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  • The contest between the deceased’s obligations to a second wife or husband and obligations towards adult children by the first wife or husband is familiar in family provision claims.
  • In three family provision claims at the end of 2015, the courts essentially maintained arrangements made by the blended couple in the face of challenges from the deceased’s child and surviving spouse.

Australians are living longer, healthier lives. Consequently, second (or subsequent) marriages later in life are an increasing demographic reality. Often the couple will have children from their previous marriages. While those children may be happy for their respective parents in their new relationship, there is often a concern among those children that when their natural parent dies, the assets of their previous relationship should be applied only for the children of that previous relationship’.

With these words, Kunc J commenced his reasons for decision in Lowe v Lowe (No 2) [2015] NSWSC 16. Lowe is one of three decisions given in the last three months of 2015 resolving a family provision claim arising from blended families. Although the inheritance arrangements made by the blended couple in each instance were distinctly different, in each case the court essentially maintained the arrangement made by those couples.

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