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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5357
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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Through a property settlement I paid my ex wife an amount of

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Through a property settlement I paid my ex wife an amount of money and had to pay a further amount by a due date. That date has passed and she has instructed her solicitor to place a caveat in readiness to have the dwelling sold.

What does this mean?

What are my options?

Thank you
Hello and thank you for your question.

If she has placed a caveat on a property it will effectively prevent you from selling the property until she lifts it. She has likely done it so that she can have some leverage over you when you try to sell it force you to do the sale in a way which ensure's she gets her money.

Ordinarily she should not have lodged a caveat unless she has some specific legal interest in the property, so she should not have done it if she is not legally registered as the owner or tenant of the premises, or the amount payable under the settlement was a simple cash amount without reference to the property. If you think this is the case you may be entitled to take legal action to have the caveat removed, and I would recommend you engage a lawyer if you want to pursue this option.

However, before pursuing legal action to remove the caveat, it might be better to simply contact your wife's solicitor and find out exactly why they have lodged the caveat and what they want to lift it. It may simply be that they will agree to lifting it as part of the settlement process provided you agree that the purchaser of the property directs so much of the purchase funds toward her in satisfaction of the property settlement. Provided you are still willing to settle in accordance with the property settlement with your ex wife that may be a satisfactory outcome without the need for more legal action over the caveat.

The above issue aside, before entering into any family law property settlement you should have received detailed legal advice on the proposed settlement and if you have not, then likely you are not bound by the current agreement. I raise this because the fact you have posted your question to a service such as this suggests you have not received legal advice, when under the Family Law Act binding financial agreements (i.e. settlements under the Family Law Act) expressly require that the parties be independently advised, and setting aside the legal requirement it is definitely strongly recommended since it is only with good legal advice that you could be confident that any agreement you reached was fair having regard to what the law requires. So if you have not seen a lawyer about the settlement with your ex, I urge you to do so ASAP.

I trust the above assists.

Please rate my answer so I can be paid for my answer.

Thanks and good luck,

Patrick
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