenups?” It’s a great question!

Was SBS’s Sacking of Scott McIntyre lawful?

Scott Mcintyre firedSBS has been the subject of a great deal of media attention for the sacking of Scott McIntyre. SBS’s managing director, Michael Ebeid made the decision to sack Scott McIntyre immediately and without notice.  This raises questions about whether the dismissal was fair and lawful.

Permitted Use and Exclusivity clauses in Commercial Leases

permitted use When you’re negotiating a retail lease, striking the right balance between your needs and that of your tenant can be challenging. A well worded permitted use clause balances your desire to maintain effective control over the premises and how they’ll be used against the tenant’s need for the opportunity to grow and expand their business. Here are some of the facts to consider when negotiating yours.

Do I need to pay Spousal Maintenance?

Spousal Maintenance paymentA couple has an obligation to maintain each other, even after their relationship breaks down.

The likelihood of spousal maintenance being paid, and the extent of the payments, will vary depending on various factors – firstly, whether one party can actually afford to support the other, and to what extent.

Renting a car parking space? You need a car parking space licence

car parking spaceCar parking spaces in crowded cities can be hard to come by which is why renting your own can be a smart economic decision. It doesn’t really matter whether you are a commercial car parking enterprise, or a private owner, you should document your arrangement in a Car Park Space Licence Agreement.

Are extended warranties necessary?

extended warrantyIt’s pretty common these days to be on the receiving end of an extended warranty sales pitch whenever you purchase a TV, laptop, mobile, car or other item. But are extended warranties all they’re cracked up to be? Do you really need one?

Stating the Parties to a Contract correctly

parties correctlyIt might seem very basic, but it is vital to get the names of the entities or “parties” correct when drafting a legal document. Stating the parties formally and accurately gives you certainty that there can be NO question about the parties’ intentions later, especially if the particulars are changed or forgotten. We look at the different types of “parties” and the correct way to record the information.

Property co-ownership, it’s a team effort – Why two (or more) owners are better than one.

house co ownershipTeaming up with other investors is a smart way of entering the property market. We look at the fundamentals of property co-ownership and address the common questions.

What types of employees do you have? Are you meeting your obligations?

employee typesThanks to an increasingly flexible workplace, it seems like when it comes to employee contracts, almost anything goes. But It’s important to classify your employees correctly so that they receive all their entitlements under the law and you comply with the legislation.

Estate Planning for families

estate planning for familiesContemplating death is not a particularly happy subject but it is necessary if you want some control over how your loved ones will be cared for when you die or if you are incapacitated.

How to fill out an Affidavit

affidavitAffidavits are a particular type of document used to record information as evidence for matters being dealt with by a court. There are many different types of affidavit’s and you need to ensure that you complete the correct type for your particular matter.

When can my de facto partner make a claim on my assets?

time limitDe facto couples often wonder about the legal time limits that apply to their relationship, in particular those associated with making an application to the Court for a property settlement order. De facto couples do enjoy the same rights as married couples under Australian Law but those rights do not automatically apply.

How to manage your referral relationships – Drafting an effective Referral Services Agreement

referralsReferral arrangements are an excellent way to build trust and authority in your business whilst boosting your bottom line. Drafting an effective Referral Service Agreements allows you to manage the quality and integrity of your referral relationship.

How to sign or execute a contract

signing a contractBy signing, or in other words, executing a contract, you are indicating your agreement to the terms and conditions contained within the document and demonstrating your intention to be legally bound.

How Would Assets Perform if Negative Gearing Was Removed?

negative gearingMany property investors rely on negative gearing but what would happen if it just wasn’t available anymore. John Edwards takes a good luck at what might happen. Read More.

Is it possible to separate under the one roof?

separated one roofSometimes when a married or de facto relationship breaks down, the partners may need to keep living together under the one roof. We examine how the legislation treats such circumstances.

Changes to Tasmanian Tenancy Act

Changes Tasmanian Tenancy ActTasmanian residential tenancy laws have been recently reformed, with most of the changes operational from the end of 2014. We take a look at the new rules for leasing residential property in Tassie.

8 Key considerations for Commercial Leasing tenants

Commercial LeasingSigning a commercial lease can have serious legal and financial implications for your business. Here are six key elements you should consider before signing yours.

Alterations to Rental Houses – Do’s and Don’ts

alterations to rental premisesThinking of sprucing up your rented home over the Christmas break? Did you know that even something as simple as painting the walls requires your Landlord’s permission? Before you even start getting those colour charts out – check out the rules of what you can and can’t do to your rented house.

Changes to the Franchising Code of Conduct

Changes to Franchising Code of ConductThe Australian Franchising Code of Conduct is set to change on the 1 January 2015. Franchisors need to ensure their documentation complies with the new code.

You’ve created it but how do you protect it? Issues to consider when managing and licensing Intellectual Property.

protect IPIf you are considering licensing your intellectual property as a means of bringing it to the market, then you need to think about and act on the key issues so you don’t make the most common IP mistakes.

Is a verbal agreement legally binding?

verbal agreementVerbal agreements can be legally binding and in fact many business and personal transactions are conducted purely on a handshake. But if things go wrong, it can be very difficult to sort the matter out or to even prove the agreement existed. Read more.

Quickie Guide to Selling Your Business

Business for saleSelling your business involves a range of steps.  It doesn’t really matter whether you are using a broker or selling it yourself, you need to be aware of what is involved so you can take all the factors into consideration and get the best price for your hard work.

FWO targeting Building and Construction Industry in Workplace Audit

FWO Construction Industry AuditAs of October 2014 the Fair Work Ombusdman will be targeting the Construction and Building Industry to discuss workplace issues like minimum wages, penalty rates and allowances, overtime and payslips and record keeping.

Using a Recruitment Agency Agreement

Recruitment Agency AgreementMany businesses prefer to use a recruitment agency to hire staff especially those in the Mining, IT, professional industries and Public sector. As with any contractor type arrangement it is always wise to set down the terms of the work clearly and unambiguously so each party understands their role.

How to terminate a commercial lease for non-payment of rent or other breach

Breach of leaseIt is a situation landlords hope they will never experience. Their tenant has stopped paying rent and they need to take action to mitigate the damage to their bottom line. We look at what the Landlord needs to do and more importantly how they should do it.

How to talk to your partner about cohabitation – Slideshare

Talking about CohabitationMoving in together is a big step. We look at the reasons why you might want to use a Cohabitation (Financial) Agreement and how to talk to your partner about it.

When to use a Licence to occupy instead of a Lease?

shared officeAre you thinking of renting out a room, clinic or office? You may not need a full Retail or Commercial Lease to cover your arrangement because a Shared Office Space or Licence Agreement may suit your needs.

Co-ownership is a way to achieve your dream

co-ownershipPurchasing a large piece of machinery or equipment like a boat, yacht or aircraft can be expensive.  But it may not be out of reach if you can team up with a group of like minded investors who share your dream. As with most ventures the best way to achieve success is by planning for it. We look at the issues that need to be considered when entering into a co-ownership arrangement.

Why would I need a Financial Agreement when I’m in a stable relationship?

happy coupleLiving together is a milestone in any relationship. But these days, because de facto couples have effectively the same rights and obligations as married couples under the Family Law Act – it’s not a decision that should be made without consideration to the financial implications. We look at a few of the reasons you might want to consider using a Financial Agreement.

Should I register my de facto relationship?

registerRegistering your relationship is an easy and inexpensive way to formalise your de facto status and formally express your commitment to each other. There are also a number of legal benefits for doing so.

Is your business an easy target for identity theft?

business fraudFollowing changes to the Privacy Act, businesses are now under greater pressure to deal with, and dispose of, confidential information safely, both for their own protection and privacy, and that of their customers and staff members. Do you know how to keep sensitive data private and out of the hands of identity thieves?

Avoid the pitfalls when agisting horses

horsesAgisting horses is a great way to earn income from your acreage property especially if you love horses. To make the most of it, avoid these common pitfalls.

Unravelling the Mystery of the Legal System

legal system mysteryWhen we first bought this Legal Publishing business it was difficult to get over the notion that there was some special knowledge, secret handshakes or verified membership that we just didn’t have.

When staff take excessive sick leave

sick leaveIt can be especially challenging for small businesses to keep their operation running smoothly when staff take extended or excessive sick leave. How do you manage extended sick leave and what are your rights in dealing with excessive leave.

How to make a loan without ruining a relationship

personal Loan Lending money to friends or relatives can be a risky activity, especially when the terms are vague. Putting the arrangement in writing allows each party to know where they stand and stops potential problems.

Separating from your partner? What you need to know

separatingContemplating separation is never easy. It can be even more difficult when you don’t know your rights or the facts about how it will affect your future security.

Design hints to help you sell your home faster

present house for sale As a general rule, people make a buying decision based on emotion and the purchase of a house is no different. Buyers need a story and emotion, they need to get excited about a house or feel something. We look at design tips to reach this goal so you can sell your house faster.

ACT Tenancy Act Review – Proposed Changes

Map A.c.tThe A.C.T Government is considering a range of changes to the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 to achieve greater balance between the rights of landlords and tenants.

How to manage money as a cause of conflict in your relationship

money conflictMoney is a major source of conflict in personal relationships. Open and honest communication about financial goals and money habits is a useful strategy for minimising money arguments.

Things to consider before asking an employee to work overtime extra hours

overtimeAs an employer there are a number of issues to consider before asking an employee to work overtime.

Fraud and Undue Influence

deceptionFraud and undue influence are two factors that may negate a person’s otherwise valid consent to a Binding Financial Agreement. We look at a couple of examples of how these factors contributed to agreements being overturned.

Can you direct an employee to change shift arrangements without their Agreement?

Shift workerCheck with the staff members Award or employment agreement to determine what you can and cannot do in relation to shifts and changes to those shifts.

Getting help with tenancy issues in NSW

Disputes tenancts landlordsA NEW Tenancy Complaint Service launched by Fair Trading in New South Wales helps landlords, property managers and tenants resolve disputes when communication between the parties has broken down.

Australian Courts Rule electronic (and unsigned) Wills are valid

last willThe electronic age is throwing some interesting questions to the Court and prompting it to keep pace with modern culture. There have been a number of cases in Australia that have considered whether electronic or other non-paper forms of Will, are valid and enforceable.

Plan for the unexpected – how a Shareholder Buy / Sell agreement safeguards your companies future.

unexpectedIf you own and operate a business with others, have you considered what might happen if one of your partners died or were otherwise incapacitated? A Buy Sell Agreement allows you to plan for such unexpected events so you can safeguard your future.

8 things happily married couples do differently

CoupleWhile we increasingly have the freedom to select (and de-select) a partner without fearing the repercussions of societal stigma, divorce is still one of the most traumatic experiences a person might ever face. Consider these 8 ideas that increase the chances of your marriage lasting?

Declaring all relevant information in a Financial Agreement

full disclosureIt’s not unusual for partners to be unwilling at times to disclose all their personal financial information to the other party. However those feelings have to be put aside because it is a requirement of the law that each party to a financial agreement must make full and honest disclosure of all material matters.

Month by Month Leasing?

burning questionPeter sent in a burning question asking if it is legal to allow a new retail tenant to occupy a shop on a month to month basis in Victoria?

Why honesty is so important when leasing a property

Honesty is the best policy Honesty between the Landlord and the tenant allows the tenant to make an informed choice about whether they will accept the lease.

Why do you need a Landlord’s Disclosure Statement?

Disclosure StatementLandlords are required by law to provide a prospective tenant with a summary or disclosure statement of all the important terms of the proposed lease. We look at the reasons why it has to be done this way.

The Man, The Mistress and his Wife

Man Mistress WifeSome people really know how to get themselves into strife. Let’s take the example of Brian who recently left his wife and set up a new de facto relationship with his mistress of 11 years.

10 reasons for implementing flexible working arrangements

Flexinle working arrangementsBeing flexible as an employer helps to foster an atmosphere of “give and take” in the workplace. We look at 10 reasons why you should consider offering employees flexible working arrangements.

Can Employers use Social Media to assess candidates for a job position

Employer assessing Social mediaA growing number of employers admit to accessing the Facebook profiles of job candidates to more intimately assess their application – is this a good idea?

Fair Work Minimum Wage Decision 2014

Minimum Wage DecisionFair Work Australia have made a decision to increase minimum and award wages by 3% and this increase is effective from the first full pay period after 1 July 2014.

NEW – State Based Real Estate Property Kit

Investment PackIt’s taken several years to get all the documents together but we’ve finally done it. We’ve just launched our Property Investors Kit with a view to providing all of the documents you would need if you were prone to property investment.

Tax Office can access Family Court documents for tax purposes

TaxmanA recent case in the Family Court set the precedent of allowing the Australian Tax Office (and other bodies) to access family court documents for purposes unrelated to the court proceedings such as tax audits and assessments.

What you need to know about communicating with tenants so you can successfully deal with issues

Follow the rules when dealing with tenatsLandlords need to follow the rules set down by legislation when communicating with tenants so they can successfully deal with issues. We outline the correct procedures that you should follow.

It’s not Rocket Science, Just Follow the Rules

rocket scienceWhoever said “Ignorance is bliss” was not referring to being a Landlord. Landlords need to be informed and follow the rules set down by state legislation so they can deal with issues and tenants effectively.

Will a Financial Agreement work for us?

breakupWe look at the factors that determine if you can take the peaceful path to property settlement if you are separating.

Handling referral Arrangements

Handling referrer arrangementsMany business people rely on referrals to grow their customer base or supplement their income. When your reputation rests on the actions of another it’s important to put a framework in place to ensure smooth progress. We look at the key issues to consider when handling referral arrangements.

Are you paying your Employees Correctly

Paying employeesAward rates increase on a regular basis, usually annually. You need to be aware of these increases so you can pay your employees correctly. This article covers info about rates increases and list useful tools to help you get employee payments right.

Sham Contractor – FWO issues $60000 fine

Sham ContractingThe FWO recent against an employer serves as a warning to all businesses to review their relationships with independent contractors. We look at the details of the case and explain the difference between employees and contractors.

Exit Strategy Clauses work like a Fire Escape

Exit Strategy ClausesExit strategy clauses are like a fire a fire escape. They give you a way out of potentially damaging relationship or venture and just like in real life, your fire escape needs to be included when the building is planned and constructed. That is, you need to consider your exit strategy before you enter into the venture.

Pay your bills on time or risk black mark against your name – Credit report changes

credit report changesLearn about changes to the credit reporting system in Australia and how to check if your credit history has been affected.

Sick Leave 101

Sick or personal leaveIn Australia, sick leave is covered as a type of “personal leave” in the National Employment Standards.  Personal leave also includes carer’s leave and compassionate leave. This quick guide covers the essential facts that all employers should know about sick leave.

FWC Decision – 20 year old retail employees entitled to 100% of Adult wage

retail staffThe FWC has made a decision that 20 year old employees working under the Retail Industry Award are now entitled to 100% of the adult wage rather than 90%.

How to do bankruptcy and company searches for commercial transactions

company searchIn business, it is prudent to conduct targeted enquiries such as bankruptcy and company searches on the parties you are considering dealing with so you can make sure you are not exposing yourself to unnecessary risk.

Why do we need to get Legal Advice when making a Financial Agreement?

Why legal AdviceVideo explaining why a couple needs to get legal advice when entering into a Financial Agreement.

Changes to the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth.) 12 March 2014

Online privacyIs your business affected by the recent amendments to the national Privacy Act 1988 (Cth)? We outline the changes and who is affected.

Investing with family or friends – a match made in heaven or the fast track to hell?

investing with family or friendsTeaming up with family or friends to invest in property can be an astute financial move as long as you work out a plan for the potential pitfalls.

Family Court praises stay-at-home mother’s role and awards $22 million

mother childrenFamily Law Courts place a high value on the contribution of the Stay-at-home parent or homemaker as shown by the recent case Elgin & Elgin, who separated after 49 years of marriage.

Changes to NSW tenancy regulations – Window and Balcony Safety

window safetyThe tenancy regulations in NSW have been changed to prevent children falling from windows and balconies. <

Why your business needs a Social Media Policy – Info graphic

Social Media PolicyA Social Media Policy is a document that outline’s your company’s guidelines for the use of Social Media. This Info graphic explains why all employers should implement a Social Media Policy to protect their business.

Why delaying property settlement could end up costing you more than you bargained for

Property SettlementIt’s not uncommon for couples to break up without taking care of the paperwork. But if you’ve accumulated assets together then delaying property settlement can be a costly mistake.

Consumer Rights in Australia from ABC’s the Checkout

consumerThe ABC’s Checkout Program aired an excellent segment last night on the rights you have as a consumers rights when buying services, for example, plumbing, lawn mowing, cleaning, etc.

Farms and businesses sold as going concern to lose GST free status

blankThe government is set to remove the GST free status of farms and businesses sold as a going concern.

How to apply for a divorce

how to apply for a divorceIn Australia you can apply for a divorce if you have been separated for 12 months by lodging a divorce application form with the Family Court.

Evolving trend for workplace bullying laws

bullyingMany business leaders and HR professionals are overwhelmed by what is required to comply with the new Workplace Bullying laws. Workplace managers are increasingly expected to take greater responsibility for the management, education and prevention of workplace bullying.

How to sell an Investment Property while it is still tenanted

house for saleWhilst selling an investment Property that is tenanted can be more problematic than selling an empty house, it can be done if you follow a few simple rules.

How to Choose the Best Mortgage Broker

mortgage-brokerA good mortgage broker can be invaluable to your success in property investment so its pays to know how to choose the best one for your needs. We have a few tips that can help.

Using Financial Agreements saves you Stamp Duty on Property Transfer

Transfer property and save Stamp Duty Usually, when transferring ownership of property, you will attract a hefty stamp duty bill  –  even if you are simply taking one partner’s name off the Title but you can avoid paying these fees if you use a Financial Agreement.

Guide for Terminating Employees

Employee terminationWhen terminating or dismissing an employee, you need to make sure you comply with legislation, namely the Fair Work Act, 2009 and the National Employment Standards.

Correct Procedure for Terminating Employees – Social Media

Correct ProcedureIn a recent case before the Fair Work Commission (FWC), Credit Corp Group’s adherence to the correct protocol for employee terminations made it easier for the FWC to conclude that the dismissal of Cameron Little was lawful. They followed this procedure.

Social Media and Employment Court Cases

Social MediaTwo recent court cases Bradford Pedley v IPMS Pty Ltd T/A peckvonhartel and Naiman Clarke Pty Ltd v Marianna Tucciahighlight the pitfalls of employers allowing employees to use social media without having clear guidelines in place.

Employers warned – Courts take case of Sexual Harassment very seriously

harassmentAnother recent case highlights the need for employers to tread very carefully when dealing with allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace – employee awarded $466,000 in compensation and damages.

Same Sex Custody Case decided in Best Interests of Children

CustodyA custody battle between a same sex couple over custody rights to their two children conceived by IVF, was decided just like any other custody dispute.

Impact of the PPS Act on Small Business

Impact PPS Act on Small BusinessThe Personal Property Securities Act 2009 has now been in existence for about three years and many a cautionary tale is coming to fore about the dangers of not registering security interests in the PPSR and not having robust supply agreements to cover supply of good sold on credit.

Including spousal maintenance in your Financial Agreement

Spousal MaintenanceSpousal maintenance is the financial support provided to a party who is unable to adequately support themselves but it does not automatically apply. A couple making a financial agreement should include spousal maintenance (whether it is being paid or not) in order to avoid the issue being dealt with in court at a later date.

Don’t be fooled by Sham Warranties this Christmas

Warranty ScamsIt’s common place when buying electrical goods to be offered an extended warranty by enthusiastic salespeople. Did you know that Australian consumers are automatically entitled to certain warranties or guarantees for goods or services purchased making extended warranties unnecessary?

Beware – fake online reviews being targeted by ACCC

Fake Online reviews targeted by ACCCThe ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) is targeting and monitoring online reviews.   It has found that some businesses engage in sub-optimal practices of posting their own fake reviews, or paying others to post online reviews, about their products and services.

Uniforms – can you require your employees to pay for, and wear uniforms?

UniformsUnder the Fair Work Act, an employer cannot require an employee to spend their pay in relation to the performance of work, if the requirement is “unreasonable”.

Employer held responsible for the Sexual Harassment of an employee by another employee

Sexual harassment case Alexander Vs CapelloA recent case in the Federal Circuit Court highlights the importance of employers acting on complaints of sexual harassment by their employees.

Help for Small Business, Simpler Wages Calculation and focus on Education

Employment FWONatalie James, the Fair Work Ombudsman addressed the Australian Industry Group National Employment Conference on the 28th November 2013 and outlined the FWO’s plans for the future.

Types of PPSR Transactions

Types of PPSR transactionsWe look at the different types of transactions that require adherence to the PPSA.

When does the PPSA apply?

Ignorance is no excuseIt is necessary for the legal owner to register their interest in the goods on the PPS Register – having title to the goods is not enough, and ignorance is no excuse!

How does the PPSA (Personal Property and Securities Act) affect you?

Industries affected by PPSAThe PPS (Personal Property and Securities) Act works as a comprehensive code and framework governing securities taken over personal property. The manufacturing, wholesale and retail industries are most affected by these changes.

Info graphic – Expenses you can claim for your Rental Property

Investment Expenses InfographicIf you own a Commercial rental Property you can claim the following list of expenses as a tax deduction as long as the expenses were incurred during the period your property was rented or available for rent.

How to talk about a Cohabitation Agreement

Couple discussing cohabitation agreementOnce a relationship moves to the more serious phase of moving in together, then the more mundane practicalities of partnering up become important. Considering that money problems are the number one reason for relationship woes and breakups, it makes sense that a couple should learn to discuss finances.

Permitted use – commercial and retail leases

premitted useFor a landlord, a well worded permitted use definition allows you to maintain effective control over the premises and the way it will be used. You can make the permitted use as specific or as open as you wish.

Sexually Transmitted Debt Part 2

Talking about financesIn Part 1 we explained what an STD is and how they can occur, Part 2 looks at practical tips for avoiding them. The key tip is learning to communicate with your partner about financial matters and building trust before commingling finances.

Sexually Transmitted Debt Part 1

Sexually Transmitted DebtThe term “Sexually Transmitted Debt” is used to describe debt incurred by one party in a relationship on account of the other.  Women are more likely than men to incur an STD. Sexually transmitted debt usually takes one of the following ..

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