Full disclosure at mediation
Printed From: AussieLegal
Category: Family Law, Defacto Law
Forum Name: Divorce, Consent Orders, Binding Financial Agreements
Printed Date: 23/March/2019 at 20:24
Topic: Full disclosure at mediation
Posted By: Bluegreen
Subject: Full disclosure at mediation
Date Posted: 23/August/2018 at 11:29
My husband of 27 yrs and I separated in January of this year. I arranged to have mediation over a property settlement.Our children are grown so it is just about property.
I attended the first meeting with the mediator,and then my husband attended his own intake meeting.During this meeting the mediator gave him legal advice, (or he says she did),which a.was incorrect,and b.not her place to do so.After hearing about it I lost all trust in the mediator.Also, my husband refused to provide me with all the documents necessary including bank accounts in his name, super statements and so on. I saw no point in mediation for these two reasons and so pulled out.
Next, my husband offered me a settlement, based on what he could afford and paid out over three years so he would not have to go into debt.
Being a soft touch and desperate to move on I said yes. But a new lawyer has said no, don't accept it as I am entitled to more and a staggered payment over three years is unacceptable and not legally enforceable unless a court rules on it,and they won't because it is manifestly unfair.
So,the lawyers advice tome is to get my husband into mediation and try and work out a solution. But I see no point in this as he will not disclose all his finances to me.
The way I understand the law, and I could be mistaken, is that if it is a property only dispute you don't have to go to mediation first. I would like to instruct the lawyer to write my husband a letter saying I am going to ask for a 50% property settlement and if he wants to avoid going to court then we can return to mediation with a full and frank disclosure. Does this seem like a good way to proceed?
Posted By: DoogleMcFroogle
Date Posted: 24/August/2018 at 10:47
YES. Also - you are entitled to a 50% split and there are many ways you can work this out ( although court will not allow for payment over 3 years - it has to be final and sorted via assets, property and super etc... )
If your husband has already not given you all documents I can see this going to court - why would he provide again when he hasnt already in first mediation?
Lawyer letter might help and lawyer can ask for all disclosure from your husband before proceeding to court if you husband does not provide in a reasonable time.
I hope you can sort through mediation though - much cheaper process. If your ex hubsand is being difficult, he can be liable for all your legal costs
Posted By: Bluegreen
Date Posted: 24/August/2018 at 11:12
Thank you very much for your response. I hope we can get to mediation too. My husband needs to get his head out of the sand. I will be asking my lawyer to apply to the court for maintenance until settlement. I understand these monies are not part of the property settlement so my husband will see it as dead money. If he tries to drag the settlement process out then it will be to his detriment. Funny thing is,I am prepared to settle and to be reasonable, even generous, but he can't help himself. If a situation is bad, he tries to make it worse.
Posted By: rannii
Date Posted: 15/September/2018 at 08:07
A court will allow delayed payments over a number of years. It’s not the “usual” thing to do.
My property orders involved such.
Posted By: Bluegreen
Date Posted: 15/September/2018 at 11:18
Thanks for your reply.
My lawyer said to me 'why would you want staggered payments? Don't you want to be free of him? And the courts like to see these things tidied up so you don't come back if he defaults on a payment and you clog up the courts.'
I guess she has a point, but if you have had staggered payments then it must be do-able. I will certainly put it too him and my lawyer, even if we space it into two payments instead of three. If it's easier for him.