I left all the finances to my ex and I don’t really know anything about what we have. Can I still get a property settlement?

I left all the finances to my ex and I don’t really know anything about what we have. Can I still get a property settlement?

Property Settlement in Divorce & Separation

Property Settlement in divorce & separation, each person in a relationship has their own skills and strengths, and so it is fairly common that one person will be primarily responsible for the couple’s finances. That often leaves the other person in a difficult situation because one of the first things a family lawyer will enquire about is usually what the parties own. However, the fact that that a person does not know much, or even any, of the details of the finances does not mean that they cannot be helped.

People in this situation should get legal advice as early as possible. Ideally this would happen when one or both of the parties are considering separation, but when it has not actually occurred yet. A family lawyer can advise that person on the types of questions they should ask their partner while they are still together, or documents to look out for and of which to take copies.

However, getting advice later is not disastrous. Family law places significant emphasis on the obligation of each party to make full and frank disclosure of their financial circumstances to the other. There are also various mechanisms available in the course of court proceedings to obtain information such as Notices to Produce and subpoenas.

There may be steps you can take yourself to find out information, and we can help you in this regard, for example:

  • If you hold loans in joint names, the lender should release information to you about the loan;
  • If you are listed as a shareholder or director in a company (which is common in many family situations), the accountant should release information to you about the company including Financial Statements;

If you purchased property in joint names, the lawyer or conveyancer who handled the purchase should release information to you about the purchase.