Reasons Your Spouse Is Delaying Property Settlement and What Should You Do
However, there is always one person in the relationship who is looking to extend the length of the property settlement process even in the circumstances when they are in the position to efficiently resolve the financial issues between them. One of the main reasons may be because they consider sorting out their property issues to be the last and final step in the separation process and they may be still processing the emotions associated with the separation.
In this article, our Divorce Lawyers in Chatswood will detail a further three reasons why your partner or spouse may be delaying the property settlement process and what should you do in response to it.
1. No Agreement
The biggest cause of a delay in many property settlement matters is when you and your partner cannot and/or will not agree on the specifics of property division. For example, this may be when:
- i. One or both partners believe that they deserve more of the assets either because they contributed more financially or non-financially during the relationship;
- ii. One partner has not provided full and frank disclosure in relation to their financial situation; and
- iii. One or both partners refuse to engage in meaningful attempts to resolve the matter by attending mediation, making reasonable offers and/or declining reasonable offers.
At Chatswood Family Lawyers, our Divorce Lawyers have represented clients whose spouses have done at least one of the above to delay the settlement process. We understand that efficient settlement is achieved when both partners recognise there is an obligation on them to provide all of the necessary information so they are both afforded with the opportunity to productively explore the options of asset division. In circumstances when the other partner fails to comply, our experienced Divorce Lawyers in Chatswood are able to procure the best strategy to effectively push the settlement forward.
2. There Is A Financial Benefit In Delaying
Property division is generally not a black and white matter. There are numerous factors which are taken into consideration when determining the particulars of which partner gets which asset and this includes assets acquired during the relationship and after separation.
Rather than quickly severing the financial ties between you and your partner, your partner may see a financial benefit in delaying the process and this may be for the following reasons:
- i. Either your asset or a joint asset is about to rise in value and the joint asset pool is set to increase;
- ii. You are about to receive an inheritance;
- iii. Until property settlement is finalised, you may be liable for some of the debt incurred by your former partner after separation; and
- iv. They are currently living in the former matrimonial home rent free and do not want to sell it.
3. One party is trying to save money
At times, a couple may believe that proceeding with property settlement through the legal system will cost an exorbitant amount of money and so they delay the process of severing the financial ties with their former partner. This is not ideal especially if your relationship with your former partner is currently amiable and you are able to negotiate on friendly terms. It is extremely risky to assume that your relationship with your former partner is never going to turn sour.
By delaying the process, you also risk the chance that the assets depreciate in value. In that regard, it is important to know that assets are calculated on the date settlement is reached, not at the date of separation.
If you are divorced from your former partner, another piece of crucial information to know is that the Court has placed a one year limit on when you can apply to the Court for a property settlement and for de facto couples, this limit is two years.
What Should You Do If The Property Settlement Is Delayed?
The first thing you should do if your former partner is delaying the property settlement process is to speak to one of our Divorce Lawyers in Chatswood. We can give you the advice and support that you need to help you go through the steps to begin and finalise your property settlement, no matter how difficult it may be.