Covid 19 Property Settlements – should we settle amongst the uncertainty?
In early March of 2020 Covid 19 or the Coronavirus pandemic sent the entire world into “unprecedented times”. A vast proportion of businesses and industries were forced into mandatory stand down creating a plethora of uncertainty around their economic standing with respect to not only their employment or business income but the value of their superannuation, their real property, shares, businesses, trusts and practically all other property and chattels.
For those in the midst of a family law property settlement the question is – Is it wise to settle amongst the uncertainty? or Do we simply create, so far as possible, a hiatus until this all blows over and we have more certainty in our lives and general economic security.
For those who favour what I call “the ostrich approach” the second option will be more favourable – the problem is, when has sticking your head in the sand ever helped to solve a problem…… it is only prolonging the inevitable. With careful strategy and investigation it is possible to settle in uncertain times and the greatest benefit is that ultimately in reaching a settlement you are solving one of the problems in your life (conflict with your ex) – a win win for all parties and children directly involved in the dispute. The pandemic will have a lasting impact on economic factors for years to come – as quick as the restraints were placed upon us, there is no quick way out of this for anyone. Change is upon us but that doesn’t mean that life is on hold until everything is “back to normal”. This is our new normal, so we may as well get on with it (in a sensible, and pragmatic way of course.)
The key issues that need to be addressed when considering a potential family law property settlement in pandemic conditions are:
- Valuation issues – timing and unpredictability;
- The method of calculating any property adjustments in light of valuation issues;
- Timeframes for implementing orders for proposed transfers, payments and super splits;
- Practicality and possibility of solutions in light of the current restrictions;
- Compliance and enforceability issues in light of current court delays and accessibility;
At Hartley Healy we believe that there is a strategy for solving all of the above issues. Contact us for a fixed fee, in depth initial appointment if you want to learn more. If you are still not convinced we can help, we offer a free 15 minute general advice to all new clients and referrals.