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Law Society Northern Territory
Issue no. 1
Law Society Northern Territory
N O T I C E B O A R D L A W S O C I E T Y N T again sought to explain why she was unable to prepare her case. That certificate indicated that she had been admitted to a mental health facility between February and May 2017. ()  In my view, there can be no doubt that the wife was very significantly mentally unwell during, at the very least, the period when she was hospitalised between 9 February 2017 and 12 May 2017.  In my view, justice demands that the orders made be set aside so as to afford the wife an opportunity to make and prosecute her case for settlement of property. C H I L D R E N Non-urgent application for recovery order need not have been urgently listed In Quong & Rush  FCCA 1765 (2 August 2017) upon the separation of the parties in January 2017 the father moved 680 kilometres away with the parties twelveyear-old son. On 19 July 2017 the mother applied for a recovery order; an order that the registrar urgently list the application and leave to serve at short notice. The registrar dismissed the application, listing it for hearing on 23 October 2017. The mother filed an Application for Review of that decision. Judge Terry said (from ): I decided to list the Application for Review in open court and conduct an [ex parte] oral hearing which took the form of inviting the applicant to make submissions. ()  The mother visited X in March 2017. She said that he told her that he liked (omitted) but she said that she believed that this was because he did not want to go against his father.  The mother has frequent telephone contact with X and the father brought the child to (omitted) to spend time with the mother at Easter 2017 and in the midyear school holidays. ()  The mother said that she did not file her application earlier because she was from China and English was her second language and she did not understand that she could have come to court in or about January 2017 to get X back. She said that she also thought (wrongly as it turned out) that she would be able to negotiate with the father to have X returned to her.  In oral submissions the mother emphasised that the reason she wanted an earlier listing was that the longer her son was in (omitted) the more things he would lose. She said that there were only seventeen students at his school and the facilities in the small town were very limited.  She said that she was afraid that her ex-partner would not look after X as carefully as she would and that he would have a miserable life in (omitted).  I am not satisfied that [her application] should be listed any earlier than the date given to it by the registrar.  There is no evidence that X is at any risk of harm. He is attending school regularly, the mother is able to speak to him regularly and she has been able to spend time with him during school holidays. The father relocated the child in January 2017 and this is not a case in which at first glance it is likely that a recovery order would be made. F I N A N C I A L A G R E E M E N T S Fiance (and as wife) wins appeal to the High Court In Thorne & Kennedy  HCA 49 (8 November 2017) the High Court allowed with costs Ms Thornes appeal against a decision of the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia. In a joint judgment Kiefel CJ, Bell, Gageler, Keane and Edelman JJ (Nettle and Gordon JJ giving separate reasons) said (at -): This appeal concerns a pre-nuptial agreement and a post-nuptial agreement which replaced it between a wealthy property developer and his fiance The parties met online on a website for potential brides and they were soon engaged. In the words of the primary judge, Ms Thorne came to Australia leaving behind her life and minimal possessions ... If the relationship ended, she would have nothing. No job, no visa, no home, no place, no community The pre-nuptial agreement was signed, at the insistence of Mr Kennedy, very shortly before the wedding [where] Ms Thorne was given emphatic independent legal advice that the agreement was entirely inappropriate and that Ms Thorne should not sign it. One of the issues before the primary judge, Judge Demack, was whether the agreements were voidable for duress, undue influence or unconscionable conduct. The primary judge found that Ms Thornes circumstances led her to believe that she had no choice, and was powerless, to act