After five years of marriage and what appeared to be an amicable separation, Renee Catt was “blindsided” when her former partner commenced property settlement negotiations just days after the pair’s separation. Ms Catt has described how she lost almost $100,000.00 as a consequence of legal costs spent in negotiations and court proceedings and how she hit “rock bottom” but in the process laid the foundations for a new career as a divorce coach.
There are a number of common misconceptions regarding family law property proceedings:
- That cash or property held in one person’s name is automatically theirs following separation or divorce;
- That superannuation is excluded from the asset pool;
- That inheritances or money gifted from family are excluded from the asset pool;
- That you can not have a property settlement until you have divorced; and
- That you are in a de facto relationship if you have been living together for six months.
The general view is that if you do separate, seek professional advice as soon as possible, and avoid relying on the advice of well-intended family and friends. Please contact Rowan Skinner & Associates Lawyers if this article has raised concerns for you.