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WA Property Settlement with Husband - Options Under Family Law?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Friendlyhelper, 10 November 2015.

  1. Friendlyhelper

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    Posting for a friend.

    She has separated from her husband for over a year. He came to some financial arrangement and got her to sign a legal document to get her names off the mortgages they hold for 2 houses which are 80% paid off. All together I think they would sell on today's market for 1mil.

    He talked in riddles and confused her. He took her names off the mortgages and gave her $200,000. She signed the document but has now realised she should have pushed for more.

    They both have 50/50 custody of children of a thirteen year old and she currently is living in one property and paying him rent. Does my friend have a legal leg to stand on under Family Law to get more money through property settlement?

    Any help is appreciated. She is scared to chew into the money she has and we all know lawyers are expensive so I just want to know if the fight would be worth it in the end before she signs the divorce papers.
     
  2. JS79

    JS79 Well-Known Member

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  3. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    When you say she signed some "legal documents".... What exactly do you mean? Were they 'consent orders' pertaining to property? Based on what you've written I have some thoughts.

    Property consent orders are legally binding documents about how stuff gets split up after separation.

    Are they divorced? If yes then how long since divorce? If more than 12 months then she has problems because if memory serves, you have 12 months from divorce to make a claim through court and if you don't then you have to show good reason... That can be tricky.
     
  4. Friendlyhelper

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    They are not yet divorced and I'm unsure about legal documents, it was something her husband went to a lawyer about and had drafted up. Do you think it's worth while for her to go ahead with a lawyer? She's just worried as she rang a lawyer yesterday and said t would cost her $500 an hour but she wants to be certain that she is entitled to more. She doesn't want to lose the battle and still have lawyer fees to pay.
     
  5. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps ask her about the documents. From what you've written I don't think he is playing nice. Your friend must have gotten legal advice in order for any property division to be binding. If she didn't then she has a good starting point.

    So what he has done in my opinion is bamboozle her into thinking the asset division is done and dusted, and if he did sell the houses she would have more of a struggle to get her hands on a fair share. Again based on the info provided, she should be looking at close to 50% and possibly more. Stuff like superannuation also needs to be factored in.

    So to help out, can you find out what the documents are? I'm willing to bet it was just him taking over the title of the properties. But that is property law - she still has an entitlement under family law.

    So what to do? Well, look there are a few options and while opinions from punters like me is ok, I'm not a solicitor.

    Perhaps ask Relationships Australia to organise and invite him to mediation to discuss asset division. Not a bad option... If he agrees and they manage to do mediation and come up with an agreement then it's all good. She will need to see a solicitor but could get away with spending less than a few grand. Not bad given she could pick up a few hundred grand based on the 1mil figure you stated. (Oh you have not mentioned superannuation.)

    Write to him and say, "hey look, just want to discuss asset division because she has some concerns about the process". She could say she would also like to get the divorce done too. Look, maybe that's not a good option unless they get on alright. Most people stop getting along once money gets involved. Is he paying child support?

    Option - Take a step back- maybe he is a good bloke. Maybe, especially if he is an accountant, he might have been trying to manipulate the system to minimise tax etc. For example, is he paying full child support and isn't ranting that and she is paying him rent that is substantially below market value?Then maybe he's trying to save both of them money, but even if that is the case, I still kinda think he's saving himself more money than saving her money. And even if she is paying below market value rent, what is to stop him changing that down the track?

    So final thoughts. Look she could just let it go to save the stress. But when you're talking about some pretty big money, spending a few grand to get a solicitor to do the ground work ain't a bad option.

    Yep, the first hour will likely cost around $500. It won't take long before she'll have spent a few grand. The prospect of spending XXXXX amount with a prospect of picking up more moneny plus superannuation, etc., I reckon it is worth it. And given she has $200,000 in the bank, well why not spend some of that with the prospect of getting a substantial chunk in return?

    To get connected, see: Get Connected with the Right Lawyer for You

    But again that is purely based on the info provided and without all the details.
     

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