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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 divorced, over 16 years ago following a violent

Customer Question

I am divorced, over 16 years ago following a violent marriage. For safety reasons I returned to New Zealand with the three children of the marriage. My ex husband did not EVER pay child support or contribute in any way whatsoever to their costs. .... even though he was ordered by the Australian court to do so. Our homes were sold and he has spent/lost the money?
He died last October and I have been informed by my ex mother in law that the home he lived in with his brother is freehold. The property is in his brothers name so that I could make no claim to it. I feel that I have a right to at least half of this property or that the three children (who are now adults) should also be able to make a claim to this property as children of the marriage. They are aware that their father did not contribute in any way to their upbringing and I was 'scared' out of my home. Who should my children and/or myself be speaking to to make our claim to this property. ??
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  christhelawyer replied 7 months ago.

I assume from your description that the property is in Australia. You would therefore need to bring a case in the Australian courts, and if this is the case I would prefer to have your question answered by an Australian lawyer on the service, as I am not qualified to advise on Australian law. Can you confirm that and I will transfer this.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hello Chris, You are correct the property is in Australia.(in Tweed Heads) I lived and worked there for fifteen years and the three children were born over there. We moved to New Zealand, as per advice from my friends, family, lawyer and doctors. This I did in 1996. I would appreciate it if you are able to transfer my case to the Australian Child Support Agency who ever is the correct authority that I should speak. Perhaps I am no longer in a position to make any claims but I am sure my three children must be entitled to some form of inheritance. Thankyou for your help.
Expert:  christhelawyer replied 7 months ago.

I have asked for our moderators to change this

Expert:  Leon replied 7 months ago.

Good Morning

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 advice but a guide to assist you.

I am sorry to say but your time to make a claim has passed. You have 12 months from the date of the divorce and that is only in relation to assets that are in your name and your ex husbands name.
Because the house is in his brothers name you have no claim.

Did their father have any assets at all in his name at the time he passed away?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Good Morning.I am not sure whether the house is in both his brothers name and also his. I understand the house is in both names (my ex husband and his brother). I also know, for sure, that it is mortgage free because his father and wife have told me that they paid off the mortgage a few weeks ago. (on the understanding that it would benefit the children). I will ask them for more details and I will come back to you. Should I not speak to the child support agency in Australia. ? I understand that I will not be entitled to anything at all as we are divorced but I do feel that the children (who are all now adults) SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO some sort of inheritance. Thank you for your advice.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Perhaps the three children of the marriage need to do some investigation to determine whether they are entitled to have their names put onto the Certificate of Title to the property so that their Uncle cannot end up with ALL of the assets. My ex husband and his brother sought legal advice to ensure that I would have no claims whatsoever with regards ***** ***** Support. Therefore I assume the home is owned solely (in name only by his brother ). Perhaps the children need to speak to him to ensure that they have their names added to the Title with the proviso that he is able to reside in the property until he passes away. He is 70 years old, has no family at all. He was never married and has not children. My three children are his ONLY next of kin. I just want to be sure that EVENTUALLY my children will benefit from my life=time strugggle.
to raise and educate them etc. Your advice woiuld be appreciated.
Expert:  Leon replied 7 months ago.

Good Morning

Because the title is not in their fathers name there is nothing they can do.

If they are able to show that it was paid for by their father and not their uncle, they can try and establish a trust and then seek to have it transferred but this is not going to be a simple task.

Do they know if their father had nay other assets such as super?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I am unsure as to what happened to the Superannuation. I am also at a loss as to how to find out what happened to this. I need to do some more investigation via my in laws who paid off the mortgage. A lot of money and assets have ended up in the control of the brother I feel. Time is passing and my ex father in law is also now 91 years old so I need to find out further what my children are entitled to legally. I understand that I am no longer entitled to make any claims with regard to the Unpaid Child Support. It is for the children who are just starting out in life that I am asking these questions.
Expert:  Leon replied 7 months ago.

Good Afternoon

What state did he pass away in?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
He passed away in Tweed Heads in New South Wales.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
He died last year, on the 23rd August ,
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Would it help if I was to give you his full name ?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I assume that it is 'illegal' to give names ?
Expert:  Leon replied 7 months ago.

Good Morning

you need to contact the Supreme Court of NSW and see if they applied for probate if they did then you can get a copy.

Here is their website with the contact numbers

You can also try contacting the ATO and see if they have any record of his superannuation.

They may be able to give you details.

Your children will need to appoint their own solicitor to get assistance

I cannot give any details even if I had his name but the court can.