DIVORCE & PROPERTY
Upon separation, couples will often have assets and liabilities that they will need to divide. That property may be domestic or overseas. There may be trusts or company entities involved in ownership of the property. There may be pre-nuptial agreements.
A careful analysis of the property, legal agreements surrounding them, the structures in which that property is owned, and records associated with all is necessary to determine the status of that property under the Property (Relationships) Act 1976.
It may be that the property is relationship, separate or other property. This affects how the property will be split – 50:50, or otherwise. Establishing the length of relationship and date of separation may be crucial if there are "short duration issues".
Valuation evidence is also crucial to establish value for division.
Then, there are considerations which affect the division, in compensation for a variety of matters.
Other considerations are also important. How to obtain further information about the property if one party is reluctant to disclose it? Whether there is agreement on how to dispose of the property (or if a party is trying to dispose of it without the others consent)?
You will need the ongoing and independent advice of a lawyer to resolve property matters between you.
This is a complex and specialist area of Family Law. I have particular specialty in providing advice in this area, and resolving issues via negotiation, mediation or litigation.
DIVORCE & FINANCES
After you have separated, the “clean break principle” means that in general, parties are expected to financially support themselves.
In certain qualifying circumstances, there can be ongoing obligations to provide financial support, by way of Spousal Maintenance.
Children need to receive ongoing financial support from both parents. Parents can agree to fund their children’s day to day needs and other expenses (school, medical, extra-curricular activities, holiday activities or travel) between themselves. However, the Child Support Act remains the bottom line. Financial arrangements for the children, by negotiation, can form part of any contract that the couple signs to deal with property or children.
If there is no agreement, then the parties can get the state child support agency to determine their obligations, by a “formula assessment” under the Child Support Act. Any disputes in this area, are initially dealt with self represented by the parties, through the review mechanisms of the child support agency. The Family Court can also be involved at a later point.
Both these are complex and specialist areas of Family Law, which I have particular specialty in providing advice in. I frequently resolve issues via negotiation, mediation or litigation.