By and -

Key decisions

  • Benson & Drury [2020] FamCAFC 303
  • Simpkin [2020] FamCAFC 315
  • Sarti and Anor & Sarti (No. 3) [2020] FamCAFC 319
  • Lancefield (No. 2) [2020] FamCAFC 312


Contributions must be considered ‘holistically’ and ‘weighed collectively’

In Benson & Drury [2020] FamCAFC 303 (7 December 2020) the Full Court (Strickland, Watts & Austin JJ) dismissed with costs an appeal by a de facto husband. The parties’ jointly submitted at trial that their contributions were equal save for two disputes: initial contributions; and the respondent’s claim that domestic violence had made her contributions significantly more arduous per Kennon [1997] FamCA 27 (‘Kennon’).

Judge Kari declined to give greater weight to the appellant’s initial contributions, finding that to do so would ignore the contributions of both parties. Her Honour found that the appellant perpetrated physical violence against the respondent concluding that the respondent’s ‘Kennon claim is made out. … I have assessed the adjustment at 5% such that the division was 55:45 overall.’ (at [20])

The Full Court said (from [34]):

‘[T]he … judge found the parties’ overall contributions were equal … then went on to reason that the [respondent’s] … contributions warranted an “adjustment” of an extra five per cent as her “Kennon claim” was made out.

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