The Information Required
What was your financial position at the start of the relationship?
What is your financial position now?
What did you bring to the start of the relationship?
What financial contributions were made to the relationship:
Provide answers to those questions in respect of your former partner also.
What income did the household have during the relationship?
What expenditure did the household have during the relationship?
It is irrelevant for these purposes as to who paid which particular bill.
Was there any wastage of assets during the relationship?
Was there any wastage of assets after the relationship ended?
What is the earning capacity of each of the parties?
What are your future needs in terms of:
- Special Needs?
Similarly, what are the future needs of:
- Your Former Partner?;
- Any Children?
Prepare a chronology of all events relevant to the property settlement. That chronology will come in very handy later in proceedings. Update that chronology as new information comes to light.
Prepare a comprehensive statement from the litigant outlining the relevant events in chronological order. That statement can be used as a guide for the evidence of the litigant, should the dynamics of the case require evidence to be given, in whatever fashion. Accordingly the statement will form the basis of any affidavit material that might need to be filed in court.
Collate all documentation that supports this property settlement information eg bank statements, property valuations.
Once provided with all this information and documentation I will then be in a position to assess the strengths and weakness of the case. From there I can advise on the outcome that might be reached if a Court were asked to decide the matter.
It is only at that stage, when a litigant has been properly advised as to the outcome that might be reached if a Court were asked to decide the matter, that the litigant is in a position to make an informed decision to compromise the matter at mediation or make an offer to settle. Anything less will involve making a less than fully informed decision about the outcome of the matter.
The family law property settlement process is one of many steps, but if approached methodically and the skills of experienced legal practitioners are properly utilised, that process need not be daunting. It can be informative, rewarding and empowering.
So embrace the opportunity to purposefully confront your family law property settlement and remember that help is available through the phenomenon called asking.
I have prepared a slide show presentation containing all of this information, which may also be of some assistance to you.
(Family Law: Property Settlements - Preparation Guide)
In a subsequent post I will deal with Family Law Relocation cases.
Ross Bowler LLB