What Are the Steps Involved in Pre-Divorce Property Settlement?
When two people have been together for any length of time, it's almost inevitable that some of their property will be "co-mingled." What kind of complications can this present when these two go their separate ways?
The Property Pool
During a divorce, both individuals must decide who keeps what and how any property pool will be divided. However, this is rarely a straightforward matter.
Unravel the Complications
Certainly, it may be possible to point to legal ownership where contracts or other documents are available, but what happens in the case of a joint bank account or a shared home? Complexities can arise if such a property is in the name of both parties, or they may jointly contribute to a mortgage. In this case, one person may assert that they should get more than they would under a straightforward 50-50 split. They may say that they put down a larger deposit to buy the home in the first place or that they contributed a lot to the value of the home due to work they may have performed themselves.
There are many potential complications in a situation like this, and it's not always easy for both parties to agree. So, in this case, it may be necessary to turn to the legal system before any divorce can go ahead.
Still, the parties can go through a less formal process before they must go before a judge. The legal system may require them to do this in any case, typically starting with a straightforward negotiation. Here, both parties may meet with their lawyers and document the process.
If this does not lead anywhere in a reasonable amount of time, they may need to go before a mediator. This independent third party is trained in such matters and will often be able to identify the sticking points and advise accordingly. The mediator may help both parties work through these issues and come to an agreement.
Arbitration and Full Court Case
Sometimes, both parties can go through a more formal process known as arbitration, similar to a court case, but it is not the final step. Should arbitration not work, a judge must decide how the property is divided and have the final say in the matter.
Get Adequate Help
In almost every situation, it does not help to be intransigent, and there's almost always an amount of give and take. Still, you do need to represent your interests in any legal case, which is why it's always best to engage a family lawyer.
To learn more, contact a company like Marriott Oliver Solicitors Pty Ltd.