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Brett Hartley
Works at Brett Hartley Mediations
Attended University of Queensland
Lives in Brisbane, Australia
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Brett Hartley

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April has come and gone and already we are a quarter way through 2014.  We recently had a case settled in Court after the first day of the Trial.  It was good that the matter had settled but sad that the matter got to a Trial.  It was one of those difficult matters.  A short marriage where one party brings in a lot of money and the other party does not bring in much.  There are often different and competing views and emotions can be high despite the shortness of the relationship.  Hurt can sometimes be greater when love goes wrong early I guess.
The Best Possible Manner. Details: Published on Tuesday, 13 May 2014 13:57. shutterstock 167024144. April has come and gone and already we are a quarter way through 2014. We recently had a case settled in Court after the first day of the Trial. It was good that the matter had settled but sad ...
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There is a long established principle in family law that once parenting Orders are made for the children, then parties do not have a unfettered  right to continue to file Applications and to litigate issues about their children.
Hartley Healy is a leading Australian specialist family law firm providing expert legal advice and guidance on separation and divorce, financial agreements, property settlements, defacto relationships and parenting orders.
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In relationships that are very short (say 1 – 5 years), we are often asked by people as to whether anyone has any entitlements.  The first thing to remember is that under Australian family law, there is no concept of separate and community property.  In other words, there is no automatic law or rule that excludes from the division process assets that each party brings to the relationship even if it is a very short relationship. 
#marriage   #divorce   #familylaw  
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"Celebrity Divorces and the Media"
It always seems that celebrity divorces make headlines wherever they occur in the world. Lately, we have heard about the Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes split. On a local front we have heard about the much publicised break up between Grant Hackett and his wife and we now have a reality show about Lara Bingle who previously had a much publicised break up from her former fiancé and captain of the Australian cricket team, Michael Clarke.

Also, more recently we have had the case of the four Italian girls removed from Italy by their mother who are now trying to stay in Australia and resist attempts for the return of the children to Italy pursuant to the Hague Convention.

What can be Reported in Australia?

In Australia, the reporting and publication of divorce proceedings is severely restricted due to the existence of Section 121 of the Family Law Act 1975. This section makes it an offence punishable by imprisonment for any person who publishes in a newspaper, by radio broadcast or television or by any other electronic means or otherwise disseminates to the public by any means any account of proceedings or part of proceedings that identifies a party to the proceedings or a person related to or associated with a party to proceedings or alleged to be in any way concerned with the proceedings and any witness in the proceedings.

The section is drafted in a wide manner and ramifications of its breach are severe.

Whilst there can be no doubt that the reporting of such high profile celebrity divorces and other controversial matters sells papers, the fact remains that in Australia we do have laws that severely limit the publication and dissemination of such information once proceedings commence in Court. Celebrities right to privacy with family law matters

Thinking of the Children

There are many reasons and justification for such restrictions to be applied in relation to Family Law Court proceedings. First and foremost, children are the innocent victims of divorce. The fact is that children do not want their parents to separate and usually desire both of their parents to be together. They do not have the maturity and understanding to grasp what is really going on between their parents nor do they wish to understand such complicated dynamics.

The reporting of a child’s parent’s dispute in Court and the dissemination of this to the public causes enormous stress and has profound psychiatric impacts upon children. They could be ridiculed by classmates and they then become a pawn in a much bigger game rather than the sad dispute between their parents.

Keeping things Confidential
In our opinion, all separations between couples in any relationship should be kept highly confidential and discrete. The reason for this is that separations are sad and highly personal. We never know the real reasons and motivations behind an individual’s decision to separate. In fact, it is none of our business as to why individuals separate and as to what goes on in their relationship.

As members of the public, what right do we have to know about the personal conduct of one spouse towards another or as to why their marriage broke up? Is it something that will provide benefit to us by knowing this? – Of course not.

Therefore, although many in the public would no doubt like to hear these sordid details about every proceeding before the Family Court, we thankfully have a set of laws that makes that almost impossible to occur.
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Brett Hartley

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Celebrity Divorces and the Media

It always seems that celebrity divorces make headlines wherever they occur in the world. Lately, we have heard about the Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes split. On a local front we have heard about the much publicised break up between Grant Hackett and his wife and we now have a reality show about Lara Bingle who previously had a much publicised break up from her former fiancé and captain of the Australian cricket team, Michael Clarke.

Also, more recently we have had the case of the four Italian girls removed from Italy by their mother who are now trying to stay in Australia and resist attempts for the return of the children to Italy pursuant to the Hague Convention.


What can be Reported in Australia?

In Australia, the reporting and publication of divorce proceedings is severely restricted due to the existence of Section 121 of the Family Law Act 1975. This section makes it an offence punishable by imprisonment for any person who publishes in a newspaper, by radio broadcast or television or by any other electronic means or otherwise disseminates to the public by any means any account of proceedings or part of proceedings that identifies a party to the proceedings or a person related to or associated with a party to proceedings or alleged to be in any way concerned with the proceedings and any witness in the proceedings.

The section is drafted in a wide manner and ramifications of its breach are severe.

Whilst there can be no doubt that the reporting of such high profile celebrity divorces and other controversial matters sells papers, the fact remains that in Australia we do have laws that severely limit the publication and dissemination of such information once proceedings commence in Court. Celebrities right to privacy with family law matters


Thinking of the Children

There are many reasons and justification for such restrictions to be applied in relation to Family Law Court proceedings. First and foremost, children are the innocent victims of divorce. The fact is that children do not want their parents to separate and usually desire both of their parents to be together. They do not have the maturity and understanding to grasp what is really going on between their parents nor do they wish to understand such complicated dynamics.

The reporting of a child’s parent’s dispute in Court and the dissemination of this to the public causes enormous stress and has profound psychiatric impacts upon children. They could be ridiculed by classmates and they then become a pawn in a much bigger game rather than the sad dispute between their parents.


Keeping things Confidential
In our opinion, all separations between couples in any relationship should be kept highly confidential and discrete. The reason for this is that separations are sad and highly personal. We never know the real reasons and motivations behind an individual’s decision to separate. In fact, it is none of our business as to why individuals separate and as to what goes on in their relationship.

As members of the public, what right do we have to know about the personal conduct of one spouse towards another or as to why their marriage broke up? Is it something that will provide benefit to us by knowing this? – Of course not.

Therefore, although many in the public would no doubt like to hear these sordid details about every proceeding before the Family Court, we thankfully have a set of laws that makes that almost impossible to occur.
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Is your family lawyers a "details" person? If not, then you should seriously think about changing Lawyers.  One of the principle features that distinguishes good Family Lawyers from ordinary ones is not necessarily their huff bluster, nor is it their intellect.  In most cases, it is their attention to detail that makes a difference.  
Read more at http://www.hhfamilylaw.com.au/is-your-family-lawyer-a-qdetailsq-person.html 
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I used to judge my successes in family law in the earlier years by how many Trials I had and how often I was in Court.  Now it is totally the opposite.  This year I have only been to Court twice.  I think it has been a very successful year so far. 
Read my blog at www.bretthartley.com.au
Early 2014. Details: Created on Friday, 11 April 2014 14:00. shutterstock 160154807 It has been a busy start to the year for us at Hartley Healy in 2014. We are very pleased at the moment to have a very established and capable team. Besides myself and Joe Healy, we now have three other senior ...
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283 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane Queensland 4000
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#Taxation and Realisation Costs in #Financial Property Settlements

In any property dispute or financial settlement, it is very important to remember that inherent taxes and realisation costs are not necessarily taken up by the Court and deducted from the pool of assets.

For example, if you own three investment properties and want to retain those investment properties as part of your settlement then you will not be able to deduct any capital gains tax from the pool of the matrimonial assets. This is because, the Family Court has made it clear that unless the tax or realisation costs must necessarily be incurred as part of the settlement then such costs will not be deducted from the pool of assets.

This can have major ramifications for clients who believe during settlement negotiations that the other party and/or the Court will always deduct the capital gains tax.

A similar situation can apply to the retained earnings within a company. If a dividend has not yet been declared at the time of settlement or at the Trial then the value of the shares in that company may be valued on a basis that it will not take up future tax upon declaration of dividends or future winding up of the company.finance, money and property settlements

The Crucial First Step of Property Settlement
It is important to remember that the first step in any property settlement is a crucial one. That step involves identifying and valuing all of the assets and financial resources of each of the parties at the current date. Part of that exercise always involves identifying liabilities including tax liabilities and other debts of the parties.

A good Specialist Family Law Solicitor will always look to identify hidden taxes and realisation costs that may exist within a pool of assets at an early stage. This then will allow the client to work with their solicitor and also their accountant or financial advisor to look at what can be done to structure their settlement in such a way that provides the best outcome for them.

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The Hague Convention and the Removal of Children From Overseas Countries

The recent case involving the four Italian girls being removed by their mother from Italy to Australia has certainly generated a lot of public debate and interest.

We have received many questions and queries from clients and also from friends and associates about what has happened and what will happen.

What is the Hague Convention?
As a modern country, we can be proud of the fact that we are a signatory to the Hague Convention in relation to the international abduction of children. This is a convention signed by many civilised countries around the world that was put in place to ensure the prompt return of children to their place of habitual residence if they are wrongly removed from that county. In other words, the Hague Convention does not decide the merits of a custody dispute. The convention says that a parent does not have a right to wrongfully remove children who are habitually resident in that country to another country unilaterally and get away with it. If they do that than the Convention requires that the children simply be returned to that country so that due process and the laws in that country can be applied to the children.Children and the Hague Convention

International Movement of Children
In Australia, we are rightfully outraged when children are taken by a parent and secreted off to a non-convention country. There have been many cases where mothers have had their children taken overseas by wealthy fathers and secreted in countries that are not a signatory to the Hague Convention. Usually, these countries provide little recognition for the rights of women and as such, we as the public are usually outraged when this occurs.

A similar outrage should be felt by the public when the opposite occurs. That is, when children are residing and habitually living in another modern country and are removed from that country to our country without due process taking place in the overseas country.

There are exceptions and defences under the Hague Convention to oppose the automatic return to the habitual country of residence. No doubt, in the case involving the four Italian girls, they are placing their hopes upon those exceptions and defences especially the ones relating to the wishes of the children.

The Rights of Children
Australia is also a signatory to the International Convention on the rights of children and we can be proud of not only our international stance but also our Federal Laws which recognise the rights of children. Children do have a right to be heard and to be listened to in relation to any dispute regarding their parents. However, once again there are specific laws and processes to be followed in relation to how that occurs.

It is not for us or anyone to judge what has happened in the sad case involving the four Italian girls. However, it needs to be understood that the Court here is not deciding the custody issues regarding the children. If the Court here does order the return of the children then that is what the Court simply does. It orders the return of the children to Italy. The Court here will not award long term custody to the father or the mother. That will be a matter for the Italian Courts if and when it occurs.


Written by Brett Hartley
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Brett Hartley, a Partner and Senior Family Lawyer of Hartley Healy, has practiced exclusively in Family Law since 1989
Introduction

Brett is nationally recognised as a leading expert in Family Law complex property matters and valuation of property.  Brett has been a contributing author to the CCH Australian Family Law and Practice publication.He authored part of the “ Property Settlement ” section and the “ Valuation of Property & Business ” section.

Brett is also recognised as a leading expert on superannuation splitting laws.  Brett was previously invited by the Securities Institute of Australia to join their industry reference group to prepare and oversee the development of the Superannuation Module for their advanced diploma in financial services (Financial Planning).  Brett was responsible for writing the module section dealing with family law aspects of superannuation”.

Brett expertise in Family Law is also recognized by many national media commentators. In December 2003, Brett was interviewed by The Weekend Financial Review regarding a proposed overhaul of the Australian Family Law System. Brett was also interviewed by Sydney Radio 2UE on this subject. In November 2002, Brett was interviewed and quoted in an in-depth article on the new Super Splitting Laws in The Weekend Australian Newspaper. Brett Hartley was interviewed by Justine Harris for Tribeca's Professional Development Video Session on "Financial Planning for Divorce" in March 2005. This interview was subsequently distributed to 20,000 Financial Advisers across Australia.



Disclaimer: Brett Hartley's Google+ page does not give legal advice. 
The information on this website, together with the posts, blogs and shared links is produced by Brett Hartley, Hartley Healy Lawyers and staff. It provides general information only on relevant topics of interest in relation to Family Law current at the time it is produced. No reliance should be placed on such general information as contained on this site and in the information sheets and legal advice should be sought about the particular circumstances of your particular case. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Education
  • University of Queensland
    Bachelors of Commerce/ Laws
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Gender
Male
Work
Occupation
Accredited Specialist in Family Law
Employment
  • Brett Hartley Mediations
    Director, present
    Brett Hartley is a Nationally Accredited Mediator and is passionate about helping parties settle their family law dispute and avoiding the uncertainty of Court, delay, costs and stress of the family law system.
  • Hartley Healy Family Law Specialist
    Director, present
    In 1998, Brett opened his own law firm, Hartley Family Law Service, an Australian legal firm practising exclusively in family law and de facto law. Brett established the firm to meet the needs of people experiencing the breakdown of their relationship, providing them access to a firm where their matter would be handled with a high degree of privacy and specialist expertise. Joe Healy became a partner with Brett on 1 July 2005 and the firm changed its name to Hartley Healy in September 2006
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Currently
Brisbane, Australia
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+61 7 3220 1299
Address
Level 2, 283 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia
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