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  • 6 Jun 2017 10:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Can the hack affect your divorce?

    While the initial shock of the Ashley Madison hack is fading from the memories of many, the families of those involved are still dealing with the aftermath.

    In August, the dating website with the slogan 'Life is short. Have an affair', was hacked, leaking more than a million Australian subscriber details onto the internet.

    The exposed affairs are leading many couples to consider what their legal rights are, according to Garland Waddington family lawyer Micaela Chomley.

    So, does having an affair or committing adultery mean one party is more favoured in divorce proceedings? Or is that just what happens in the movies?

    Ms Chomley said people may be greatly disappointed (or some greatly relieved) to hear that the release of this information will bear little or no relevance in a family law matter in Australia.
    “Since the introduction of the Family Law Act 1975, Australia is a “no fault” jurisdiction which means that a Court is not particularly interested in the circumstances surrounding the breakdown of your marriage,” Ms Chomley said.

    “Prior to 1975, if parties wanted to get a divorce, then one had to prove that there was a ground for divorce.

    “Today, if one party wants to walk away from the marriage simply because they have had enough, then provided there is 12 months of living separately, they can file for a divorce.”

    Ms Chomley said that when a relationship breaks down and family law issues arise, there is often a lot of stress and emotions that can cause physical and financial repercussions.

    “This can be life shattering for both parties and particularly for the children involved in the break up,” Ms Chomley said.

    “Every family law matter is unique and it is important you receive advice tailored to your own facts and circumstances. The number one priority for people seeking divorce is to look after the best interests of their children and to protect their assets.

    “Obtaining the correct advice at the time of your separation (or even before you separate) can minimise the devastating impact separation can have on the family unit.”

    For more information in relation to a family law matter or to obtain professional advice, visit

  • 25 May 2017 10:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Same-sex relationships can stand up in courts without marriage.

    While the same-sex marriage debate continues, a Sunshine Coast law firm has weighed in on what same-sex couples can do as an interim solution to formalising their relationship in the eyes of the courts.

    Garland Waddington Solicitors suggests same-sex couples waiting for a legislative decision on marriage equality could register their relationship with the Office of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

    Family lawyer at the firm, Micaela Chomley said while same-sex couples were not currently afforded the right to marry, registering their relationship would formalise their de-facto status as an interim solution in appropriate circumstances.

    “I understand it’s not the same thing as getting married, however registering a relationship is a way of formally acknowledging the relationship exists and protecting the rights of both parties,” Ms Chomley said.

    “There was a recent case in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, where a same-sex couple had parted ways and couldn’t agree on a property settlement.

    “When the application for a property settlement between two men who were previously a couple was presented in court, the Judge determined that a de-facto relationship did not exist between the parties and therefore there was no jurisdiction for the Court to make Orders.

    “The judge made this decision based on one party’s argument that a de-facto relationship didn’t exist,” Ms Chomley said. “If the couple had formally registered their relationship through the Office off Births, Deaths and Marriages, they would have been deemed a de-facto couple and the outcome in Court may have been very different.

    “The same applies for hetero-sexual relationships too. If for some reason, the two parties are unable to get married, however they want to formally protect their rights, it is a real solution to formalise the relationship and protect their assets,” Ms Chomley said.

    Last week, Federal backbencher, Warren Entsch, became the first Coalition party member to introduce a bill to legalise same-sex marriage. However, it's highly unlikely the bill will be voted on before next year's election.

    Fast Facts:

    • To register a relationship it is easy and inexpensive and will formalise a de-facto relationship.
    • Registering a relationship shows a clear intention of a recognised relationship where marriage is unavailable.
    • When electing to register your relationship you can elect to receive a certificate as proof of your de-facto status.
    • Same sex or opposite sex couples, may enter into a registered relationship if: -
      • The person is not married or in a registered relationship;
      • The person is not in a prohibited relationship; and
      • One person in the proposed registered relationship has lived in Queensland for at least six months.

    It is important to get legal advice prior to entering into a registered relationship as this will have a number of impacts on other areas of your life such as health insurance (ie. your next of kin), superannuation, wills and estate planning (including family provision claims contesting a will).

    For more information or to seek advice on your own personal situation, visit

  • 19 May 2017 10:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For the past 150 years when completing a property settlement lawyers and banks have met face-to-face to check and swap documents and bank cheques.

    The party that received the documents then had to lodge them at the Land Registry to notify government authorities about the transaction.

    The commencement of the new Australia-wide PEXA e-conveyancing system will radically change the conveyancing process. Local firm, Garland Waddington Solicitors, are embracing the innovative, government-endorsed system.

    Partner, Ken Waddington, believes this new property settlement system will be faster, safer, more accurate and more efficient than past methods of property exchange and that it will benefit the entire industry.

    “There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a manual process involving the physical signing and handling of documents,” Mr Waddington said.

    “Simple errors like a misspelt or missing names, names that don’t match across documents or wrong cheque details sometimes cause settlements to fail or be delayed.

    “The new PEXA system provides an electronic online business environment for completing property transactions including electronic lodgement with Land Registries and the electronic settlement of payment of funds.

    “The benefits will include tangible time and cost efficiencies, no requirement for the exchange of physical documentation at settlement, no requirement to physically attend settlements, and a reduction in human error and settlement failure.”

    Mr Waddington confirmed Garland Waddington was now PEXA accredited and using the new system with their conveyancing clients.

    “As you can imagine, since there are no physical signed documents being exchanged there needs to be rigorous checks and security to ensure your property is not transferred without your authority,” Mr Waddington said.

    If you would like to know more about e-conveyancing or would like help with your property matter visit Garland Waddington at

  • 20 Apr 2017 10:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It's not an industry well known for altruism, but the next generation of financial planners could prove the cynics wrong if University of the Sunshine Coast student Joe Hirst is an example of his peers.

    The 20 year old third year student plans on making a difference to people’s lives by helping them with one of life’s biggest struggles: managing money.

    “To be honest, throughout my high school years, I wanted to be able to help people in some way; maybe as a paramedic, but I was never very good at science,” said Joe.

    “I achieved good grades in English and Mathematics, so when I left school, I eventually decided to study Financial Planning instead because it’s a profession where I am able to do my bit for society.

    “I believe it is a way I can help people by ensuring that their finances are optimised in the most efficient manner whilst giving ethical and sound advice to help them with their future,” Joe said.

    Joe is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), majoring in Financial Planning and Accounting part-time, and working full-time for family owned Caloundra firm, Garden Financial Services.

    He was recently awarded with a prize for being the highest achiever in his Tax and Estate Planning course at the USC Faculty of Arts and Business awards and prizes ceremony.

    Sunshine Coast lawyer and prize donor, Ken Waddington of Garland Waddington Solicitors, said he was delighted that students like Joe are the recipients of his firm’s sponsored awards.

    “I’m inspired by people like Joe because he is intelligent, not afraid to go out on a limb to reach out to people, and truly passionate about making a difference to the lives of others,” Mr Waddington said.

    “The future of the financial planning industry looks bright with students like Joe entering the workforce. He’s a credit to himself, his family, the University and his employer.”

    Garland Waddington donated five awards this year for the highest-achieving students from USC’s courses in Property Law, Retirement and Superannuation and Tax and Estate Planning.

    “For us, giving these awards is about encouraging students to achieve high standards for the ultimate benefit of their careers and future clients,” Mr Waddington said.

    For more information about Garland Waddington, visit

  • 14 May 2013 10:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Update from Our Network President: Michalle Faulkner

    As your President, I sit on the Board of the Sunshine Coast Chambers Alliance and in this capacity, share our network’s points of view and vote on key aspects of sustainable business here on the Sunshine Coast. Our membership to this group as well as our membership to the Sunshine Coast Business Council ensures that we are at the forefront of information and can table issues affecting us locally in business. I take this responsibility very seriously. It is very important to me that I can share this information back to you our members, and where we need to give our views, ask for and receive your contributions and valuable feedback.

    I will provide members with regular updates of these meetings and the outcomes:

    February 2013 Meeting:  ICN Gateway:

    Industry Capability Network (ICN) is a business network that introduces Australian and New Zealand companies to projects large and small.

    Companies are encouraged to register on the ICN Gateway for works packages that may become available in the coming months with respect to work on the Sunshine Coast Private Hospital. Companies, who aren’t registered, cannot be considered.


    There was a unanimous decision at the last meeting of all collective chambers and networks represented to merge with Chamber Of Commerce And Industry | Queensland. The Sunshine Coast Chambers Alliance will now be known moving forward as CCIQ Sunshine Coast.

    What does this mean for SCBWN members?

    The chambers alliance is a group collective of representatives from each of the local business chambers of commerce as well as large networking organisations such as the Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network. Merging with CCIQ ensures that we as collective network of local businesses owners (members of our respective groups) can have our regional issues gain interest at a national level. As one voice, we will have more leverage.

    Michalle Faulkner, Managing Director, EastCoast Human Resource Group

  • 5 May 2013 10:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Simone Leslie has presented to millions on television and live audiences for almost two decades. She first began presenting on Good Morning Australia and other prime time programs at the age of 20, moving on to co-create and direct the company Success Partners Pty Ltd, a training and coaching business working with corporations such as Kellogg’s Australia, and public groups.

    Currently the founder and director of Neuro Success, Simone is a master Neuro Strategist and has had the privilege of working with hundreds of people over the past 15 years from the unemployed to top corporate executives, elite athletes and everyday Australians. She specialises in creating lasting change by identifying and clearing neurological blockages at the brains core programming level.

    A very natural and endearing presenter, she is transparent and truthful offering revelation and wisdom, both comical and crucial.  Simone’s authority in the area of change and results comes from years of research as well as her own personal experience in the area of overcoming and breakthrough.

    Her life message as touched on in her book, “It’s OK to be Beautiful – Heavenly Whispers to a Broken Heart”, is to clean up the core programs we run off that are stored in our brain, setting us up for a life loved, lived and fulfilled!

    "It is often said that “decisions shape our destiny,” but the real key is finding what shapes our decisions! We are each individually wired according to the programs in our brains.  These programs determine the decisions we make which affect the actions we take and the results we make.  I help individuals to step back from the picture and determine whether the programs are empowering or hindering their results.  If they are not helpful we simply rewrite them in order to run off more empowering tracks (just like a train). The key to the life we desire is the ability to renew our mind!" Simone explains.

    The above blog was sourced from Simone Leslie.

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