• John Stirk

WINDFALL PROPERTY

For 20 years, readers of the Centralian Advocate looked forward to the Friday edition. Therein Povey Stirk Lawyers published a 300 word tale of fiction based on legally newsworthy events.

The following is a sample of these blogs

9th April 2019


Holly and Brendan were a new age couple. However, after five years of marriage they decided they each wanted to pursue their own lifestyles. Holly wished to take up a job offer in Nicaragua and Brendan decided he wanted to farm pears in Tasmania.


During their marriage, Holly’s aunt had passed away and left Holly half a million dollars. She had only received the money two months before they decided to go their separate ways. Brendan thought he should have a 50 percent share in the inheritance and Holly unsurprisingly took a different view.


Holly took some legal advice and was told that the Family Law Act was a statutory scheme which had been in place for over 40 years. It set out the only factors that a court take into account in attributing property between parties (whether they were divorced or not). Those legislative factors required the court to look at what where characterised as financial and non-financial contributions. Holly and Brendan had commenced their relationship with minimal funds. They had no children. Each had worked. Until the decision to change their careers, both Holly and Brendan had earned similar incomes. It was likely that each would continue working until they were in their 60s. The prospects of job advancement for each of them were good.


A court determining the case would find that each had contributed equally to the assets acquired except for the windfall gain of the inheritance. The court would look at the assets and liabilities of Holly and Brendan. While normally those assets are globalised, in some cases particular classes of assets are characterised as being in a separate asset pool. Given the inheritance had been received late in the relationship, it would probably be characterised as a separate pool asset and Holly would receive those funds to the exclusion of Brendan. The other assets would be split equally.

_________________________________________________________________________________________


Disclaimer: This document provides general information and is not legal advice. While we endeavour to ensure the information is correct at the date of publication, laws frequently change. If anything in this post is relevant to you, please contact us for advice on your specific situation


20 views