7 steps to a faster settlement: How Counsel Family Lawyers can work with your Accountant

We understand that separating can be a stressful and time-consuming process for many clients. However, there are things that you and your accountant can do to avoid delays (and therefore costs!) in resolving your financial matters with your ex. Here is some homework you should complete to speed up the negotiations with your ex:

  1. It is important to have an accountant you can rely on and trust. If you and your ex used the same accountant during your relationship, you should think about finding a new accountant who is not connected to your ex in any way, particularly if the accountant primarily dealt with your ex before separation. If you need a referral, we can put you in touch with an accountant who has experience dealing with family law matters.
  2. You should provide an authority for your lawyer to communicate with your accountant directly to speed up the channels of communication and address any queries as quickly as possible.
  3. You should tell your accountant to prepare and lodge your income Tax Returns for the past three financial years as these documents will need to be exchanged during negotiations.
  4. If you have an interest in a business, you should have your accountant prepare and lodge Tax Returns and Financial Reports for the past three financial years and provide you with any documentation from the Australian Tax Office regarding outstanding tax debts.
  5. If you have a self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF), you should have your accountant provide you with a copy of the Trust Deed, Tax Returns and Financial Reports for the past three years. You should also ensure that your SMSF is compliant.
  6. If you have an institutional superannuation fund, you or your accountant should contact the fund to request a current superannuation statement. Most funds only provide statements once or twice a year but you can request an additional statement and possibly access your account online.
  7. If you are a trustee of a trust, you should have your accountant provide you with a copy of the Trust Deed and ensure that Tax Returns and Financial Reports have been completed for the past three financial years.

Counsel Family Lawyers can help you to navigate your way through your family law matter by giving you homework that is easy to follow and aimed at reducing your legal fees. After all, the more you and your accountant can do, the fewer road blocks on your way to resolving the matter.

If you need further advice in relation to how best to manage your separation, how best to commence negotiating with your former partner and what your options are regarding your matter generally, you should contact our office to make an appointment on 9320 3900 or email [email protected].

The information in this blog does not constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon by you. If you require advice specific to your situation you must contact Counsel Family Lawyers for legal advice.  The contents of this blog are relevant as at 21 July 2017.  We recommend you obtain specific advice relevant to you and your family’s situation.

By Alex Finemore

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