Getting the optimum outcome for your property settlement requires good planning and an eye for detail.
Here are our tips for ensuring that all financial cards are on the table!
1. Write a chronology
While you may know the general state of financial assets in the marriage, it still helps to make a list of all assets and debts brought into the relationship by each of you, plus joint assets grown over time. Use a spreadsheet, setting out who contributed what, and when.
2. Gather documents
Collect together all financial records prior to meeting with your family lawyer. This might include car and property valuations, superannuation, evidence of cash reserves, shares, collectables and other asset documentation.
3. Consult record keepers
If your relationship with your ex is strained, you might face difficulties in personally accessing relevant information. In this case, contact accountants, government departments, advisors and banks to retrieve as much financial data as possible.
4. Note red flags
As you prepare for property settlement, do take notice of your gut instinct if you suspect hidden financial assets. Jot down your doubts: is your ex now denying the existence of those mining shares from years ago? Is there unusual movement in or out of bank accounts?
5. Get expert family law advice – sooner rather than later
It is important to consult a family lawyer very early on – especially if your ex-spouse is less than forthcoming, or assets are disappearing. Further, while the asset pool might be easily identified, there are many complex legal aspects to how the assets should be fairly split.
Get in touch with us if you’d like further information or assistance with obtaining the best possible outcome for your property settlement.