This week we continue our weekly series concerning the dilemmas faced by each of Sally and Harry after the breakdown of their relationship. We consider issues facing Harry and his viewpoint in relation to the final settlement of property that Sally is wanting to arrange with him.
Harry does not agree with Sally
This may not surprise you in itself. However, Harry’s first and foremost issue is not how property should be divided. As far as Harry is concerned, he does not accept that he and Sally are even officially separated.
Harry doesn’t dispute that they are now living in separate places. Harry had moved out to live with his parents but he believes that this was only a temporary measure whilst he and Sally sorted out their differences.
However, since he moved out, tensions between them had reduced and Harry had continued visiting Sally and the children at the house where she still lived with the children, evening staying for dinner with them and sometimes staying overnight. In fact, there had been a period of a few weeks about two months ago when he had stayed with them for a continuous period of a few weeks.
There had been a few occasions when they had talked about Harry moving back in and acknowledged to each other that they still had feelings for each other. They had not been sexually involved for a long time but Harry and Sally had slept together on a number of occasions since he moved out when he had stayed overnight with Sally and the children.
Harry had continued to financially support both Sally and the children, paying the mortgage and rates at the house where they lived as well as paying for groceries, health insurance for them all and other living expenses not only of the children but also for Sally.
Although their family and friends knew that he did not live full time at the house, Harry and Sally continued to socialise together with the children amongst family and friends.
What can harry do where he does not want to finally resolve property matters with Sally?
Unfortunately for Harry, if Sally is of the view that their relationship has broken down irretrievably and has conveyed that to Harry, she will be entitled to pursue a property settlement.
However, the question of whether or not they are considered to be separated at law will be important in determining when it is that either or both of them can apply for a divorce.
We would recommend to Harry that he has an initial consultation with a family lawyer experienced in family law, including property settlement matters so that he can obtain some preliminary advice about how his entitlement for settlement of property is worked out and what he could expect in a property settlement with Sally as well as obtaining advice about when and under what circumstances Sally may apply for a divorce if she wishes to do so.
At LGM Family Law, we offer a free phone consultation for up to 15 minutes. However you should be aware that we cannot act for both parties to a relationship or former relationship so that if Sally has already sought advice from us, we cannot also provide advice to Harry.
If you would like to learn more about settlement of property following a separation, click here.
However, since our Sally and Harry are only fictional characters, each week during this series, we will develop on Sally and Harry’s situation and discuss issues effecting each of them.