We’ve got an amicable agreement – what do we do now?
Having been told by a client that an amicable agreement has been reached for a property settlement, we sometimes find that problems arise and the “agreement” is not what it seemed. So that you are ahead of the game, here are some (not all) of the common problems;
- There is a broad ‘understanding’ between the parties, however, when details are required to document the agreement it becomes clear that there are two different understandings.
- There has not been full and frank disclosure of information or documents between the two parties and one party is therefore coming to the “amicable agreement” from a position of ignorance.
- Each of the parties have differing views as to the asset and liability values and – again – one party is coming to the ‘amicable agreement’ from a position of ignorance.
- Either only one, or none, of the parties have had any family law advice. They had worked out an agreement between themselves based on good intentions, rather than an informed understanding of legally how property settlement is actually determined.
- There is a power imbalance between the parties and some level of coercion is being applied by one party to achieve an agreement.
- Consequences of the proposed agreement haven’t been considered, e.g. capital gains tax that may arise from the sale of an investment property.
We certainly don’t wish to undermine agreements – to the contrary, our aim is to support and facilitate amicable agreements, provided they are, in fact, amicable. Our aim is to assist cooperating and amicable parties to get a property settlement agreement documented and in so doing to minimise time and cost. Sadly, sometimes in the haste of getting a documented agreement some of these challenges arise and that can sometimes translate to increased cost, delay and frustration.
To best ensure that your amicable agreement gets documented promptly and efficiently, make sure you get your own family law advice. It is not there to de-rail your agreement but to ensure it is informed and fair.
We provide a no obligation fixed cost initial appointment. To make an appointment at Michael Lynch Family Lawyers Brisbane office, call us on (07) 3221 4300.