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VIC Separation for 25 Years - How to Retrieve Property?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by redgum, 13 August 2015.

  1. redgum

    redgum Active Member

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    Hi,

    Have been through a legal separation for 25 years and am seeking divorce now, there are no children involved as the youngest one is now 26. I bought a property in country Victoria in 1999 so the kids had stability as they grew up. I worked in Melbourne on rotating shifts and rented properties. I paid off the mortgage on the country property, bought everything that was needed for the house including a car for the spouse. I paid for her registration, insurance maintenance of the house, rates and house insurance etc. She never contributed to anything..

    The children moved out as soon as they could and lived with me in Melbourne, as life was very difficult for them due to the spouse's mental health issues, has been confirmed with bipolar manic depression, etc.

    I have stored a lot of my property such as paintings, tools, etc., which I have inherited from my mother. It is extremely hard to retrieve it as I have been told that if I enter the property she will harm herself, call the police and tell them I became violent (I have never been in trouble with the law in any way and don't have a record).

    Now I would like to sell that property and would like to know if she has a legal claim on it. I do not object to her having half of the proceeds. Also to retrieve my goods from the house, should I bring an impartial witness or ask a policeman to accompany me. What would be the procedure?

    Final question, even though we have been legally separated for 25 years, could she refuse to consent to the divorce? And if she does refuse to consent, will I need a solicitor?
     
  2. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Well, the divorce question is easy - no, she can't refuse the divorce after 25 years of separation.

    In regards to selling the property, yes, you will probably find that she does have some interest in it, particularly if she is still living there, but this issue is made significantly easier to deal with if you are not opposed to her having a portion of the profits from the sale. Is her name on the deed, or just yours?
     
  3. redgum

    redgum Active Member

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    Thank you so much for the answer, only my name is on the deed as I bought it after 11 years of legal separation.
     
  4. AllForHer

    AllForHer Well-Known Member

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    Then there is a good chance that it will not form part of the joint asset pool, or rather, her interest in it will be significantly reduced. If it solely in your name, then to stop you selling it, she would need to place a caveat on it, which takes substantial time and proof to achieve.

    If you own the house and there is no formal tenancy agreement, then you might consider attending on the property to retrieve your property and taking a witness with you, but it may lead to a domestic dispute, in which case the police would be called anyway. It might be worthwhile contacting your local police station to discuss the situation and see what guidance they can provide. Alternatively, I do suggest getting legal advice so your situation can be properly assessed based on your unique circumstances. Legal Aid may offer free consultations for property settlements.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. redgum

    redgum Active Member

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    Thank you Allforher
    You have been an invaluable source of information, I will be applying to legal aid on monday hopefully they will grant me an appointment.
    Again thank you so much
     

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