Case Study – De Facto Wife Spends Life Savings On Partners Properties

Wife Spends Life Savings

Case Study – De Facto Wife Spends Life Savings On Partners Properties


Our client – the de facto wife, had been in a relationship and living with her partner for 4 years.

The de facto husband owned a property at the commencement of their relationship and purchased another property during the relationship.

In the course of the relationship, our client expended her life savings towards mortgage repayments, living expenses and the personal loans in the name of the de facto husband.

Our client came to our office for assistance when she was told that she was not entitled to a property settlement after separation.


The main issues in this case were:

  1. Given that this was a short relationship, and the properties were in the Husband’s name, the de facto husband asserted our client was not entitled to a property settlement;
  2. Our client had expended her life savings towards the de facto husband’s properties and their joint living expenses;
  3. The de facto husband refused to participate in the family law process and would not respond to requests for financial disclosure; and
  4. Our client was concerned about commencing legal proceedings as she has experienced domestic violence.

What we did

Recognising the significant financial contributions made by our client, we were able to advise her of her entitlement to property adjustment orders under the Family Law Act 1975.

Given the de facto husband’s lack of response and failure to provide financial disclosure, we commenced legal proceedings by of an Initiating Application in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia. By commencing proceedings, the de facto husband was forced to participate in the Family Law process or risk having a costs order made against him by the Court.

To protect our client’s interests, we also arranged for caveats to be registered on the de facto husband’s properties. This ensured that he could not sell the properties without the express permission of our client. By doing this, Brazel Moore Lawyers ensured that the major assets in the property pool were protected and gave our client time to commence legal proceedings and participate in a mediation.

Once financial disclosure had been exchanged between the parties, we arranged for a mediation to be undertaken by the parties. Mediation is a far more cost effective and timely process of dispute resolution compared to Court proceedings.

The Outcome:

Brazel Moore Lawyers successfully negotiated a settlement agreement to resolve all outstanding property issues.

Given our client’s concerns for her safety due to experiencing domestic violence, we undertook a shuttle mediation. This meant our client did not have to come face to face with her former partner and empowered her to advocate for herself in a safe environment.

The parties agreed to the following Orders to be made by Consent:

  1. That the de facto wife receive a payment of cash from the Husband which reflected her significant financial contributions;
  2. That otherwise the parties retain all other assets and liabilities in their sole names.

Our client was happy to have her matter resolved in a timely manner without the need to continue Court proceedings. Having received a just and equitable property settlement, our client can now move on with her life and look to purchase her own home.

How can we help?

The friendly and skilled Family Law Team at Expert Family Lawyers Central Coast are available to assist you with your parenting and property matters.

If you need advice regarding your family law matter, please contact Expert Family Lawyers Central Coast on 4324 7699.



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