Do I need to file a case for property settlement?

Filing a case for property settlement

A current “urban myth” in the community is that negotiation, rather than court, is the cheapest option to obtain a property settlement.

This is not necessarily the case if it can be reasonably foreseen that one or both parties is unlikely to shift from their separate expectations of a property settlement to a mutually agreed expectation.

Freedom Law often sees clients who have left other firms having spent extraordinary amounts of money on legal fees, as well as many, many months (sometimes years) of time, “negotiating”, without result. In nearly every instance, the diagnosis is “needs court intervention” –  time to stop what isn’t working and to implement something that will.

Negotiation and mediation have their place in dispute resolution. But not in every case. In many cases, it is cheaper, and quicker, to resolve a property settlement dispute by initiating a court case.

The immediate benefits of initiating a court case are the rules, regulations and time frames that accompany filing of a case. There are no enforceable time frames to receive responses to solicitor’s letters outside a court case which can make “negotiation” a long and drawn out process.

The court case path usually incorporates an order that the parties engage in either private mediation or a conciliation conference (court-facilitated mediation). More often than not, cases resolve at this event as both parties are more acutely aware that this could be their last chance to resolve the dispute themselves before a court actually does, at significant cost to each party, with the risk that the “loser” might have to pay the “winner’s legal fees.

If you have any questions about how your property settlement case should be resolved, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Freedom Law for a complimentary case assessment. Our assessments are available in person, by phone or other electronic means.


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