Unless you are divorced there is no reason why you cannot claim for a property settlement from your broken down relationship 10, 20 or even 30 years after separation. Once you are divorced you only have 12 months after the date to apply to the Court for help sorting out your property. The longer you are divorced the harder it is to get the Court to help you.
There was a recent case where the parties (now in their 80’s and 90’s) had been separated for 30 years but never divorced. The husband lived in the family home and the wife moved out. The children were all grown when the couple separated. The wife received inheritances after separation and she bought her own house with that money and lived there at the time of the Court hearing.
Although the wife’s property was taken into account the court held that because the husband did not contribute to the home he had no claim on it. However, the court found that the wife was entitled to 50% of the family home that the husband still lived in. So the husband would have to sell the home and give the wife half of the proceeds and the wife kept the home she lived in.
The Court took into account the fact that the husband and wife had been together for 32 years and that they both made contributions to the family home. Therefore the wife had a claim on it.
The wife had also tried several times to come to an agreement with the husband to get her share but the husband always ‘fobbed her off’ and said things like ‘It will be in my Will’.
The wife only decided to file with the Court when she found out that she had been taken out of his Will.
It is never to late to get your fair share of property.
Call Ruth Single, Family Lawyer now on 4324 7699.