In many family law cases, one party has control over all of the assets and liabilities of the marriage or de facto relationship. This situation can leave the other party in a vulnerable and stressful position as the spouse in control of the asset pool can elect to interfere with or dispose of the assets without the other person’s knowledge or consent. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the spouse not in control of the assets may have the following options available to them to protect their interests in the asset pool:
- Lodge caveat/s over the real properties to prevent the other party from transferring the real properties to a new owner and from extending existing loan facilities. In order to lodge a caveat, a caveator must claim “an estate or interest in land” pursuant to section 90(1) of the Transfer of Land Act 1958.
- Request that the other party sign an undertaking that he/she will not deal with the assets or liabilities of the asset pool. An undertaking is a promise to the Court which is binding. An undertaking has the same effect as an order of the court. If breached, the person may be found guilty of contempt of the court and may be punished by a fine or imprisonment
- File an urgent application at Court seeking that the other party be restrained from disposing of or dealing with the assets and liabilities pending resolution of the property matter except by agreement or by court orders.
If you have found yourself in a situation whereby you do not have access to the assets of your marriage, please contact us urgently so that we may provide you with further advice about the options outlined above.
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 Caroline Counsel Family Lawyers for legal advice specific to your situation. The contents of this blog are relevant as at 4 May 2017. As the law changes – again we recommend you obtain specific advice relevant to you and your family situation.
Written by Alex Finemore, Senior Associate
If you are interested in discussing the matter, please contact Alex Finemore of our office to make an appointment by calling 03 9320 3900.