What is a caveat?
A caveat is a document that is lodged with the Department of Natural Resources that prevents any other documents (like mortgages, transfers etc) being lodged over a title to real estate after the lodging of the caveat.
Do I need to lodge one?
In Family Law, the lodging of caveats is common when:
1. a relationship or marriage has broken down;
2. there is real estate that is not registered in the name of one of the parties;
3. the non-named party has sufficient evidence to satisfy a court that they have an interest in the real estate and the named party holds that interest on trust for them;
4. there is a real risk that the named party might deal with the real estate in such a way as to defeat the interest of the unnamed party, and this risk that outweighs any prejudice to the named party in having the caveat on the title.
There are very strict requirements surrounding the lodgment and preservation of caveats that legal advice should be sought about.
If caveats are not lodged or preserved properly, the result is usually the loss of the right to re-lodge the caveat, leaving the possibility of the real estate being dealt with unfairly between the parties a live and concerning issue.
Freedom Law are able to advise you and take steps to protect your interests following relationship or marriage breakdown. Contact us today for an in person or e-consultation.