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ACT Separation - How to Divide House Contents?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Eleanor Hope, 22 November 2014.

  1. Eleanor Hope

    Eleanor Hope Member

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    My husband of 25 years left me suddenly and without warning about 8 months ago. He now wants to settle and one of his demands is that I pay him $10,000 for the contents of the house and I can keep everything ( property settlement). Is this a legitimate demand? I would doubt that the contents are worth that much. How do you settle contents of a house?

    My second question: Has my husband any rights to enter the property? I assume he has a 50% share in it.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Eleanor,

    With respect to your first question - I'm not sure what you mean by "legitimate demand" - there are no written or unwritten rules in this regard. Whether or not your husband's demand is reasonable depends on what the total contents of your home is worth. Property settlement is not a case of one party demanding something and the other conceding, even if they have a lawyer and you don't. Each party has equal rights to negotiate what they think is fair in the circumstances. So if you feel $10,000 is unfair you should make a counter offer of an amount that you consider is fair.

    Sometimes it is advantageous to have a lawyer to advise you in relation to such negotiations and correspond with your ex on your behalf, however it is not 100% necessary. If however you are unable to negotiate a settlement yourselves, you will need to apply to the court - then the family court will make orders dividing your property.

    Regarding the second question, legally, both parties have the right to live in a jointly owned home. However, if one party leaves both of you should respect each other's privacy. Therefore, it would be common courtesy of your spouse not to turn up uninvited and this should be communicated to him, and if he doesn't comply it may be appropriate for you to change the locks. However this may cause problems if he still has belongings in the house. Its an issue that you might need to get customised legal advice in relation to.
     
  3. Eleanor Hope

    Eleanor Hope Member

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    Thank you Sophea for your advice, just one further question. Can my ex husband bring his new partner to the house we still jointly own? I have told him he can come and collect his tools which are stored in the garage. I do not want her here.
    Thanks again.
     

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