Weekly Snapshots Issue: 62 – 31 January 2020

Case we’re reviewing…

In the case of  Kowaliw and Kowaliw (1981) FLC 91-092,the Husband had lost money by permitting a prospective purchaser of the former matrimonial home, (who ending up not purchasing it), to reside in the home free of rent or contribution to outgoings for about a year. Additionally, the husband had lost money, and been left with certain liabilities as the result of the failure of the business from which he had derived his income during most of the marriage. 

The Judge in this matter stated that as a general principle, financial losses incurred by parties or either of them in the course of a marriage, whether such losses are as a result from one of the parties or both of them together, should be shared by them (although not necessarily equally) except in the following circumstances: 

  1. where one of the parties has embarked upon a course of conduct designed to reduce or minimise the effective value or worth of matrimonial assets; or 
  2. where one of the parties has acted recklessly, negligently or wantonly with matrimonial assets, the overall effect of which has reduced or minimised their value. 

The presiding Judge, Baker J was actually at pains to emphasise that to punish one party in a property case for the loss of monies was an exception rather than the rule. This case, however has remained a benchmark for determining ‘waste’ in matrimonial disputes. 

News we’re following…

Personal use of weed is officially legal in Canberra today. The state law that was passed in September has taken effect today meaning that Canberrans over the age of 18 can possess up to 50 grams of cannabis and grow two plants (maximum of four plans per household).

Federally however; it is still an offence to use, share or grow cannabis.

We’ll be closely following these developments to see how federal and state law interact and whether the police in Canberra will pursue federal charges.

Article we’ve enjoyed…

Around this time, most people have given up on their new year’s resolution. They might not have totally packed away the tennis racket and sports shoes (the Australian Open is still on after all) but most will start to feel their willpower waning; given people are now back in the swing of work and having to meet daily demands.

In an ABC article; Clinical Psychologist Dr Kecmanovic of Georgetown University says that a big misconception about willpower is this idea that if I would just be harder on myself, if I could beat myself up more, if I whip myself into shape… everything will be fine.

So what do you do?

The article reminds readers that thinking about success in black and white & failure is not conducive to you actually achieving goals. Instead try this:

  • Accept (and truly accept not begrudgingly) that set backs are part of the process;
  • Understand that changing behaviour is actually quite hard;
  • Your store of willpower does not remain at a consistent level throughout your life stages;
  • Break bad habits by identifying the cues that trigger the behaviour you want to change and then reduce those cues;
  • Rearrange your environment to help you;
  • Focus on what you can actively do now rather than whinge about the undesirable behaviour you can’t seem to shift;
  • Identify why you are trying to develop or break a habit. Every time your willpower wanes – remind yourself of why it is important to you rather than chastising yourself to be a failure if you don’t commit;
  • Surround yourself with people on similar paths – when you have a friend engaged in a similar activity; you are 100 times more likely to also commit;
  • Accept that trying to develop or break a habit or achieve one goal may entail tackling a number of different behaviours. For example – want to get fit? – you’ll need to adjust your sleep habits, shopping list and reduce your morning social media scroll time or evening television addiction.
  • Be realistic and don’t overcommit to multiple changes at once.

Quote we’re loving…

“Do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?”

Elif Shafak

  Masters of Success…