As well as the emotional upheaval stemming from the breakdown of a relationship, negotiating a property settlement with your former spouse can be overwhelming.
To ensure a complete break, there is often more involved than simply a division of the assets and liabilities.
Before you start considering negotiating with your former spouse, you should consider the following:
Bank Accounts – are there any accounts where your former spouse may access funds?
Title to Property – is the title to any property owned by you and your spouse held as joint tenants or as tenants in common in equal shares? The legal implications of each are different, and can be significant depending on the circumstances.
Wills – if your former spouse as executor or beneficiary of your will?
Powers of Attorney – have you signed a Power of Attorney in favour of your former spouse?
Superannuation Binding Nomination– have you made a binding nomination in favour of your former spouse?
Future Estate Claims – have you considered that even when you reach a final agreed property settlement, it is possible for one spouse to later make a claim against the estate of the other former spouse (if they predecease them).
Spousal Maintenance – rights for spouse maintenance claims may remain open even if parties reach a final property agreement.
List all Assets, Liabilities & Financial Resources – do you understand what the asset pool is?
Companies/Trusts – are you the controller of a company or a beneficiary of a trust?
These are all matters that require careful consideration and expert advice.
If you have just separated, and require assistance to reach a negotiated agreement with your former spouse, please contact Vicki Cook, who would be more than happy to assist you.