Your Mini-Guide To Drug Laws In Australia

No matter whether your relationship with illegal drugs is you have never used them and never will, you are someone who has gone through drug rehab, you have helped a loved one escape their drug addiction, or you may even have been in prison for drugs offenses,  your knowledge of drugs laws is going to be different to everyone else’s.

It is true to say that if most people were to be quizzed on drug laws in Australia, most would fail the test. That is not said as a criticism but to point out the fact that unless you or someone you care for has an issue with drug use or addiction or you work within the legal profession, there is little need for you to know the intricacies of drug laws in this country.

However, as with any subject, it does no harm to know the basics, so we have created a simple and easy-to-follow guide to drug laws in Australia. We hope you find it helpful, and even more so, we hope you are never on the wrong side of any of those laws. Read More

What Are the Time Limits in Relation to a Divorce?

Time limits typically apply to family law proceedings when it comes to property settlements. When separating from a partner, it helps to make a note of the separation date and advise it to your divorce lawyers before moving on with the court proceedings.

After a couple opting for divorce have acquired a divorce order to end their marriage, it’s important to understand that it doesn’t formally end their marriage, but rather starts a 12-month time limit between them. It allows both spouses enough time to resolve their financial matters like spousal maintenance and property settlement.

If they’re unable to commence court proceedings within that time limit, they could lose the right to do so and hence might not get what they’re entitled to under the Family Law Act of 1975.

Time Limits Vary for Divorce and Separation

There are different time limits for married couples and de facto couples. For example, if a pair is in a de facto relationship, then they have to finalise a property settlement after a separation of two years.

As we said earlier, the time limit for marriages is 12 months after a divorce, but if you happen to be outside those limitations, you need to convince the court that there could be hardship on you if they do not accept your application. Read More

Repercussions Of Breaching A Family Order

When a family court issues a family order, it needs to be regarded with extreme seriousness. As your family lawyer, and even a criminal lawyer, will tell you, the repercussions of breaching family orders can be severe.

If you do not have children, nor have ever divorced, you may be wondering what a family order is, so let us explain. They are issued by a judge in the Family Court as rulings on matters that relate to a child, or children, normally when that child’s parent separate or divorce. Family orders apply whether the child’s parents were married, or in a de facto relationship.

The sorts of ruling that a family order will apply to, includes which of the two parents the child will live with, the criteria that apply with regards to the absent parent’s visitation rights, and one of the most important, is who has parental responsibility which, unless there are other factors which exist, will normally be held jointly by both parents.

In many cases, a Family Court will issue a family order when, despite the best efforts of their respective family lawyers, the couple has been unable to reach an agreement as it applies to their children. For this reason, it will undoubtedly be made clear to each parent that they must abide by the family order.

As the family order applies to both parents, then theoretically it is possible that both of them could breach it, in different ways. The reality, however, that in cases where a family order has been breached, it tends to only one of the parents which do so. Read More

What Your Rights Are Regarding Police Searches?

One aspect of law in Australia which criminal lawyers are often asked about relates to police searches, and in particular, what an individual’s rights are if the police wish to search them.

Queries relating to when the police can search you, what they can search, and what the rules are, are most common, so we shall try to answer these as best we can.

First, we need to outline the differences between the types of searches the police can conduct, as each has a specific set of regulations. The two distinct search types are personal search, and property search, and whilst they might seem self-explanatory, let us try to eliminate any confusion as to what they each mean.

Personal searches are those which the police conduct with respect to the clothing you are wearing, and as well as requiring you to remove clothing in order to search you, body cavities can also be searched. Property searches are those which are conducted in your home or your vehicle.

Whether the police wish to carry out a personal or a property search, you do have rights, and one of the core ones is the right to remain silent. Other than providing the police with your name and address, you do not need to say anything, and that includes answering questions, which police often ask as searches are being conducted.

Another important principle is that the police cannot simply demand that they search you, your home, or your vehicle except in specific circumstances. These include when they have a warrant to conduct the search, or in scenarios where the law grants them the right to search without a warrant.

For personal searches, these scenarios include when they suspect that you are about to commit an offence, to protect a young person, to look for items associated with a crime, or to ensure the security of public places.

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What is a Parenting Order?

In Australia, parents who split have to make decisions relating to the welfare of their children, and this is often done with the support of family lawyers. This might include creating a parenting plan which is a mutual arrangement that parents agree upon to determine how they can best care for and nurture their children, even though they are no longer married, or living together

You can provide any detail that you’d like in your parenting plan, however, if you are unsure what you should be adding, you should consult a family lawyer. A family lawyer will help you better understand your legal rights and duties and clarify how the law is applicable in your matter.

Typically, the parental plans always have at least a few of the following details:

  • Which parent the child is going to live with
  • A schedule indicating days and times for visitation for the absent parent
  • How and when the parents will communicate with the child
  • How parents divide parenting responsibilities and make choices about the child
  • Financial structures for children
  • Who the child can stay in contact with while the child is with each parent

A parental order may also include guidelines and rules that prevent a parent from taking a particular course of action or behaving in certain ways. This might be a rule stating that ridiculing or insulting the other parent while speaking to the child is not acceptable. Another example might be that a parent must not visit the other parent’s residence without a request or invite.

The Family Law Act offers guidelines on the areas that the parenting order can address. Live with orders which state who the child primarily lives with. Orders can relate to how much time the child can spend with each parent. It can also include others such as the child’s grandparents. Read More

The 7 Clauses Of A Commercial Loan Agreement

It comes as a surprise to some when they are told that the vast majority of businesses that exist require credit from time to time, ranging from complex commercial loans to simple ’30 days to pay’ lines of credit from their suppliers. While getting your supplier to allow a month to pay is a relatively simple exercise, obtaining a commercial loan usually is not, and normally requires a commercial lawyer to advise upon it.

The reason is that commercial loans are given within the framework of legally binding obligations on both the bank that is lending and the business which is borrowing. The loan agreement is likely to be prepared and created by the lender, therefore it is imperative that the business or the individual who is committing to the commercial loan fully understands what the terms and their obligations are.

For a start within a commercial loan agreement, there tend to be several key clauses. These usually number seven, however, each bank may have additional clauses based on the specifics of the loan. If we stick with the standard seven clauses, here is a brief explanation of what each of them is and what they mean.

Introductory Clause

This is found in most legally binding agreements and in the case of a commercial loan agreement basically contains the basic information relating to the lender and the borrower such as their names, addresses, and any relevant dates pertaining to the agreement.

Interpretation Clause

This is basically included to ensure that there is no ambiguity with regards to the terminology and the phraseology used throughout the loan agreement. It can include a definition of what each term means, similar to a glossary. Read More