Advertisement

Property – $4.5 million asset pool where father provided $1.25 million and interest free loans…

family law casenotes

…no error in 60:40 contribution weighting

In Bokin & Wild [2022] FedCFamC1A 209 (13 December 2022), the Full Court (Alstergren CJ, Rees & Altobelli JJ) dismissed with costs a de facto husband’s appeal from a decision of Brasch J.

This was in respect of a relationship of between 17-21 years which produced five children. The de facto wife also had a child of a previous relationship.

The de facto husband argued that the court erred in its assessment as to contributions, and by offsetting his contribution to the de facto wife’s child against the de facto wife’s father’s contributions.

The Full Court said (from [16]):

“ … The Court does not adopt a precise, mathematical approach to the exercise of discretion as the various matters taken into account under s79 are not all capable of precise calculation (Kessey and Kessey [1994] FamCA 162…). Some considerations involve value judgments or are matters of impression (Lovine & Connor [2012] FamCAFC 168…).

[17] The findings of the primary judge are the result of a detailed and holistic assessment of a myriad of contributions in a long marriage. (…)

[24] … [T]he respondent’s father’s quantified contributions were some $1,250,000 and his unquantified contributions, particularly the provision of interest free loans, were substantial and in addition to the quantified contributions.

[25] The … assessment of contributions as favouring the respondent by 20% or $914,696.75 is readily explained by a proper analysis of … contributions. (…)

[27] … [H]er Honour’s reasoning is well able to be ascertained. … [W]e are satisfied that the inevitable ‘leap’ from words to the figure of 60% … does not invite appellate intervention … (…)

[43] … [T]he appellant raised … Robb and Robb [1994] FamCA 136 … owing to his assistance with the care of Ms B the respondent’s first child from an earlier relationship (…)

[50] … [E]vidence of the respondent’s father’s contributions is relevant to negate the appellant’s contention … that he provided financial support for Ms B.”

Craig Nicol and Keleigh Robinson are co-editors of The Family Law Book. Both are accredited specialists in family law (Queensland and Victoria, respectively). The Family Law Book is a one-volume loose-leaf and online family law service (thefamilylawbook.com.au).

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Search by keyword