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About Me

Patrick Earl Armstrong Doessel Stevenson Lawyers (LPH)

Current Rating: 4.8 / 5
Lawyer
Legal Practice Holdings
ADSLaw.com.au
Stafford, Queensland
0730883777
Patrick’s impressive history in Family Law and Commercial Litigation proves he’s there to fight the good fight for you – no matter what the issue…

When it comes to a Family Law matter, Patrick likes to do things a little differently. Patrick likes to let you decide on your budget. In fact, Patrick prefers to keep you matter out of court where possible, which in turn saves you a lot of money.

Patrick Earl developed the “Family Law Five” (click here for his Family Law Five Brochure). The Family Law Five are the five main elements you will need to safely navigate the potentially turbulent Family Law waters ahead of every person experiencing a relationship breakdown.

“Family Law matters can be hard, but they don’t need to be overwhelming…”

Patrick is the Legal Pratictioner Director of Legal Practice Holdings (which trades as Armstrong Doessel Stevenson Lawyers and also as MyCRA lawyers).

My Activity

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Q: Can you get arrested and charged for driving with a disqualified license?
A: yes
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Q: We have been trying to find out if there is a limit to how much we can gift our eldest son and remain tax free. We have been getting mixed messages as it is a significant amount, is there a limit… thanks in advance
A: Thanks Brendan, as lawyer I know enough to know to say "see an accountant".
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Q: We have been trying to find out if there is a limit to how much we can gift our eldest son and remain tax free. We have been getting mixed messages as it is a significant amount, is there a limit… thanks in advance
A: You should check to see if it affects you in relation to any government benefits because Centrelink, for instance, may put limits on what it will permit.
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Q: Hi!
My youngest sister has been Granted Letters of Administration for my dad’s estate. His house is the only asset left to distribute. It’s equally owned amongst 4 siblings. 3 of us have cleaned and emptied it, ready to sell. One of my siblings is a meth addict and has since moved in to the house, without our consent. Looking for recommendations on how to go forward. We need to sell and we need to get them out to do that. I don’t know where we stand legally as we’re all equal beneficiaries. Can we force them out if they refuse to leave?
A: I would suggest that you consult a lawyer. You can get orders for the sale of the house and removal of the sibling via the Court if that becomes necessary but I would talk to a lawyer and see what less drastic options are available.
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Q: Legal question in regards to curfew. Family member has had a curfew in place for past several months. Lately there have been several times where they have had more than one visit per night from the police. Is this something that is normal?
A: This is a question for a lawyer in Western Australia familiar with the relevant criminal law rules. I would expect that the family member has their own lawyer given they have ongoing matters. You should direct your enquiry to them because they will know what’s been discussed with the police and/or the courts. Failing which you may be able to get assistance from a community legal service but the questions are fairly specific to the individual circumstances of your family member.
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Q: My husband should be treated as an employee , he is employed as a subcontractor , he is carpenter . His boss has not paid into super or PAYG. So he not paid tax this year. He works full time and on an hourly rate , uses his own car and tools for the job- he invoices his boss weekly and provides an ABN . What should he do.
A: As a first step I would recommend that you look at the fairwork.gov.au website page on the difference between contractors and employees https://www.fairwork.gov.au/find-help-for/independent-contractors. There is, among other things, a fact sheet to help you at https://www.fairwork.gov.au/how-we-will-help/templates-and-guides/fact-sheets/rights-and-obligations/independent-contractors-and-employees

You should then look at the business.gov.au website for further information at https://www.business.gov.au/people/contractors/independent-contractors.

Once you have got a better idea of the basic information you should consult with the Fair Work Ombudsman or with a lawyer.
As from 1 January 2010, the Tasmanian Government's powers for industrial relations were transferred to the Commonwealth. All workplaces in the private sector, who up until this time were in the state system (sole traders, partnerships etc), moved into the national scheme (Fair Work Act 2009). So a lawyer in Queensland, like me, is dealing with the same laws that you have in Tasmania.

Patrick Earl
Senior Solicitor
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Q: Regarding Wills.
Wishing to make out a will and living in Queensland. Do I have to include my children in the will. I would prefer not to mention them but was told that legally I cannot exclude them from my will.
Many Thanks
Diane
A: As a general rule you should always seek legal advice from a solicitor. If you are planning to leave everything to your spouse and don’t see why you should mention your children, you should include the children in case your spouse dies before you do. If you aren’t leaving anything to a child or any of your children you will need to consider carefully your position. You should discuss this with a lawyer. You should be aware that in Queensland a child who feels they should have been included in the will can bring an application for what is now called “family provision” which was previously called an application for “testator’s family maintenance.” It is a reasonably complex area of law but you can get a very general background here, before you sit down to speak with a lawyer for more specific advice. https://queenslandlawhandbook.org.au/the-queensland-law-handbook/contracts-money-and-property/wills-and-estates/contesting-a-will/ and
http://www.hearsay.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1472&Itemid=4

Patrick Earl
Senior Solicitor
Armstrong Doessel Stevenson Lawyers
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Q: I have a question. If I built a granny flat at the back of my land and want to place a covenant which prohibits any future owners from building more than a single storey dwelling house, how would I incorporate this into my title?
A: If you build a granny flat at the back of your land, and you keep the granny flat as part of your land, you would control any use of the land including modifications to the granny flat. If you plan to sell off the granny flat section of your land and create a new parcel of land with the granny flat on it you would need to speak with your local solicitor first before you start doing anything. You should get legal advice on anything involving a proposed covenant on your land.
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Q: Hi. Is child support calculated from gross income or taxible income? Cheers
A: According to the Child Support Agency website:
We calculate each parent’s child support income. This is a parent’s adjusted taxable income minus a self-support amount and any relevant dependant allowance. For more information about relevant dependant allowances, go to child support assessments and second families. https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/child-support/child-support-assessment/how-we-work-out-your-assessment/assessments-parents-second-families
Patrick Earl
Lawyer
Legal Practice Holdings
ADSLaw.com.au
Stafford, Queensland
0730883777
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Q: I have a question. Why does the Victorian Government resume land and the Commonwealth acquire land? Is it because the constitution states that the states resume land and the Commonwealth acquires it; the Crown is properly represented by the Commonwealth in matters relating to land or the power to hold all land is vested in the States as a residual power after the creation of the Commonwealth? I'd appreciate any clarity on this matter.
A: Without looking into it into much detail I think you will find that the land technically belongs to each of the states who Federated together to form the Commonwealth of Australia. Each of the state governments can take back land from the person occupying it by resuming it. If the Commonwealth wants to get land it has to acquire it because it never had it to start with. When the Commonwealth was brought into existence all the land belonged to the various states and they never gave it to the Commonwealth.

Technically no one owns the land they occupy, you have it as a form of tenancy from the government. In Queensland, for instance, you may hold it in fee simple, the full meaning of which will take longer than I have to spend on this answer, but essentially means that the only people who can take your land is the government.
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Q: I have a horrible credit rating and currently unemployed but I need finance for my next venture. I have more than enough equity in my home for what I need but who or how do I go about getting a loan, who should I be looking to speak with?
A: I would agree with Irana that you should make sure that you’re dealing with lawyers. Credit Repair really does require legal knowledge and skills. I have to say that Irana should be pretty good at her job since we helped train her and I moved her admission so, full disclosure, I may be biased.
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Q: Is anyone able to give advice about whether consent orders can protect me from future spousal maintenance claims by my ex-husband, or is a separate financial agreement needed for that?
A: The first question is whether or not you have divorced because time limits apply for married couples who want to settle property issues after they divorce. Wherever possible I recommend consent orders because they are more resilient. Consent orders can deal with spousal maintenance issues. For more specific advice you will need to consult a family lawyer like *cough* me.
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Q: Me = separated from ex for 2 years ( but not divorced )

We have our marital home in Brisbane ( Wakerley 4154 ) sitting empty for sale since Feb 1 . We had one offer for 710 K and all other offers under 700 K .

My ex refused the offer for 710 K insisting that it is worth 725 + K and more like 745 K .

No more offers coming in .

She is offering to drop the price if I give her 60/40 split or if I change from current real estate to purple bricks who offer less commission which I don’t agree to either .

In the mean while we are both paying $1200 each per month on a dead mortgage and other associated costs Eg rates .

How do I force a sale for market price just to get closure ?
A: If you can't agree on the value of an asset, you either agree to sell it or have it properly valued, usually paying the valuer 50/50 each. As to the specifics of your matter you really should consult a lawyer who does family law. *cough* like me. There are different ways to force the sale so you need to discuss options with a lawyer.
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Q: I'm getting divorced, I moved out of the family home about 12 months ago and my ex has kept living there. It's taken us this long to work through all the negotiations for the financial consent orders and agree on a settlement. Soon he'll buy me out of the house we lived in together and he'll also transfer some of his superannuation into my super fund. Will I need to pay capital gains tax on either of those?
A: Make sure you talk to your lawyer to check you are making a fair arrangement in light of the law and also to avoid stamp duty and any other issues.
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Q: Ok sports fans...

State of Origin - NSW or QLD?
A: Tonight I will be studying Iberian swordsmanship in Brisbane. But I can say, as someone who is not a major Rugby league follower- QUEENSLANDER!!!!
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Q: My husband is set on buying a handy man franchise costing us $40,000 to join. He is very good around house and I think he can do it himself but he thinks he needs support and the brand. For us it is a lot of money and how do we know they will support him with new customers?
A: Also, be aware of any "guarunteed work" promises. I would get a lawyer to check the fine print. I would read this first- https://www.accc.gov.au/business/industry-codes/franchising-code-of-conduct
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Q: Hi, ....been offered a job as a contracted courier not employee. I have to get an ABN but not sure about things like super, holidays and the taxes. I’d like to get some advice on all the questions I should be asking the business?
A: You should be aware of issues like ones set out in this article- https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/2017-media-releases/november-2017/20171114-z-transport-boxbay-penalty The Fair Work Ombudsman investigated the companies after a bicycle courier, aged in his late 20s, lodged a complaint.

Fair Work Inspectors found that the courier was treated as a contractor, despite Z Transport and Boxbay being aware that his correct classification was as an employee.

The courier was paid a low contract rate based on the jobs he performed - but as an employee, he was entitled to receive employee entitlements under the Road Transport and Distribution Award, including minimum wages and leave entitlements.

This resulted in the courier being underpaid $7641 between February and November, 2013.

The Fair Work Ombudsman subsequently commenced legal action and Boxbay admitted in Court that it contravened sham contracting laws when it engaged the courier as a contractor to perform duties for Z Transport. Z Transport admitted being involved in that contravention.
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Q: Hi, ....been offered a job as a contracted courier not employee. I have to get an ABN but not sure about things like super, holidays and the taxes. I’d like to get some advice on all the questions I should be asking the business?
A: You should talk to a local lawyer with experience in employment law.
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Q: Hi, sadly two family members are laying claims to items that weren’t identified in a will. Is it up to them to sort it out, can others in the family get involved or should it just be left to the executor to make a decision?
A: I think you will find that the executor should be responsible as it is their task to collect in and then distribute the estate.
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Q: Hi. My husband and I have agreed to separate after a ten year marriage. For the past five years I have been a business partner for our painting business. Admittedly he put in most of the hard yards and is definitely the boss !! Since I have been his business partner I have not earned a wage yet now he is basically saying I am entitled to nothing financial when I leave. I don't want to take him to cleaners but surely this can't be right ?
A: I think you should talk to a family lawyer. They will be able to explain a number of things about how property settlements work. You should ask your lawyer about your entitlements not your soon to be ex husband. We are in Brisbane and can chat over the phone but you may want to chat to someone more local.
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Q: Having recently sold my house with a pool I’ve now had the new owners come to
Me and say the pool has been leaking I agreed to go halves in having someone come and assess it. The results bring it has a crack somewhere on the outside but inside the pool area like from a tree or something. So now there trying to make me pay for pulling all the tiles up etc.
How does the law work for all this.
I thought that’s what they had inspectors for etc ?
A: You should consult a local lawyer. There are some specific issues that need to be addressed before advice can be given.
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Q: I paid an invoice in July 17 and the company has today contacted me to advise that accountant just completed their annual audit and discovered that their invoice was incorrect and that I owe the business $AUD 600. Do I have to pay this? If yes, the invoice I was provided with today only gives me 2 1/2 days to pay which i find completely unreasonable. What would be reasonable?
A: I would have a chat to your friendly lawyer. I would be cautious about paying this account and my first response would be to say that the invoice was rendered and paid and the matter is now closed. Does the company have an agreement with you whereby they can review the price subsequently? Was there any obvious error in the calculation of the invoice so that there was mutual misunderstanding? I think that you would probably find that 2 ½ days to pay an invoice that should have been dealt with last year is very much unreasonable if the error has only just been discovered. Presumably you had no input into the error being made? There may however be specific details which impact on the advice so I would recommend that you discuss it with a lawyer but certainly you would have good grounds to have that conversation. Assuming that you are in business you should be able to claim your legal fees as a tax deduction.
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Q: I hold a health care card for my 14 year old daughter and I receive the carers allowance from Centrelink....does this make me eligible for a reduced court fee when filing for divorce?
A: Health care card may be sufficient but it may also questions about your husbands finances if you are lodging a joint divorce application. The Court has a pretty helpful phone service if you are prepared to risk the wait- it can be pleasantly short but not always....
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Q: I hold a health care card for my 14 year old daughter and I receive the carers allowance from Centrelink....does this make me eligible for a reduced court fee when filing for divorce?
A: http://www.familycourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fcoaweb/reports-and-publications/publications/fees/guidelines-for-exemption-of-court-fees


You are entitled to apply for an exemption of court fees – General if:
you hold any of the following cards issued by the Department of Human Services: health care card, pensioner concession card, Commonwealth seniors health card or any other card issued by the Department of Human Services or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs that certifies your entitlement to Commonwealth health concessions
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Q: I was recently involved in an accident. It was on a wet day after a long dry spell so roads were slippery. After entering a roundabout we lost control of our car came to a stop but the person behind ran into us. We are uninsured because our car was an old car not worth insuring. We have received a claim from the other persons insurance. Are we liable to pay their costs? In my opinion it was an unfortunate accident although I do believe the other person had time to stop.
A: You should speak to a lawyer in your locality
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Q: We have recently exchanged and completed on the purchase of a property and now find that we will not informed of the correct boundary lines and the land area is not what we were told. What can we do??
A: As a lawyer I suggest you talk to a lawyer.
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Q: Im landlord whose tenant died in the property - no family - no will. State Trustees and Consumer Affairs are involved. His belongings (a mess) have to be kept by law for 90 days - Who is legally liable to pay for his belongings to be collected and stored? His executors? State Trustees?
A: As a first step I would be contacting State Trustees Vic. These costs may well constitute the debts of the estate. If you can't get any joy I would then speak with a solicitor.
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Q: Where can i appeal against the decision of a Deed Administrator (Deed of Company Administration) about my claim against a company? The Administrator was appointed by the Company. If we also want to complain the Administrator, which authority should we approach? The Administrator, the Company and us are based in Sydney, NSW.
A: You should talk to a lawyer. The deed of company arrangement is governed by the Corporations Act. For example s 600A of the Corporations Act allows the Court to set aside a resolution where the outcome of voting has been determined by a related entity of the company in administration.
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Q: Hi could someone help.i have on going common law claim insurance company for 2nd defendant managed to get off the record regarding indemnity issues .now my lawyers tell me they don't no what to do next.?
A: I think you will need to talk to a lawyer. This is not an area that a non lawyer is likely to be able to help you with. Your new adviser is going to have to be able to read all the court documents filed in the case so far to get across what has happened. There will be details in the documents that will make more sense to the lawyer.
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Q: If I have signed a Disclosure Statement for a commercial property but not a lease, am I bound to anything?
The Conveyancer is trying to tell me that:
"you have signed a disclosure statement that bounds you to the agreement" but I have yet to sign a lease. Can they hold me to anything?
A: I would suggest that you consult a local lawyer to address this question.
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Q: Can I legally include a private transaction that was made by me several months before the date I founded my business in my company tax return?
A: As a lawyer I think I can clearly say that that's a question for an accountant
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Q: Hi , I'm having trouble getting payment from a company that I have completed work for, what are the best ways to make them pay? Thanks josh
A: You should consult with a lawyer. There are a number of options available to you depending on a number of factors such as how much is the debt? Has it been disputed? Where are you and the company based? What is the nature of the debt? Your lawyer will be able to step you through the options.
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Q: Can you please tell me if older brother is the main person to our father's estate, if any details decisions are to be made, does he not have to consult the rest of his siblings concerning renting our dad's house out. As no one consults me on anything?
A: There is more information needed to be able to answer this. I suggest you consult a lawyer and take with you any documents you have including the will. You are probably entitled to get a copy of the will for yourself ( you are in Queensland, I have not checked WA laws).
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Q: My husband and I recently had a business which only lasted 18 months (wrong timing). We have poured alot of money into this business and find it hard to believe we will not receive anything back tax wise. We are not really sure how this works. Can somebody please explain this to me like i'm a 2 year old. Is he able to claim anything back through his personal tax?
A: I am but a simple lawyer so I can't give tax advice, you need to talk to an accountant. The question of what you can claim back with the business is really an area where you need to talk to an expert and in this case an accountant. I would be cautious about taking advice from someone who isn't an accountant because you don't want to get tax issues wrong because then you do need to talk to a lawyer. :)
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Q: I bought a car under finance with registration and insurance.
Gave it too my daughter under the arrangement that she will pay fortnightly installment,she changed the registration into her name and no longer pay instalments

Because the finance company has got the loan under make/model/registration of that car,have I got rights too repossess the vehicle?
A: You should consult with a solicitor and bring with you all of the papers and paperwork that you have for this matter. The lawyer will want to see everything that passed between you and your daughter if you discussed the arrangement on email or skype or text message. You should get on to this quickly if the loan is getting into default.
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Q: Hi, my Dad wants me to be a trustee and beneficiary for a property he wants to buy in Tasmania and live in it. I get no benefit from the transaction. No rental income...nothing. What am I obligated to do if I do go ahead with this? I would have to declare this on my tax but if I'm not receiving rental income, what's the benefit? What am I also liable for if anything goes wrong? Thanks
A: As a trustee you have legal obligations that you should consider carefully before agreeing to become trustee. You should discuss this with a lawyer before taking any positive step.
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Q: Hi there I am going to tribunal for the costs of carpet replacement and cleaning fees in a house we vacated a couple of months ago. We are happy to pay a % of carpet replacement but we think the amount for cleaning is totally unreasonable and just not sure where we stand on this. The house wasn't in great condition when we moved in and they are expecting it to be perfect as we leave. What can we do ?
A: You might like to talk to a lawyer, but if you cannot afford one, you could start by talking to Tenants Queensland. Tenants Queensland (formerly Tenants’ Union of Queensland) was established in 1986 and seeks to represent the concerns of all Queensland tenants who live in rental accommodation, including caravan park and boarding house residents.https://tenantsqld.org.au/about-tuq/
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Q: If a cheque is endorsed with the words paid under protest is it still valid?
A: Your question indicates that there are broader issues you need to discuss, I suggest you consult a solicitor.
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Q: 70 year old woman just separated after 30 year defacto relationship. What is the general rule of percentage in property settlement?
A: You should consult with a family lawyer. I am in Brisbane and could assist you but there are many fine lawyers in North Queensland.
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Q: How do I set up a will for a blended family with overseas assets a complication?
A: Your local Law Society can help find a lawyer if you need one locally. I think ACT is covered by NSW law Society. You could also try a local community legal service but you may be better off biting the bullet and seeing a lawyer.
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Q: How do I set up a will for a blended family with overseas assets a complication?
A: As a lawyer I suggest you see a lawyer. This question falls squarely into the category of legal advice. I would suggest that you make a clear list of all of your assets so your lawyer will be able to get a clear picture of all of the matters that will need to be addressed.
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Q: Wife and I seperated 2yrs trying to negotiate a settlement.
We had a joint account in both names that she froze. The funds have been released by a cheque issued in both names, I asked it to be sent direct to the solicitor acting on both our behalf, but they said they could only send it to the account holder.
My wife received the cheque and has cashed it into her personal acc, she now tells me she has spent the money.
Was it legal to cash a cheque issued in both names? I think not.. Thanks
A: You need to talk to a family lawyer about this. There are a number of issues that it raises that you should address with a lawyer as soon as you can. A lawyer can't act for both parties where there is a conflict between the parties and it seems that you now have a conflict with your wife.
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Q: Hi what is the best most cost effective way to remove a person from a mortgage? Currently joint tenants but wish to pay out ex an agreed amount and hold onto the property? I understand there is stamp duty payable to completely remove them from the mortgage
A: As a lawyer I suggest that you talk to a lawyer about your problem.

I can't speak to your specific matter without more information. As for the specifics of your particular matter we would need to properly understand what has happened, so that we can apply the law to those facts and then give an indication as to what we think. Every matter has it’s own facts and we need to understand the matter properly before we can give advice on it.

As previously noted you can avoid stamp duty by having consent orders filed with the Family Court which will also help prevent other issues cropping up in the future.


We are happy to chat in more detail privately.


With warm regard,
Armstrong Doessel Stevenson Lawyers


Patrick Earl
Senior Solicitor

Tel: 07 3088 3777
Tel: 1300 237 529
Fax: 1300 665 894

www.adslaw.com.au
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Q: My partner of 12 years and I are separating. He’s always controlled his income and I've worked and paid the household bills and taken care of our child. He also refinanced the loans in his name and bought a car without consulting me.

He has always told me he was paying above the minimum loan payments but hasn't been and now the property is worth less than we owe.

I have no idea where something like $200,000 has gone over the past 6 years. What do I do? What can I do without going bankrupt?
A: As a lawyer I suggest that you talk to a lawyer about your problem.

I can't speak to your specific matter without more information. As for the specifics of your particular matter we would need to properly understand what has happened, so that we can apply the law to those facts and then give an indication as to what we think. Every matter has it’s own facts and we need to understand the matter properly before we can give advice on it.


The first step I recommend to all of my client is to try to write out as best you can what has happened.

It would be useful for you to prepare a timeline (or as lawyers like to call it a chronology - perhaps because timeline doesn't sound as impressive) and a more detailed history based on the chronology.

The chronology is just a list of things that happened and dates. You should also write out a more detailed history about each of the things listed in the chronology.

The two documents compliment each other as one sets out what occurred in point form and the other expands those points as fully as possible.

The hardest part is starting. Where should you start? You should start at the beginning: for instance, when were you born? Where did you go to school? What grade did you get up to? Did you go to uni ?etc and then what did you do before you met your partner? When you first met your partner what were you doing? what did you own?

These first parts should be relatively straightforward and give a good indication as to where you were financially when you met your partner and therefore show what you had available at that initial point to contribute to the relationship.

Then as time passed what did you buy, sell, and do? If there were changes in the arrangements between the two of you over time (for instance if one of you became unemployed, or you became pregnant or went to live with someone's parents and stayed there looking after them or whatever else changed) you should set those changes out.

The chronology and history should go up to the present time. Including what happened at separation and what has occurred since.

Hopefully this process will help you focus on what occurred and provide detailed instructions as to your matter.

It may help you feel less pressured to keep everything in your head. As things come back to you you can update the chronology and history. If it is typed up on your computer it is a simple matter to add in further details.

You should cross reference with any documents you have to check dates and also get details for the history. You should take a copy of the documents for your lawyer and keep one for yourself.DON'T STICK POST IT NOTES ON PAGES OR WRITE ON THE DOCUMENTS. Write out any notes on clear piece of a4 paper and put that in with the documents. You will have plenty of space to say what you want, you won't lose the notes and you can take further copies of the clean documents as required. If you index the documents and cross reference them to the chronology things will be even clearer.

By having completed the chronology and history you will have a clearer picture in your head as to what has happened to date and you will find it easier to inform your lawyer.


We are happy to chat in more detail privately.


With warm regard,
Armstrong Doessel Stevenson Lawyers


Patrick Earl
Senior Solicitor

Tel: 07 3088 3777
Tel: 1300 237 529
Fax: 1300 665 894

www.adslaw.com.au