Interim request to set aside transaction
The Court has recently considered an interim application by a wife to set aside the transfer of property in the husband’s name to his brother.
The Family Law Act provides that transactions that are intended to defeat the claim of a spouse can be set aside by the Court.
In this case, there were 2 properties in question, which were originally owned jointly by the husband and his brother. During the Court proceedings, the husband transferred his interest in the properties to his brother for an amount of money. The parties obtained independent valuations of the properties before the transfer was effected.
The husband’s evidence was that the money from the sale was used to pay back loans owed to his parents. The wife disputed this loan.
During the proceedings, the brother admitted that he underpaid the husband for the properties as he was unable to borrow the additional funds. The brother argued that this was a debt owing to the husband, which could be included in the matrimonial pool.
The Court noted the timing of the transaction as being just 5 months before the hearing. The wife contended that the properties were clearly part of the property pool and at the interim hearing (before the final hearing) that the transactions should be set aside.
The Court noted that the evidence indicated that the transactions appeared to be for the purpose of defeating the wife’s claim but left the decision on this point to the final hearing. Due to the complexity of the matter, it was transferred to the Family Court for the final hearing, which is yet to be heard.