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How to get funds released before a property settlement

Property Settlement

A Family Law property settlement can be lengthy, costly and stressful.

There is often money tied up in assets that can’t be distributed until the court makes its orders or the case settles. There is often also a disparity in the level of control each former partner has over any assets.

This can leave a separating or divorcing couple financially vulnerable, frustrated, and in a world of uncertainty – especially the partner with less access to the assets who now needs to find money for legal costs on top of their living expenses.

If you find yourself in this position the good news is that you may be able to apply to the Family Court for an “interim distribution of funds”.

What the court can do

In 2011 the Family Court ruled that it no longer needed to wait until the end of a case to make just one set of orders distributing any property between former partners of a relationship. Instead, it can make a series of distributions throughout a case instead, including orders to pay cash or temporarily transfer property.

This can help alleviate the financial strain that comes from having your assets in limbo until a property case finishes.

When will a court make an interim distribution?

While anyone awaiting a property settlement can apply for an interim distribution, it’s most commonly used where:

  • One party has the majority of the control over assets;
  • There are sufficiently liquid assets (ie cash or something that can be easily converted to cash, such as shares); and
  • An interim distribution won’t negatively affect anyone’s ability to pursue the property settlement they want.

What next?

If you’re going through a separation or divorce and your assets are tied up, or your access to them is restricted, you should contact Catherine Henry Lawyers’ family law team.

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