Divorce in Australia: Do You Need a Lawyer if You Both Agree on Asset Division
Divorce doesn’t always need to end badly, with two ex-partners defaming and slandering one another. In fact, often, divorce can be mutual – in which case, the couple may assume that they do not need a lawyer, especially if they both agree on which assets to split among themselves.
However, even when divorces are amicable, a divorce lawyer should always be used to ensure that the division of assets is fair and legal – especially in Australia, where the law around property division can be complicated.
The biggest reason for ensuring a lawyer is present and aiding both parties is to ensure that the agreement is legally binding. Without a lawyer, there is a risk that the agreement could be challenged in court at a later date. The use of a lawyer can help in the drafting of a legally binding agreement that will hold up in court, protecting both parties from future legal disputes.
Whilst the two parties may be initially amicable, there could always be circumstances that affect the assets or individuals later in life – as a result, the partner may feel as if their division is unfair.
It is this sense of inequality that should persuade anyone pursuing a high net-worth divorce to consult a solicitor. Even if both parties agree on the division of assets, there may be hidden assets or debts that are not being disclosed – whether known or unknown to the individuals.
A lawyer can help uncover any hidden assets or debts and ensure that they are included in the division of assets, making sure that the division is truly fair for both parties.
Why You Should Still Get a Divorce Lawyer
Protection of Your Interests
Even if both parties agree on the distribution of assets, it is still important to have a lawyer to protect your interests. Not only can a lawyer review any agreement that you have in place to ensure it is fair and equitable, but they can also help to guide you through the legal implications of the agreement and advise you of any risks that you may encounter.
Complex Asset Division
Whilst you may assume that asset division is pretty straightforward, there are lots of subtle complexities that go into it. Asset division can include:
- Real Estate.
A lawyer can help you navigate these complexities and ensure that all assets are properly valued and divided. They can also help you negotiate any disputes that may arise during the process.
Even if both parties agree on the distribution of assets at the beginning of the divorce process, disputes can still arise later on, especially if there is a breakdown in the post-divorce relationship.
A lawyer can help you anticipate and prepare for these potential disputes and help you resolve them in a way that is fair and equitable.
To conclude this section of what you need to know about asset division in high net-worth divorce, you should know that even if both parties agree on the distribution of assets in a high net-worth divorce, it is still important to have a lawyer to protect your interests, navigate complex asset division, and anticipate and prepare for potential disputes.
Factors to Consider Before Proceeding Without a Divorce Lawyer
Whilst we would never recommend continuing divorce proceedings without consulting a solicitor, if you’re set in your decision, there are several factors you need to consider before going ahead.
Initially, it may seem like an easy and cost-effective option to agree on asset distribution with your spouse, there are potential risks and consequences that should not be overlooked.
Transparency and Trust
One of the most important factors to consider before proceeding without a lawyer is the level of transparency and trust between you and your spouse. If there is any doubt or lack of trust, it may be wise to seek legal representation to ensure that your interests are protected. Even if in the present day, you trust your ex-partner completely – there is no real way to measure whether both parties are being completely honest. Whether that’s a small asset they seemingly have forgotten about, or the valuing of an asset wasn’t produced authentically – any small factor can have significant implications in divorce settlements.
A lawyer can help you negotiate and draft a fair and legally binding agreement that both parties can agree on.
Legal and Financial Knowledge
One of the key metrics in unsuccessful divorce settlements is the lack of foundational knowledge of the law and finance law that both parties hold. Simple things such as tax implications and authenticating asset transfers can have underlying complexities that are best left to the experts to sort out for you.
As we mentioned earlier, without having a lawyer consult on your divorce or help you create the paperwork, there can be holes in the contract that could later be exploited.
A lawyer can provide valuable guidance and advice on complex legal and financial issues, such as tax implications, property division, and spousal support.
Emotional Attachment to Assets
Finally, it is important to consider any emotional attachment that you or your spouse may have to certain assets.
Emotions can run high during a divorce, and it can be difficult to make rational decisions about asset distribution.
Whether you love an asset more than another, love can’t always be measured in monetary value, and therefore, you may not be getting what you’re entitled to during a divorce. Don’t let your love for an asset cloud over the decisions you make regarding a divorce.
A solicitor can be the perfect third party to be a level-headed expert that looks at the situation in a black-and-white way that focuses on the statistics.
If you or someone you know is looking at a divorce, but need specific help as there are complexities arising from high net-worth individuals, then consult one of our experts.
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