Sunday, 24 November 2013

What to do if you’re recently separated and there are assets in your partner’s name only.

Properties are often registered in the name of one spouse for asset protection or tax reasons. Often, properties owned by one spouse prior to the parties entering into a relationship stays in that spouse’s name and are not transferred into joint names. That spouse may even consider those properties to be theirs only.

The mere fact that a property is registered in the name of one party does not mean it is immune from being divided with the other party at separation. Properties which exist at separation are usually considered part of the common pool of assets to be divided.

If your spouse owns real estate in their sole name or jointly with someone else, it is essential that you lodge a caveat against your spouse’s interests in the property to prevent those interests from being sold or transferred to another person. The process of lodging a caveat is quick and simple.

If your spouse is about to retire, a payment flag may be registered with your spouse’s superannuation fund to prevent your spouse from withdrawing his or her superannuation benefits. A flag may be put in place with your spouse’s agreement or by order of the Court.

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