Wednesday, 15 March 2017

High Court gives special leave in duress prenup case

Recently I blogged about how the Full Court of the Family Court said that a wife to be who had signed a pre-nup just before they married, and a financial agreement just after, which were amongst the worst her lawyer had ever seen, was not under duress because she had legal representation. The Full Court had overturned the decision of a Federal Circuit Court judge who found that there had been duress.

The wife sought to appeal that decision to the High Court. Appeals to the High Court are not as of right. What is needed before the appeal is heard is for one or several judges to grant special leave to appeal. Only when that special leave is granted can the appeal proceed.

Special leave was granted last week in that case. Let's see what the High Court does with it now. The High Court rarely decides family law cases, but when they do, they are often highly significant, such as MRR and GR- which redefined practical outcomes concerning parenting decisions, or Kennon v Spry, which redefined how trusts are treated in family law, or Stanford, the effect of which needs to be considered in every property settlement case.

I will watch this one with great interest.

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