- Singerson & Joans  FamCAFC 238
- Fielding & Nichol  FCWA 77
- Adamson  FamCAFC 232
- Lad & Gittins  FamCA 439
Property – Husband’s $3million inheritance post-separation – Global approach – Wife’s superior contributions during and since cohabitation
In Singerson & Joans  FamCAFC 238 (10 December 2014) the Full Court (Bryant CJ, Ainslie-Wallace & Crisford JJ) considered a 15-year marriage in which the husband inherited $3 million (value at trial) soon after the parties’ separation. Total assets were $7.4 million.
Both parties appealed Jordan AJ’s property order, seeking a re-exercise of discretion by the Full Court.
There were two children. Since 1999 the husband had been a retrenched valuer who suffered depression and had ‘sporadic’ employment. The wife was the children’s primary carer and a pharmacist earning $250,000 per annum after tax (at –). In allowing the appeal, the Full Court said (at -) that ‘his Honour misled himself … in identifying only the four years between separation and trial as being the appropriate time upon which to assess contributions to the inheritance rather than across their 15-year relationship’.
The court found that the wife’s contributions during and since cohabitation were ‘significantly greater … to the property acquired prior to separation’ (at ), holding ‘[d]espite the timing of the receipt of the inheritance’ that ‘over this long marriage, a global approach is appropriate’ (at ). Contributions were assessed as 52.5 per cent in favour of the husband (at ). No further adjustment was made under s 75(2) of the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).