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Unexpected Separation with De Facto - What to Do?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Gisellerose, 9 September 2016.

  1. Gisellerose

    Gisellerose Active Member

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    Hi,

    I've been with my de facto ex-partner for 19 years. We have a 16-year-old and an 11-year-old. We have a property together and also a business in which we are both listed as directors. We don't live in our owned property but rather rent a property which is the family home. I do the admin in the business and my ex partner does the work that the business specialises in.

    He came home a month ago and told he had a new partner and wanted things to end, and as you can imagine, I've been struggling to accept these huge changes. He is still living with us in our family home and has been sending me emails and telling me verbally that I need to sign over my share of the business, often with a time frame enforced.

    He's told me I won't be entitled to any support that I need to find a job and pay the rent on the family home as he is moving out and taking our daughter's dog with him and that he will have both our children from Thursday to Monday.

    I can't afford to continue the rent here. Both our kids are in private school. I've gone to see one solicitor who I didn't feel right about, and I've called Relationships Australia who've explained that we need to do mediation. I guess I'm just scared of the future and what's to come and also how on earth I'll be able to pay bills, etc., once he's completely stopped any payments.

    Centerlink have told me I'll get approx $300 per fortnight.
     
  2. SamanthaJay

    SamanthaJay Well-Known Member

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    Hi Gisellerose,

    I had some similar aspects to yours when I separated with my ex de facto. Unfortunately with mine I was also under a constant threat of extreme family violence so I had to flee.

    Firstly, you are a director of the company, that is your business most likely as equally as his. I'm guessing you have a share each? Do not resign as director. Do you receive a wage from the company? The business will need to be valued and it will form part of the asset pool just like your other assets.

    I would look for another solicitor that you feel comfortable with. Yes, it's going to cost money by the sound of things but I think it will be worth it when there is a business involved. My solicitor agreed to accept the majority of their fees on settlement. That would be helpful to you if you can't access any money.

    You will need to attend mediation regarding care of the children. Convenient for him that he has them on weekends isn't it. Lot less running around after kids I bet on weekends. Attending mediation will allow you both input about the kids. There is a lot of information here within posts regarding access. It's worth doing a search and reading over it.

    I left with no joint money and had to borrow money from my brother and cash advance on a credit card to pay for rent/bond and beds for myself and my then 16-year-old. Centrelink came to the party soon after. I was in a family partnership in regard to the business so it was disolved so I could access Centrelink payments. Our business did not have a value apart from tools and equipment so it was worth dissolving it. I was also working part time of a night outside of the business.

    Perhaps he will be agreeable to you using joint funds (and they are whether he likes it or not) to rent a smaller/cheaper home to get the ball rolling. Then you could both give notice for the current rental property.

    Also, one thing I strongly recommend you doing while you are able and have access to the business records, is to copy all tax return, bank statements and other bank and financial records and store them elsewhere. You will need this information later and if he is anything like my ex, he will not freely give you access and that will have to be sought via discovery when you begin your property settlement.
     
  3. Gisellerose

    Gisellerose Active Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I do receive a wage and I do all the bookkeeping so I've been storing all that info. It feels like he is trying to sell the business prior to settlement I'm not sure if that's something he can do or not. I guess I need to accept that I will need to leave the family home.
     

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