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Ask Deborah Awyzio Your Own Question
Deborah Awyzio
Deborah Awyzio, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 863
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
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I am based in WA, so where applicable I would like WA

Customer Question

I am based in WA, so where applicable I would like WA specific advice.Facts:
1) My ex de facto partner and I separated 2 months ago.
2) We lived together for 6 years (during which time I sponsored her to live in Australia).
3) We lived in a rented house.
4) Shortly after the split she signed the lease over into my name (it was joint before), so the lease is now only in my name.
5) After this I did give her a spare key so that she could come again and take personal belongings (clothes etc), on the condition she let me know before she comes.ISSUES
1) She started to enter without telling me, and taking things which would be part of property dispute resolution.
2) I have asked her to return the house keys by txt and email, but she has neither responded or returned the keys.
3) I have noticed that she has the car (registered in her name) for sale on Gumtree and other items. We had agreed in a document that the car would be sold, and the funds split 50/50 - but in the end she would not sign that agreement.
4) She refuses to give me her address, so my only contact is email or SMS.
5) She is a Hong Kong citizen - I am concerned she will sell the car (worth about $14,000), and flee to Hong Kong.QUESTIONS
1) Is there anything I can do to force her to return the house keys? Myself and the Real Estate Agent thought she would be trespassing if she comes to the house - because I have explicitly told her now not to do so. A police officer told me that it would not be trespass - as its still a family law matter. But I don't understand that - because being a non-tenant I would have thought that she has no right to enter without permission. Is it possible to get a court to issue an order for the return of the keys? Or could I get an order to restrain her from entering?2) Is it possible for me to seek orders to prevent her from selling assets (mainly the car), until we have attended Property Dispute Resolution or court? What other steps could I take?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 10 months ago.

Good Evening

My name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advise but a guide to assist you.

You can ask and if she refuses change the locks.

It is a family law matter and it is civil the police will not get involved. So change the locks.

You also have to file an urgent application with the Family Court seeking that any proceeds form the sale are held in trust for you both until the matter is resolved.

You have to file in court ASAP.

Alternative to the proceeds being held in trust have an injunction put in place to stop the sale.

It is a short relationship but you have right to a share .

I hope this makes sense?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks Leon,I am unemployed, so will have to do this myself.... but I have been involved successfully in court proceedings with my ex-wife, so I have an idea. So I just want to ask:a) Is it possible to apply for a restrain order to prevent her entering the property?
b) Could you give me a rough wording for the orders I might seek?
c) I am guessing I go for an urgent Ex-Parte hearing - Correct?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Sorry - I forgot to ask. Wont I have to serve her? I don't know her address.
Expert:  Leon replied 10 months ago.

Good Evening

You have to file an initiating application

Here is the kit

http://www.familycourt.wa.gov.au/K/kits.aspx#Property-Orders-Kit

The orders you ask for what you want.

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