How an injunction can protect your property
Property settlements are one of the most common and often hotly contested aspects of family law. Injunctions are often an important part of that process and are generally used to protect the property of the most vulnerable people during a divorce or separation. So, what is it?
What is it?
As an example, a situation may arise if one partner has assets worth millions and there is a risk of them disposing of some or all of that property to the detriment of the other partner and the other partner does not have property, an injunction can be used to stop the wealthier partner from selling or transferring their assets, before the property settlement is completed.
The court can issue injunctions restricting parties from selling assets, dissipating funds, or changing company structures if it is necessary to protect the matrimonial asset pool, pending a final determination about property settlement.
A recent case:
The Family Court recently considered a case, Tsiang & Wu v Ors, where the husband appealed a decision of the lower court not to grant an injunction restricting his wife from dealing with certain property.
The court had initially said that there was insufficient evidence to issue an injunction against the wife selling the properties owned by her.
The husband appealed the decision and sought that the injunction against the wife be made, and also sought an injunction against two third parties from selling company interests.
The parties had a significant property pool of around $40 million, and had reached consent orders in the court to resolve property matters.
But under those orders, there were significant business assets in China which required the wife to transfer assets to the husband.
The imprecise description of one of the partnership entities led to a significant dispute between the husband and the wife, and the husband applied to the court for the orders to be set aside. At the same time, the husband filed an application for an injunction against the wife, to protect the property pool pending the court decision.
The court decided it wasn’t necessary to show that there was an intention by the wife to sell off or dispose of property, it was only necessary to show there was a possibility of this happening.
On that basis, the husband’s appeal was granted and an injunction granted against the wife preventing her from dealing with the property.
If you have questions about property settlements, please contact Michael Lynch Family Lawyers on (07) 3221 4300 for all the expert advice on Family Law.