VIC Property Settlement Case Study

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3 September 2020
A Case Study

Family = Husband + Wife
Parents = Wife’s Parents
Mother = Wife’s Mother

(A)wife’s parents sold an apartment in China to wife for $380k over 10 years ago. Husband and wife has married for 18 years before the transfer. The title was under wife’s name.

(B)Family and parents had oral agreement as follows:
1. Family bring parents to Australia and live with family. The family will look after parents’ day to day life.
2. Parents leave their $380k in family’s line of credit account against family’s house.
3. Parents can use the money in the account up to $380k any time they need.

(C)During the past 10 years, family looked after parents well.

(D) In Aug 2015 husband got terminal cancer & having relationship problems with wife.
In Jun 2016 parents moved to a unit near family & wife continue to look after parents.
In Oct 2018 wife’s father died.
In Feb 2019 husband and wife separated and wife moved out to live with mother and continue to look after mother.

(E) In may 2019 mother’s solicitor in China issued a letter of demand to wife that wife should pay back $380k or want her apartment back. Soon after, wife went back to China and transferred the apartment title to mother’s name. Husband has no knowledge of all these actions. The apartment is now worth $1.6million dollars.

(F) In Jun 2020 wife filed an initiating application in FCC to finalise the property settlement by sell the family house worth $1.1million dollars in Australia.

(G) The simple question is whether the $1.6m apartment sold to mother by wife without husband’s approval in the “ assets pool” of family.
Please answer yes or no, if possible, give the explanation.