Wife holds Husband accountable for withdrawal of hundreds of thousands of dollars without excuse

Asset Pool

After a 24 year relationship – 16 of those years as a married couple – and three children together, our client’s husband decided he wanted out.

Ending a relationship is all well and good, as long as it is done without intentionally dissipating the asset pool, part of which the other spouse is entitled.

Unfortunately, that principle was not adhered to by our client’s spouse, who decided at about the time of separation to draw down over $300,000 on the parties’ home loans to which our client was jointly and severally liable to the bank.

The husband claimed he was compelled to, all of a sudden, loan various friends and family members large sums of money. Not only that, but he also decided post-separation to transfer a number of cars to other individuals without forewarning to, or consent of, our client.

Our client took our advice and held firm to holding the Husband accountable for his drawdowns and the cars he sold for under value. The result was a tense, but successful, negotiation resulting in settlement that was struck a week before a five-day Trial in the Family Court. Our client received over 80% (or $550,000) of the balance of the net sale proceeds of the former matrimonial home as well as a sizeable superannuation split in her favour from the Husband. Needless to say, as nervous as she may have been during the standoff, our client was happy she listened to us. We were confident of receiving a pleasing result at Trial, but a negotiated settlement is always better for a client.

Whilst the court generally only looks at currently existing property interests between the parties, it does have mechanisms under the law that allows it to adjust those property interests in favour of an ‘innocent’ party so that a just and equitable result is achieved overall.

If you or someone you know is going through similar circumstances, please phone 1800 600 664 or complete the contact form on this page.

Our family law team will be happy to meet with you and provide focused and strategic Family Law advice.

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