A recent case highlights why your financial positions should be sorted out as soon as possible. We have acted in a number of these cases and in each case the late finalisation of settlement of financial issues caused hardship to the parties.
In the case in question the husband had extensive business interests in AustraliaÂ and New Zealand and a manufacturing business in China. The husband alleged that the marriage broke down in 2003.Â He resided mainly in New Zealand and the wife continued to reside in Queensland.Â The parties without formalising a division of the assets divided their assets in what the husband believed was an equal division in 2004.Â He continued to run the family business.
The business increased substantially over the years.Â The husband maintained some relationship with his former wife sufficient for the judge at trial to say and to accept that the wifeâ€™s statements that the marriage continued until 2010.
The parties did not divorce and the wife was able to bring an application for a property division based on the increased value of the assets as valued when the case came to trial in 2013.Â Although the husbandâ€™s post separation contribution to the increase in the assets value the wife did receive a significant windfall of a greater interest in the assets from financial settlement.
The moral of this story is finalise all issues of the marriage breakup as soon as possible by implementing agreements on the financial settlement after separation.