Husband’s contribution adjusted in Family Law Property Proceedings due to “Waste”

Case of James & James [2013] FCCA 1188 (23 August 2013)

This case involved a 20 year marriage where the husband and wife performed  ”traditional” roles, with there being  two children of the marriage and an asset pool of approximately $400,000.

Before the Court, applying section 79 of the Family Law Act, Justice Phillips adjusted the parties’ equality of contributions by 5 per cent in favour of the wife as the husband had “wasted” the parties’ assets during the marriage  through  “gambling and associated expenditure on alcohol and food”.

Judge Phipps (at [61]-[62]) made further adjustments in favour of the wife applying  section 75(2) of the Act due to the small pool of assets; the husband’ constructing a house while the wife and children were renting,; wife’s cost of raising the children, plus the disparity of income.

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