Will WA de facto couples finally be able to share Superannuation nest eggs?

April 4, 2018

Separated married and de-facto spouses in all States except WA may split their superannuation when they enter into a property settlement.

However, this situation may finally be about to change. The Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter with the support of the WA Attorney-General John Quigley, has agreed to bring forward the issue for consideration.

In December 2002, amendments were made to the Family Law Act 1975 that allowed married couples to regard their superannuation as a type of property that could be divided between them.

Since then, all States and Territories except WA have referred their powers to the Commonwealth to make superannuation splitting orders for de-facto couples.

This has unfairly left WA de-facto couples unable to split their superannuation. This has caused problems particularly where there has been a long de-facto relationship and the de-facto wife has given up work to care for the children while the de-facto Husband has continued to work and accumulate superannuation and there are little or no other “non-superannuation” assets in existence to divide.

According to the 2016 census, there are more than 200,000 de-facto couples in WA. It is long overdue that we catch up with the rest of the country.

Supporting young lawyers at Murdoch

March 28, 2018

Paterson & Dowding continues to sponsor the Murdoch University prize in Family Law. Supporting personal development and celebrating excellence in performance is an integral part of the firm’s vision.

Murdoch University student Katie Marshall is the 2018 recipient of the Paterson and Dowding Prize for the highest academic achievement in Family Law.

Katie has expressed her gratitude to Paterson and Dowding for the award, saying, “I fully appreciate the support you have extended through such an award, which highlights your dedication to uplifting young lawyers.”

The directors of Paterson & Dowding wish Katie well for her future.

Dating After Divorce

March 4, 2018

The idea of dating again following a divorce can be daunting and overwhelming, especially if it’s been a while since your dating days.

You may wonder if there’s a ‘right’ time to start dating again.  Are you ready?  What to do on a date, what to expect, how to go about it, what to talk about, what to wear, where to go?  Taking that first step can be confusing and intimidating but the truth is, there are no rules to dating after divorce and everyone’s experience will be unique.

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Welcome to Julie Panotidis and Jade Lucas

February 26, 2018

Paterson & Dowding are delighted to welcome two new staff to the team, Julie Panotidis and Jade Lucas.

Julie has been appointed as our Strategic HR Manager. She joins us from Tottle Partners, where she has worked since 2015 as their Business Development Manager. Julie has many years’ experience in human resources from HR recruitment to internal HR and Office Management.


Jade joins us as a lawyer. She has experience in a range of parenting, financial and property related matters as well as Wills and Estate Law, gained whilst working for a multi-disciplinary law practice.


Julie and Jade are both welcome and valuable additions to our team of experienced family lawyers and management team.

Community Support

February 12, 2018

Chad Heslop, one of our lawyers, organised for the team at Paterson & Dowding Family Lawyers to put together some donations to help the Salvation Army with their Christmas appeal. At that time of year it is great to be able to help others in need. Great work Chad!

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