The simple answer is ‘yes’! Although the usual court deadline to file after divorce is only 12 months, Alliance Family Law recently acted for a wife 16 years after separation and about 8 years after divorce.
Alliance was able to successfully negotiate with the opponent that the wife ought to be able to start her court case years after the ordinary deadline. Once that hurdle was met early on in the proceedings, the case was able to continue on in the usual way. This included valuing assets, assessing contributions and a successful negotiation to conclude proceedings.
What is relevant when arguing that you should be allowed to run a case many years after the court deadline?
The court looks at a number of important factors:
- Reasons for the delay;
- What actions did a party take immediately upon learning they were out of time?
- The potential injustice that can occur if a party isn’t allowed to start a case;
- Whether the party has a prima facie good case for property settlement;
- The conduct of the parties after separation and whether a late-filing party carried out years of parenting and homemaking for children;
- Whether the parties still have assets technically in joint names (even if for many years one party has had sole use of the property)
- What is the impact on the other party, of receiving a court application years later, and after they perhaps assumed that they would not need to go through a property settlement?
All of these factors may be relevant to the prospects of being successful in filing an application late or ‘out of time’.
If you believe you may be entitled to a property settlement ‘out of time’, please do not hesitate to speak to Canberra family lawyer Cristina Huesch or one of our other experienced lawyers, on (02) 6223 2400, about your prospects of success and whether it is an appropriate step to take, in your circumstances.
Please note our blogs are not legal advice. For information on how to obtain the correct legal advice, please contact Alliance Family Law.