Choice A is to talk about who gets what, whether property is to be sold, if there is to be a super split, and agree sensibly and amicably on how this is to happen. Many couples are able to do this, fortunately!
The alternate Choice B is to engage in point-scoring exercises, and bullying, spiteful and threatening behaviour, with the aim of getting a larger slice of the pie, or simply destroying the other partner. This process will soon bring you to the point where communication between you and your former partner breaks down completely, and makes any discussions impossible.
I can guarantee that Choice B will cost you heaps and leave your finances in tatters. You will probably seek out an aggressive lawyer and become involved in expensive exercises such as retaining valuers/accountants to place values on your assets and provide financial returns, and gathering evidence for a hearing. A forward thinking lawyer will at some stage suggest a mediation in an attempt to resolve your settlement, but unless this is done early in the process, the parties have probably reached entrenched positions as to what they want (or have been advised that they will get) out of the settlement, and mediation may not work.
If proceedings are started in the Family Court, then your costs will rise to frightening proportions and you will have the expense of gathering reams of evidence to present to the court, retaining a barrister to represent you at a hearing, in addition to your lawyer, and finding the upfront fee to pay into your lawyer’s trust account prior to a hearing
Added to this is the cost of your time spent on appointments with your legal representatives, attending on accountants and/or financial advisers, time lost taking hours off work or away from your business.
The months/years it takes to resolve property settlements is another thing that I will comment on in Part 2 of Damages that Flow from a Destructive Divorce.
Do you each really want to spend up to $30,000.00+ going through this exercise? All these costs come out of the asset pool, so you have much less to divide at the end of the day.
Compare this exercise with Choice A, where you will save thousands of dollars. What can you do with the money you each save? You’ll have a larger deposit if you want to purchase another property, or more cash to invest. You can have a nest egg to pay for children’s school fees and expenses, have a well-deserved holiday, pamper yourself!
You will experience many emotions following a separation. You will need to deal with, anger, feelings of betrayal, grief and sadness. Don’t allow your separation and property settlement to take over your life, choose to control your own destiny and move forward into a new and happier chapter of your life.
We can refer you to divorce coaches, counsellors, psychologists, mediators, accountants, financial advisers etc who can provide information and advice to assist you to discuss a settlement and come to an agreement – then you can visit your lawyer to draw up the relevant documents.
Do the sums…..an amicable divorce has to be the better way to go – and we can help you along the path. Your children, family and friends will thank you too!
Lyn Lucas is the owner of Online Divorce Lawyer. With over 25 years experience in family law Lyn empathises with couples going through a separation and a property settlement. Her focus with Online Divorce Lawyer is to reduce the pain and deliver excellent results in the process of a property settlement. With a negotiated fixed fee for this service, couples have certainty as to their legal costs. Visit Lyn’s site and opt in for a complimentary e-book “Guide to Saving Money with a Divorce Property Settlement”