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Abstract from

Family Law, Involuntarily Separated Couples and their Property

Robyn Carroll is a Professor at the Law School at the University of Western Australia.  

This article considers the implications for parties to a marriage and their property when they are forced to separate as a result of ill health. This has particular relevance for elderly Australians who experience declining health accompanied by cognitive decline and loss of decision- making capacity. The potential for the property interests of the couples in these circumstances, to be altered by family law proceedings, has been confirmed by the High Court of Australia in Stanford v Stanford. The door to the Family Court is open for financial proceedings to be brought on behalf of a party to a marriage who no longer has the capac- ity to make financial decisions for him or herself and who has financial needs that cannot be met from their own property. The article examines the legal position of couples when third parties are contemplating the commencement of proceedings in the Family Court for financial orders. 

(2015) 33(2) Law in Context p87

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