What is Ours is Mine, What is Mine is Mine.
When we are in a committed relationship we usually start working together for a better future. This means combining our financial resources, one person may take a step back in their career or move for the other’s career to flourish, one may take more time off or only work part time to look after children on the house.
So what happens when we split up? Who gets the house? Who gets the collection of antiques? What happens with all the debt? Simply it gets divided, but how and what that division look like can be up to you.
When preparing for a Property Settlement Mediation we will ask you to complete a Schedule of Assets and Liabilities, sort of like this:-
We will also ask you to attend at the mediation with proof of the value of any of the items listed in the schedule. This does not necessarily mean that it is the value that will be attributed to it, however it will certainly help show how you came up with the value. The proof may be a real estate appraisal, red book valuation, bank statement or superannuation statement.
At the beginning of a property settlement mediation, we will often attempt to resolve the property pool. We will see what values are agreed and what items will need to obtain further valuations. Property Settlements are not all about how much money you get, it can also be important to discuss the little items that may not have monetary value but rather sentimental value.
Other issues that may need to be considered are feasibility and ongoing needs. You may want the matrimonial home, but are you in a position to refinance the mortgage and, if necessary, pay further funds to your ex-spouse? Another common topic that we see come up is a need to consider what you require to re-establish yourself? During the relationship there was 1 fridge, 1 washing machine and 1 bed, how much money do you require to refurnish your new house.
1. Get legal advice about the costs of litigation and what the outcome may be;
2. Make sure you have valuations and any evidence/documents are current;
3. Be realistic and work out what is important and what is negotiable; and
4. BE PREPARED.
The benefit of mediation is that the parties have the ultimate decision making about the agreement and it is often quicker and more cost effective then litigation.