By Warren Krass 3/3/2020
Sam is a solicitor with Nolan Lawyers. Nolan lawyers is a small firm with four lawyers and a practice manager. The caseload of the firm is over 100 active files. A recent surprising and interesting piece of information that came Sam’s way is that in India an adulterer is not entitled to anything on a divorce. But on to the story at hand.
– a husband and wife separated
– each got about $500,000
– not documented with a formal agreement
– separation was “amicable”
– husband’s father died 18 months later and husband inherited $5,000,000
– because there was no proper separation agreement the wife was able to claim $2,600,000
– Sam observed that they should have finalised their arrangements at the time of the divorce, because by the time it got to court the assets were substantially different and the Family Court of Australia looks at assets at the time of the hearing, not the time of separation – in this case 16 years had elapsed.
Sam observed that divorce should be considered inevitable – one in two marriages ends in divorce.
The couple met at a wedding six years previously – it turned out that the husband had “a bit on the side” in New York – wife kicked him out – Sam advised him to document a property settlement – he delayed – he went back to his wife after a while – this left to him open to a potential de facto claim – he stayed with his wife for a while – then left – his wife was diagnosed with a brain tumour – as a result her likely share of 60% increased to 70% – he should have documented it much earlier.
BIG MONEY CASES
You don’t often realise it but Sam was quite clear when she related that the more money people have the more problems they have – there is simply more to argue over – it does not help that assets are tucked away in companies – Sam is aware of a case with the wife sought the appointment of an external administrator to the ex-husband’s company – the Family Court of Australia has jurisdiction over companies – the court is not limited to looking at obvious joint assets – as well as companies it looks at inheritance and contribution.