Recent media reports a sudden “rise” in divorced couples seeking quick sales putting downward pressure on property prices during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Splitting couples already account for “1 in 6” Australian home sales per year and the proportion of “divorce-driven sales” is predicted to rise as other sellers withdraw their homes from the current property market.
It is further reported that the increased time some families spend together during this COVID-19 lockdown may be an additional factor driving the forced sales, with social isolation putting strain on relationships. Time will ultimately tell if this will worsen if the COVID-19 lockdown continues for a prolonged period in Australia.
In the meantime, if you and your spouse currently own a home (or more) and are separated (or considering separation), it is best to obtain independent legal advice before taking any steps to sell or transfer real property to your other spouse.
There may be adverse legal and tax consequences if you decide to do so, without a written agreement or Court Order in place, which may come back to “bite” you later on.
We are able to advise and assist you so that you are fully informed of suggested next steps and avoid as much as possible the “financial sting” involved in a separation, particularly if the net asset pool comprises of several real properties (owned by related corporate/family trust entities).
During this period, it is also prudent to obtain independent advice from a suitably-qualified accountant and financial planner before selling/transfer any assets, including any real property. In that regard, we have a select panel of reputable and well-experienced accountants and financial planners who are ready, willing and able to assist so that you can make a fully-informed decision of next steps.
To discuss how COVID-19 specifically affects your family law matter, please contact us today on (07) 3211 4920 or visit our website: www.emfl.com.au to make an initial appointment over the phone or by video-link. Please note that this post provides general legal information only and does not provide or intends to provide legal advice.