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View topic: Property settlement – Family Law Web Guide
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Property settlement

Hi,

I have some questions regarding commencing a property settlement that I am hoping can be answered here.

I know my legal position and likely division having consulted with a local solicitor in regional Victoria, but I want to make an attempt first to avoid lawyers and court, and work it out with my ex.  At the same time I need to educate myself, work through my best approach and be one step ahead. Both the property/house circumstances and my ex provide a few challenges.
  • What is the normal way couples try to settle property without going to court?
    Does one person pick say three valuers and the other chooses one of the three?  What type of valuers are best?  How is the actual value agreed by both parties?  How does it all work?

  • How do I prevent the property from being potentially undervalued should my ex (who occupies the property) decide to present it poorly (e.g. dirty/cluttered)?

  • Is there a good website/document/book that takes you through settlements, and ideally, how to maximize the outcome?
  • Our separation was a few years ago now and the market value of the property would have appreciated in that time.  Is current market value taken or market value at the time of separation?
  • I've managed to save some money since separating, which I want to put towards a deposit for a new house.  Would my post-separation savings be included as part of the asset pool?
  • I've purchased a new car since separating.  Would the new car, that was purchased from money earned since separating, be part of the asset pool?
  • I made post-separation contributions to my ex.  Is it the norm to recoup those contributions as part of settlement?  My ex has now re-partnered and is no longer dependent on my financial support.
  • Are bank statements checked if lawyers or court becomes involved and what is the impact if the ex has made strange/large withdrawals?
  • My ex's new partner has moved into our property and is bringing in an income.  Is the new partners income incorporated into my ex's financial position and does that have an impact in terms of division?

Thank you in advance for taking the time to respond.
I am about to go to court to settle property.
So I can answer some of your questions.
Current market value is taken and you can do this 2 ways
1. cheap way - get 3 real estate agents and take an average
2. pay a valuer - this is what the lawyers like and it is expensive [you go halves with the ex]
I found that the valuer was at least 30k in value more than the real estate agents.
Dont worry about the state of the house as they look at location, size, potential etc
join SRL resources - click 'community' at the top of this page and you will get more help.
Get the book "Family Law theory meets practise" from your local library
look up 'familylawcourts' on the net and have a look at the financial statement form as this will show you what to include in a property settlement.
Also look up 'Austlii' and do a search for property settlments and read the judgements.
I am self representing and there is a wealth of knowledge on the net.
good luck
Thanks for your answers and well wishes Rosey, and all the best in court.
I found 2 other helpful books if anyone is interested - both authored by Tom Altobelli.  "Practising Family Law 2nd Edition" which is the updated version of "Family Law theory meets practise", and "Family Law in Australia - Principles & Practice"

Does anyone have any advice on my other questions?
  • I've managed to save some money since separating, which I want to put towards a deposit for a new house. Would my post-separation savings be included as part of the asset pool?
  • I've purchased a new car since separating.  Would the new car, that was purchased from money earned since separating, be part of the asset pool?

  • I made post-separation contributions to my ex.  Is it the norm to recoup those contributions as part of settlement?  My ex has now re-partnered and is no longer dependent on my financial support.

  • Are bank statements checked if lawyers or court becomes involved and what is the impact if the ex has made strange/large withdrawals?

  • My ex's new partner has moved into our property and is bringing in an income.  Is the new partners income incorporated into my ex's financial position and does that have an impact in terms of division?
Matrimonial property includes anything owned by either spouse at the date of their separation, but does not include property acquired after separation. However, the date of valuation of property is the date of trial, even though this may be some months or even years later. This means that it is in the interests of both spouses to maintain the value of matrimonial property after separation.

I f you go to court any post separation contributions will be taken into account. Your exs financial position will be considered in the S75(2)-future needs category.
If you read some Austlii judgements you will understand this. ie if one party will be financially much better off the magistrate  may give to the other an adjustment
Bank statements are only checked if the other party requests it .
mq - Your form 13 will require up to date information - You will need to outline pre and post separation financial info in your affidavit and argue what you believe to be fair for the orders your are seeking.
I'd recommend gett'n yourself a copy of the "Australian Master Family Law Guide" from CCH.

Property matters really aren't my thing.

I posted this article on my web site that might be helpful.

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Drafting Settlement Terms

4MYDAUGHTER
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