5 Biggest Mistakes in Navigating Your Property Settlement


We have been seeing 5 common mistakes that can often be costly or create difficulties when trying to navigate property settlement.

We list them in top order

  1. Parties let emotions run away and this only ends up costing more.  Whilst this is a highly emotional time and is certainly the time to be upset, angry or distressed we recommend that you regroup and think through before giving instructions to your lawyer.  Sometimes knee jerk reactions such as removing items, moving money can end up costing more in the long run.  Speak to your solicitor before dealing with any assets after separation and during your property settlement process.
  2. Negotiating an agreement without double checking your rights and entitlements.  Often in the early stages parties are negotiating settlement but sometimes the agreement they reach cannot be drafted into any legal document as its improper or not in a format that the court would approve or accept.  In this situation we recommend that you have just an information session consultation with your lawyer first.  You can then be armed with the information to assist you to negotiate directly with the other party if that is your preferred approach.  Please seek some initial sensible advice before working out any set agreements to avoid any unnecessary drama later on.
  3. Ensure that you have obtained information and have an idea of the assets before embarking on negotiations.  In many cases we are seeing clients negotiating settlement particularly where there are assets involved such as businesses without having a full understanding of what the asset is worth and how it can be dealt with in the settlement process.  We recommend that you carefully ensure that you have a balance sheet drafted and this sometimes needs to be done in conjunction with a valuer such as an accountant depending on the nature of the assets in dispute.
  4. Don’t take advice from lay persons such as friends or relatives.  Many people have been through separations and the main thing to note is that everybody’s separation is different.  We find that many of our clients are speaking to friends or relatives and taking advice from persons who do not have legal expertise in the area.  Emotional support is a great thing but please do not be persuaded by advice from someone who is not qualified to provide it.
  5. Procrastination.  We find that it can be quite daunting to consider or move forward with a property settlement and this is understandable in the circumstances, however, often that procrastination can create more stress for clients and we note that the journey of 1,000 miles starts with just a single step.  If you need help to move forward contact us and we can easily start the process for you.

Read our plain English handbooks

These fact sheets are designed to provide an overview of the relevant issues and systems so that you have a better understanding of the process.

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