Property Settlement - Case Study 2
After a short marriage, husband obtains access to children and retains family home
Our client, (“John”) came to Armstrong Legal after his separation with Kim, which had occurred 4 weeks before our initial meeting. They had been married for 3 years and had a child, Harrison, aged 2. John, 32, had worked as an engineer earning $90,000-plus allowances for living away from home on projects for weeks at a time. Kim, a nurse, had not worked for 2 ½ years since partway through her pregnancy.
Prior to meeting Kim, John owned a three-bedroom house valued at about $500,000, with a mortgage of $140,000. The house, now worth $550,000, currently has a $210,000 mortgage. John and Kim had drawn down on the mortgage to go on their honeymoon and replace Kim’s car with a four-wheel drive vehicle.
Both John and Kim had about equal superannuation because Kim made additional contributions towards super since she first entered the workforce.
John’s main concerns when contacting us were seeing Harrison on a regular basis and maintaining a relationship with him given the limitations of his work. He was also interested in keeping their home.
Kim requested half of the house, spousal maintenance from John of $700 a week plus child support and for John to see Harrison only when she agreed. She justified her position on the basis she needed to be able to buy somewhere else to live for her and Harrison. They had agreed she would be a full-time mother and she did not want to return to the workforce. She also stated John could not spend regular time with Harrison because he was unreliable in keeping a schedule due to his work commitments.
Unfortunately, the case could not be settled, largely because Kim would not compromise on arrangements for Harrison and her view that John should continue to wholly support her while she was a full-time mother.
The Armstrong Legal team prepared John’s case by organising his evidence and preparing all court documents to his best advantage. We made appropriate offers of settlement to demonstrate Kim’s unreasonable request and prepared him for questions he would be asked. We discussed the advantages of John’s proposal, the shortcomings of Kim’s position and prepared him to give evidence at court.
The successful result achieved for John enabled him to spend regular time with Harrison each week including overnights while he was in Sydney, communication with Harrison every few days via webcam, including when he was overseas, extended periods of time with Harrison when he was on annual leave, as well as additional time at Christmas, Easter, on Harrison’s birthday and Father’s Day every year.
John was able to keep the home by paying out Kim’s interest from funds obtained through a mortgage broker. This and the amount of finance he required was achieved by transferring some of his superannuation to Kim in part payment of her interest in the property.
Armstrong Legal would be pleased to be able to discuss your situation with you and let you know realistically what we would be able to achieve for you. If you would like free preliminary advice, please do not hesitate to contact us.
WHERE TO NEXT?
Taking the next step and contacting a family lawyer can be scary. Our lawyers will make you feel comfortable so you can talk about your situation. But first, ask yourself, Do I really need a lawyer?