You have separated.
The initial emotion has died down.
But now you and your ex want to divide up the property that both of you owned during your marriage or de facto relationship.
You don’t want the property pool to be reduced by someone else getting some of your precious property.
Usually in Family Court property proceedings it only involves you and your ex. But, in some situations, the Family Court will allow third parties to be involved in your property settlement.
The Family Court can make orders about your property in favour of third parties. That is people who are not you or your ex.
WHO IS A THIRD PARTY IN FAMILY COURT
A third party is someone who is not a de facto partner or spouse to the marriage. These can include:
- Creditors (someone who one of you owe money to).
For example, property is transferred so the Court cannot include it in the property settlement. This might sound like a good idea because it stops the Court from being able to directly make an order against it. But, if the Court finds out that property has been transferred so one party receives less property than the other, the Court can set the transfer aside. That means the Court will bring the property back into the settlement.
Another situation is where property is transferred to a company or a trust. In this case, the Court can make an order against that company if they find that:
- a party has actual control over that company or trust; and
- the property was transferred to make sure that the other party receives less in the property settlement.
If money is owed to someone, the court can order that you pay the debt to that person before it decides to work out how to split your property.
The bottom line is that the Family Court can make orders in favour of someone who is not you or your ex if that person or entity had an interest in your property before your separation.
Third party situations in family law cases can complicate your property settlement.
There is clearly more to it than this. Wayne Dawkins is a Perth Family Lawyer and practices exclusively in Family Law.
If you are concerned that your property settlement could become complicated call Wayne Dawkins on 92143887 or submit your enquiry through our website.