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QLD Property Settlement as Single Parent - What Am I Entitled To?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Summer, 7 October 2015.

  1. Summer

    Summer Member

    27 September 2015
    Likes Received:
    Separated from my husband (18 months) after a 28 year marriage. I have our daughter living with me full time. My ex can see her whenever he likes - there are no restrictions there. She just turned 17 and is in full time study at least for the next 12 months (TAFE) - possibly going on to further studies. I am currently on unemployment benefits with an annual income of just over $14000 and am in the process of applying for a disability support pension due to depression.

    My ex husband has been on a disability support pension for approx. 12 years for a bad back. We were just teenagers when we got together so we came into the relationship on an equal level. He worked throughout the relationship and I had work between raising our two children (we have an older son). Our home and property just sold but I have asked his solicitors to keep the balance of the sale (approx. $300000) in their trust until my ex and I can come up with a fair split.

    On a pension he currently receives approx. $22000 per annum. He is only required to pay me approx. $7.50 per week for our daughter for child support. Since I asked to put the balance of our sale in the solicitors trust account he has stopped paying child support (2 months). Not long but he refuses to pay anything again until I release the funds. I have been told by numerous people that because the child is in my 100% care, I am entitled to two thirds of the total property settlement. As you can see by my annual income I am unable to hire a lawyer to take things further.

    I applied for mediation and we got to the intake phone call appointment, but my ex point blank refused to go ahead with it. I am in a rental property whilst he was in our home up until the recent sale. He was paying the mortgage of only $60.00 per week and my rent is $235.00 per week. He has things on easy street since I left with also doing cash jobs. He is now living with a new partner with small children and I worry that he is thinking of supporting her children before his own.

    Am I entitled to a two third split or not? I don't want to create an enemy in him. I just want him to consider our daughter's future and give her and myself what we are fairly entitled to.

    Thanks, I hope you can help.
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

    23 July 2014
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    There is no hard and fast rule for this, but the court follows the following process:

    1. What's the total value of the shared asset pool?
    2. What were the financial and non-financial contributions of each party?
    3. What are the future needs of each party?
    4. Is the settlement just and equitable?

    As such, the suggestion that you're entitled to two-thirds because you have a child in your care is false. It's only one factor of many and is categorised as a future need, but the future needs of a 17yo are vastly different to the future needs of a 7yo, so it's unlikely to have any significant impact on the settlement anyway because the child will be 18 soon and therefore not subject to any parenting-related issues, including child support or parental responsibility.

    With that said, a property settlement is realistically anything that you and the other party agree to. If he agrees to a 33/66 split, then that's a win, but if you're unable to reach agreement and instead ask the court to determine a property settlement for you, I think you would be wasting your money aiming for such a generous outcome. Based on what you've provided here, you're probably looking at closer to 50/50 or 45/55 because to me, it seems like your contributions and future needs are fairly balanced.

    The property pool is also fairly modest, so it's important to balance the cost of a property settlement with the outcome. Imagine the legal fees as being around a third of the asset pool, or $100,000, which leaves $200,000 to divide between you. Even if you did get a 33/66 split, you'd be looking at about $130,000. If you avoid court and just do a 50/50 split (or thereabouts), you'd get $150,000.

    But I really strongly recommend contacting Legal Aid to see if you're eligible for Legal Aid.

    Hope this helps.
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