Whilst not the most romantic topic to discuss or think about around Valentine’s Day, taking steps to finalise your property settlement might be the best gift you can give yourself this year.  Finalising these issues will give you a sense of empowerment and freedom, and let’s face it, you don’t want to be in the same spot next Valentine’s Day.  So get started now!

Here are some questions we are frequently asked by clients which might assist you to take those next steps to resolve your property settlement.

Eat the chocolate!

You’ve received some Valentine’s Day chocolates.  Do you:

  • Eat them immediately; or
  • Put them out of sight, only to eat them after they are mouldy and stale?

We say, what better time than the present? Eat the chocolate now!

Same goes for your property settlement. Starting the process early allows you to disentangle your financial affairs with your former partner and start taking positive steps into the next stage of your life.  Waiting too long could make the property settlement more complicated. If for example, items have been sold or values have decreased or increased substantially since separation.

We understand that this is a very emotional time for many separated couples and that you may be feeling financially vulnerable and overwhelmed. But chocolate always makes you feel better right? So don’t hide the issues out of sight, get started now.

Got dinner plans? Don’t forget to make a reservation!

You wouldn’t go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day without a reservation would you?  That’s just setting yourself up for disappointment if the venue you promised is not available.  Goodbye delicious dinner and hello hangry dinner date.

Likewise, if you have reached a verbal or informal agreement with your partner, you shouldn’t just trust that it will “all be ok”.  The reality is, a verbal agreement or an informal written agreement entered into between you and your former partner leaves you both open to a number of risks. The agreement may be evidence of your intended agreement, but it is not a binding or enforceable document.  Even in circumstances where you have given effect to that agreement, the court might still interfere, particularly if the agreement was not fair or just, as required by the law. There may also be tax or duty implications for failing to formally document your agreement.

Just think about it – without a reservation, your table is not guaranteed.  Your name written down in the reservation book is the best hope you have of sitting down to a well-deserved meal.  So do the same with your family law agreement; make sure it is written down in a binding and enforceable way.

Don’t be afraid to swipe right!

Why do we swipe left? Because we think they aren’t our type or might be out of our league? Because we are afraid of actually meeting in person and talking about our personal lives with a stranger?  What if they don’t get us? Even worse with a lawyer, you have to pay for that meeting.  What if it’s just money down the drain?

We believe it’s essential for client’s to meet with a solicitor to obtain, at the very least, some initial advice on the process and any issues you might need to consider, such as approaching limitation dates, protection of your assets or any obligations you might have, financial or otherwise.

Meeting with a solicitor can give you clarity, peace of mind, reassurance regarding how the process will work and what information / documentation you may need moving forward.  Being armed with information will help reduce uncertainty at an already delicate time.

When you book in for an initial meeting with a lawyer, this is an opportunity for you to get some general legal advice to enable you to make informed decisions about your separation and what’s best for you and your family.   Our overall goal is to ensure that you are fully informed about your legal position and ready to take the necessary steps to move on.

At BTLawyers, we have made it easy for you to swipe right.  If you are ready to take the first step, contact us today on (07) 3211 2233 for an initial consultation. If you mention this article, we will offer you a free one-hour initial consultation to discuss your family law matter.  What have you got to lose? Get started today!

Offer available until 31 March, 2019.

Vanessa & Georgia