Property Settlements - Early resolution by Mediation

04/08/2016

Watson & Watson, Richard Watson and Dennis Grant regularly act for individuals who have significant assets and wealth.  In a recent case Watson & Watson acted for the Husband in a dispute that arose following the breakdown of a marriage of nearly 30 years duration.

In this case there were two adult children and the Husband was the Principal of a group of companies that operated in the financial sector.  The Wife was a Shareholder and Director of a number of companies that formed the company group.  The Wife also operated her own Company business separately to the Husband’s business interests. 

The Husband and Wife separated after the long marriage and the Wife relocated to Victoria and sought legal advice from a firm in Melbourne.  The Husband sought advice from Watson & Watson after the Wife commenced proceedings in the Family Court of Australia in Victoria. 

The assets that were in dispute and available for division between the Husband and the Wife were very significant.  The assets were constituted by a group of companies, one in the hands of the Husband and one of a lesser value in the hands of the Wife.  There was a family trust, real property in two states and a self-managed Superannuation Trust. 

Proceedings were commenced and Watson & Watson were able to achieve financial disclosure and to obtain full and frank financial disclosure from the Wife. 

Following examination of the assets and the respective positions of the Husband and Wife Watson & Watson were able to bring the Court proceedings to an early end by achieving an agreement to have all parties attend a Mediation. 

Resolution by Mediator

The matter was mediated by a former Judge of the Family Court of Australia.  The Mediation took place interstate and in a venue that provided facilities for conferencing and negotiations.  The Mediator conducted the Mediation by meeting with all parties and their Legal Representatives and then proceeding to meet with each of the parties separately to deal with issues arising.  The Mediation process took place over the course of a day and the parties reached an agreement and their Solicitors reduced that agreement to Heads of Agreement.  It was resolved that the appropriate documents to give effect to the settlement would be produced for settlement. 

Settlement following Mediation

The matter was settled and removed from the Court list.  The parties agreement was embodied in Consent Orders approved by the Judge of the Family Court, a document – Binding Financial Agreement regularising the future spousal maintenance payments by one party to the other.  A release of their respective rights under the Succession Act (Family Provision Acts) in each State in which the parties reside. The matter was removed from the Court List as it was settled.  The parties were able to participate individually in the negotiation process and with the assistance of our experienced family lawyer to achieve a successful mediated and final outcome.  The parties obtained early settlement and avoided the costs of further litigations.

At Watson & Watson our experienced family lawyers are able to assist you with achieving a financial settlement through Mediation.  If you are anxious about Court proceedings and are amenable to settlement through negotiation and Mediation, we at Watson & Watson can assist you.  Do not hesitate to telephone Richard Watson our family lawyer who is available to help you to achieve settlement through the Mediation process.

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