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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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My son was diagnosed with a mental illness. He lived in Queensland

Customer Question

My son was diagnosed with a mental illness. He lived in Queensland and last year his marriage broke down & he & his wife attended the Family Court for a decision on the distribution of assets. They have one son who is 4. Because my son was classified as having a disability & unable to work, he was granted 50% of the home & the car as part of the split up or his wife could agree to pay his HECs debt of $20,000. They both received about $50,000 each after the sale of the home, his wife agreed for him to have the car & he has a $20,000 HECs debt to pay. My son who is 42 had to come & live with us in Port Macquarie, we are on the aged pension & a small Super Pension. A few weeks after the home was sold his wife persuaded him to give her an extra $20,000 so she could purchase a villa for herself & the child. He is still considered to be suffering from a chronic mental illness related to Bi-polar or Schizoid Affective disorder. We have been fully supporting him for food & lodging, plus he receives a small Centrelink pension. His medical team still agree that he is not fit to work. However, his wife has now acquired the car as well. I believe she has no right to do this, as I believe he is not capable of realizing the consequences of his actions. He now has diminished chances a getting a place of his own & supporting himself. Is it right that his wife can disregard the FC rulings even though he has agreed? Without a car he is further disadvantaged when he tries to find work or to attend community programs. He has no insight into these problems. Can you give me some advice as we can't keep on supporting him indefinitely?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 5 months ago.
Good EveningMy 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.You need to get a guardianship order and take control of his affairs. Once you have this you can stop what has happened. In relation to the money he gave her he should place a caveat on the house for the sum of the money. The FC orders have been complied with. He has after that given her the items and there is nothing that you can show that she has not complied. Once you get the guardianship order you go and take back the car. Make sure that he does not sign anything. If he is not capable of looking after himself there may have to be some assistance form the doctor to have him placed in a home.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
He will not do any of this & getting Gaurdianship is extremely difficult, I know that from personal experience being a retired health care professional. I think your reply is unsatisfactory as I was hoping you could tell me what I could do or say to his wife that she has failed to comply with the FC rulings & and at least get the car back.
Expert:  Leon replied 5 months ago.
Good EveningYou can go to the wife and tell her to hand it back. But she does not have to. What you have described is a situation where orders have been complied with. After they have been complied with she has asked him for assistance and he has handed money and the car to her. There is no breach. If she had not complied with the orders and not handed over the car and 50% of the equity in the house I would be suggesting your son goes back to court and seeks an order for compliance. But from what I have read this is not the case.It appears that your son is suffering and is not thinking properly and it is to his detriment. If I have misunderstood what you have said please tell me. From what I have read they have complied with the orders.

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