DIY family law settlements

If you separate, you can save many thousands of dollars in legal costs by reaching agreement directly with your ex-spouse. With the right legal advice, it is not hard to do

Matrimonial property proceedings through the Family Court can involve huge legal expenses, months of anxiety, and deep emotional scars. Most matrimonial property Court cases result in a negotiated settlement, but often only after months of expensive and unpleasant proceedings. The same thing applies to separated de facto partners.


The easiest and cheapest solution is to obtain good legal advice about your family law (or de facto) entitlements, then meet with your spouse, and try to reach agreement. There are then some legal formalities to document the settlement, and to transfer any property needing to be transferred, but this is much cheaper and easier than a contested Court case.


We recently advised a husband as to the range of reasonable property settlements.


He met with his wife and agreed to transfer the matrimonial home to her, with her transferring to him her shares in his company and releasing him from any claim on his super.


This arrangement was at the high end of the range. However, it was worthwhile for the husband, because of the huge savings in legal costs, and because it allowed his children to stay in their home. If the case had gone to Court, this would probably have led to the home being sold, at least to pay legal fees.


By then formalising the settlement through the Family Court, we were able to obtain an exemption from Stamp Duty on the transfer of the home, and to avoid Capital Gains Tax on the transfer of the wife’s share in the husband’s company.


Sometimes, one or both parties have such strong feelings from the separation that they are not ready to deal with the property settlement. In that case, our suggestions will only be effective once the situation has calmed down.


Our family law team can meet with you and give advice on your family law rights, usually within a day or two.

 For further information please contact our family law specialists Fiona Hoad or Layla Doumit.




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