Strategies for a Successful Family Law Property Settlement
Evan Sarinas discusses some winning strategies to a successful family law property settlement.
Understand the total value of the property pool and how the wealth was generated.
This requires an analysis of all assets and liabilities at 2 points in time:
When the relationship commenced; and
When the relationship ended
Include superannuation as well because super is treated like property.
If the parties are not in agreement on values or if there are suspicions that property has been squirrelled away, then the process is likely to become expensive and exhausting because this will necessitate a forensic investigation and independent valuations.
We may have to trawl through bank account statements and uncover complex money movements over the period of the relationship.
Getting to Agreement
If there is agreement on value then the process is likely to be more amicable and less expensive
Here’s a bit of advice: be prepared to give and take.
If your lawyer is not giving you that advice then your lawyer is either commercially immature or is doing you a disservice because the requirement to be reasonable and fair minded is essential in all family law matters.
It is a failed strategy if your focus is to score points along the way rather than seeing the big picture
Focus on the steak and not the peas.
Do the Legal Research
After the initial financial analysis we may undertake legal research to get an understanding of what percentage range a court might likely award each party.
Every relationship is unique however researching previous case law is essential to applying the numerous considerations specified in the Family Law Act.
When making an offer allow room to negotiate because it is unlikely that the first offer will be accepted. This is where you need to discern what property is important to you.
Remember the first rule of give and take… and focusing on the steak and not the peas. Squabbling over minor matters is unproductive.
Costs and Bluff Calling
If there is no compromise by the other side or it is clear that the other side have over estimated their worth, then you will need to make some calculated decisions.
A strategy may be to call their bluff, proceed with litigation and let a judge decide.
This then forces the other side side to seriously consider their position because there may be costs consequences.
Usually each party bears their own costs.
However we have been successful in having the other side pay our client's legal costs because we have set them up with a series of strategic offers that we bettered at trial.
Family law is complex and often acrimonious. Achieving the best outcome requires the correct strategy.
Go to our website and give Sarinas Legal a call about your legal issues
Disclaimer: This publication is intended as general information only and not specific legal advice. All liability is specifically disclaimed for reliance on same. Seek professional legal advice.
“Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.”