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QLD Uncertain of Divorce Status - Will Father-in-Law's Ex Have a Claim Over House?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by yukiaus, 5 January 2016.

  1. yukiaus

    yukiaus Active Member

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    My partner's parents had a divorce 4 years ago. My partner, his sister and their father bought a house which is in all 3 names but only he and their father are paying it off. The sister contributes nothing. But recently we found a bank letter to his father addressed to "Mr and Mrs *****" which seem to be a joint bank account in which she uses locally (the father works overseas and comes back twice a year).

    So our concern is, if they are not divorced and he passes away, then does the wife have any claim over the house? (It's in her nature to do something like that if possible).

    Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Just checking? If yes, the parents got divorced 4 years back. Each party has 12 months from divorce to make a claim on the other person's assets. So the answer is no...

    If she had any grounds, she lost the chance 12 months after divorce (there are some exceptions). I'm also thinking a property / asset division might have been done at the time. If that is the case, even less grounds for her to have a claim.

    Again, just checking? If yes, the ex-wife's name is no longer on the title of the house? So if her name is not on the title, then she doesn't have a claim on the house so again the answer is no...

    She might have a claim on any funds in the joint account if she knew about the account.

    So based on my understanding of the info provided, you've got nothing to worry about - but this is still messy.

    So the sister is on the title but contributes nothing. Now I'm gonna assume it is a rental place but there is a range of hypotheticals. All of the parties (especially the father) should make sure they have a will that clearly establishes what happens when they croak...
     
  3. yukiaus

    yukiaus Active Member

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    Thank you for the quick reply!

    No, it's not a rental. Currently, those 3 and myself live there.

    What if they aren't actually divorced legally and are just separated? Will she have a claim on the father's share of the house and/or any money he has put into it?

    We aren't worried about the bank account or money in it. But the house is the only thing my partner and his sister will get as an inheritance. So without it, they will be left with nothing to start their own lives with.

    When asked, both say yes but the bank statement made us second guess. She never had her name on the title for this house as it came after their divorce and a place for the 3 of them to live without her (she got the family house instead).
     
  4. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Oh dear. When you write, "what if they aren't actually divorced', I worry.

    Asset division is done at the time of settlement, not at the time of separation, not even time of legal divorce. They are still legally married. So she has a claim on his share of the property. Settlement is the legal term for getting it all the financial stuff sorted. Divorce is simply the legal term for no longer being married


    He should get the divorce done asap.
     
  5. yukiaus

    yukiaus Active Member

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    He doesn't know that we think this. We feel he is doing a dodgy with the Aus tax, etc, etc. If they are still married, is there any way they can block her from claiming on the house?
     
  6. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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    Who are 'they'?

    Look if he dies before her then she is entitled to all his stuff including his share of the house, etc, etc... Even if he has a will that excludes her, she could contest it because they are legally married. Your partner needs to have a serious conversation with his dad to protect his assets, same as the sister...

    If his name is on the title then I can't see how that could be relevant to anything to do with being dodgy on tax.
     
  7. yukiaus

    yukiaus Active Member

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    Sorry, I didn't realize my other reply went through. Also, is there anyway for my partner to find out if they are actually divorced without asking as they will only say "yes"?

    Thank you again for the information :)
     
  8. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

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  9. yukiaus

    yukiaus Active Member

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    Ehh ok. Thanks heaps!
     

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