Think of the Benefit, the Detriment and the Cost of Extensive Litigation, Debate or Interlocutory Application - Not all debates or applications to the Court are cost efficient

06/01/2018

Often people separate after some time of discontentment in the relationship.  There are many emotions for each person to the relationship to consider and deal with.

There are often many issues that arise including financial issues, concerns about any children or other dependents and concern as to how you are going to survive following separation.

It is often not the time to make serious decisions when you and your partner are affected by such overriding emotions.  However it is appropriate to obtain legal advice from experienced Lawyers as to your circumstances, alternatives and options available.

The assets available are most often limited and it is difficult for the limited assets to be divided between each of the parties in a manner to achieve a lifestyle that each of the parties may desire or have become accustomed to.

If this is a difficulty when you separate, take stock and carefully consider whether your actions with your Lawyers assistance, are designed to conserve the assets that are available to be divided between you and your partner or spouse

One thing for certain is that there are limited assets available for division between you and your ex partner.

The second thing that is certain is that legal fees and other associates costs are a significant disincentive to debate matters without proper consideration of your actions and the likely outcome, costs and benefits, both financial and emotional.

Most couples who are in this difficult time are unaware of which actions will achieve any positive outcome(s) for you or your partner. We have found that many Lawyers are happy to take action at a significant cost to you and your partner.  Consider the costs and benefits as some actions should and need to be taken in extreme cases.

Ask your Lawyer to explain the costs and possible benefits for you.  This will allow you to make a commercial decision as to the approach.

Also we suggest that at an early stage that you obtain some assessment from your Solicitor of what is the likely outcome in relation to property division having regard to the facts of the matter.

Usually one can make a good estimate very early on in the process and without the need of expending thousands of dollars for you to understand your ball park position.

Naturally there are many areas of concern for you maybe, including:

1.        Whether one of the parties is going to be able to afford the current house and payout their partner;

2.        Whether you can live in the same district and “downsize”;

3.        Whether you can enjoy the same living standard; and

4.        Whether the children will have to change schools.

Lawyers will assist you in taking appropriate action.  If action is taken because there has been improper consideration, then that is very unfortunate and can have a detrimental effect on you, your partner, your children and the wider family.

If for example on a mature reflection it is clear that you will not be able to keep the matrimonial home, then common sense would dictate that it would be unwise for you to spend $50,000 plus in legal and associated fees in maintaining a position to hold onto the house rather than selling the property and divide the funds to enable each of you to move on with your life.

In those circumstances you and your partner need an experienced Lawyer who from his or her experiences can “forsee the future” and who wishes to achieve a cost effective outcome for you.

Once the parties are embroiled in ongoing interlocutory applications about many matters which upon reflection is not going to achieve a positive result or preservation of assets to be divided, we believe you should rethink and reconsider what action should be taken to protect the asset base so that there is a hope that the parties can resolve the issues at an early stage without the need for the intervention of a Court.

Sometimes to save oneself, one needs to cut off a finger or arm depending on the circumstances.  At all times you need to consider whether there is a better way to achieve an equitable outcome for you, your children and your ex partner.  Wasting money is not one of those ways.

Further it appears to us that one should try and resolve the matters without settling at the doorsteps of the Court by which time an enormous financial and emotional cost has been incurred.

If you have any queries as to the progress of your matter we suggest you can discuss this with your Solicitor or Lawyer and possibly seek a second opinion.

If this article raises concerns for you please do not hesitate to contact Richard Watson our experienced family law Solicitor at Watson & Watson by contacting Richard Watson or his Personal Assistant Shereen DaGloria to discuss your queries so that we can provide options and alternatives available to you so as to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

This is only a preliminary view and is not to be taken as legal advice without first contacting Watson & Watson Solicitors on 02 9221 6011.

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