Divorce can be a complex and emotionally charged process, particularly when it involves the division of assets.
A frequently asked question is, “Can I sell assets before my divorce is finalised?” The answer to this is nuanced and requires a thorough understanding of the family law system.
Understanding the Legal Landscape
In Australia, the legalities surrounding the sale of assets before a divorce is finalised are complex. While technically possible, doing so can present significant legal challenges.
The Family Law Act is the guiding legislation in these matters, mandating complete disclosure of all assets, incomes, and financial resources during divorce proceedings. This transparency is crucial to ensure an equitable process and prevent either party from being unfairly disadvantaged.
🔑 Key Takeaway: Selling assets before divorce is legally complex and requires careful consideration of the Family Law Act’s requirements.
The Court’s Perspective
The court scrutinises the sale of assets during divorce proceedings. If assets are sold at less than market value, the court may adjust the division of marital assets to ensure equitable distribution.
Additionally, if a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage has been filed, an injunction might be issued, barring the sale of marital assets and adding to the complexity of the situation
🔑 Key Takeaway: The court closely examines asset sales during divorce, potentially adjusting asset division to ensure fairness.
Also read: The 70/30 Divorce Settlement Australia
Protecting Your Interests
If you’re concerned about your spouse selling assets, it is vital to take proactive steps. These include monitoring bank accounts, real estate listings, and ensuring joint signatures are on shared mortgages and bank accounts.
In urgent cases, seeking an injunction to restrain your spouse from selling assets can protect your interests.
🔑 Key Takeaway: Vigilance and legal measures like injunctions can protect your interests from unauthorised asset sales by a spouse.
Selling Assets: A Risky Move
Selling assets before reaching a divorce settlement can be interpreted as an attempt to hide or undervalue assets, potentially leading to legal consequences.
The courts may impose sanctions for such actions, possibly resulting in a less favourable settlement for the party who sold the assets.
It is therefore essential to carefully consider the potential legal and financial consequences before proceeding with asset sales.
🔑 Key Takeaway: Selling assets before a divorce settlement is risky and can lead to legal and financial penalties.
How We Can Provide Assistance
As a family law firm in Australia, we recently guided a client through the complexities of selling assets during divorce proceedings.
Our first step was to provide a comprehensive overview of the Family Law Act, emphasising the importance of full disclosure and the potential legal ramifications of prematurely selling assets.
We explained that while selling assets isn’t prohibited, it must be done transparently and fairly, ensuring no disadvantage to either party in the divorce.
To protect our client’s interests, we conducted a thorough assessment of the marital assets, including properties and investments.
We advised her on the legalities of asset division, ensuring she understood the implications of selling any assets before reaching a property settlement agreement.
We also discussed strategies to safeguard her financial position, such as obtaining a court injunction to prevent her spouse from unilaterally disposing of assets.
Seeking Legal Advice
Navigating the complexities of divorce and asset division requires a nuanced understanding of the legal terrain. Our team of experienced lawyers can provide tailored advice to your circumstances, ensuring that any asset sales are conducted legally and in your best interest.
🔑 Key Takeaway: Professional legal advice is essential to navigate the complexities of selling assets before divorce.