Final Settlement – Making sure your Settlement is Final

12/03/2018

In cases of a marriage breakdown or separation of de facto couples Watson & Watson take particular care to ensure that a division of property is a final and once and for all settlement.  It is essential to ensure that no future claims can be brought against you by a former spouse or partner.

Just because the Court approves Consent Orders does not mean that your spouse or partner cannot come back in the future for more in certain circumstances.

Spousal Maintenance

The approval of Consent Orders by the Family Court of Australia will divide existing assets and liabilities.  It will be final and binding.  However Consent Orders approved by the Family Court do not exclude future claims for periodic spousal maintenance or lump sum spousal maintenance.  The right to make an application for spousal maintenance survives even though the parties have divided up their current assets and liabilities and the Court has approved current Orders.

Claims Against Your Estate

It is also commonly thought that a person’s Will determines how their Estate is distributed but the Succession Act 2006 provides for a former spouse or partner to make an application for provision out of the deceased estate of their former spouse or partner.   Even though the Family Court has made final Orders, a claim can still be made under the Succession Act.  This may be many years later.

At Watson & Watson we will provide advice as to the best possible settlement outcome in relation to potential future claims for spousal maintenance or claims against your Estate.  This requires preparation of additional settlement documentation to ensure that you are properly protected.  The proper basis for settlement of a property dispute so as to exclude future claims and provide certainty is to ensure that the following documentations are prepared:

1.        Application for Consent Orders and Consent Orders approved by the Family Court of Australia.

2.        Deed of Release Succession Act 2006 (NSW).

3.        Binding Financial Agreement – Release of rights to claim Spousal Maintenance in the future.

If you are concerned that your current financial settlement leaves you open to a further claim by a former spouse or partner or you are in the process of financial settlement and want to ensure that your financial settlement documents are thoroughly drafted to ensure that no future claim can be brought against you, please do not hesitate to contact Richard Watson Family Law Solicitor or his assistant Shereen Da Gloria to discuss your concerns or queries.

At Watson and Watson we prepare all the requisite settlement documents required for you to achieve that full and final settlement and give you peace of mind.

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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