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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5420
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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Why would my grandmothers lawyer be pushing for a property

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Why would my grandmothers lawyer be pushing for a property settlement? There is a trial set for 8th of October, and she is not happy with the terms that my grandfather has offered. My grandfather offered 55/45 split going my grandmother way. My grandmothers lawyers is not returning her phone calls, sending her random emails saying that she can call whenever she wants to speak to him and when she does he is always busy. He said that the court would be annoyed that it goes to trial as the estate is only valued at around $250,000.
Hello and thank you for your question.

If your grandmother is unhappy with her lawyers lack of communication she could try complaining to the Legal Profession Board and/or changing lawyers, though I think the later option would be very drastic and potentially expensive at this late stage.

As to why the lawyer may be pushing towards a settlement, very likely it will be because the lawyers assessment is that where people split up after a long relationship, the apportionment of assets tends to be fairly even, and if the estate is only around $250,000 the cost to the parties of running a matter through a trial will be very expensive relative to the any improvement your grandmother may receive from the court compared to what the grandfather is offering.

For example, the proposed split is: $137500 (55% of 250,00) to your grandmother and $112,500 (45% of 250,000) to your grandfather via the settlement. Whereas if the parties spend $50,000 on a full hearing of the matter, your grandmother would essentially have to be awarded 70% (i.e $140,000 of the remaining $200,000) in court to receive the about the same amount. Unless your lawyer is confident that she would receive such an award, then he is entirely sensible in recommending a settlement because it would be waste of the courts time, and the parties equity to run the matter to a hearing in such circumstances.

Naturally the above example has oversimplified the maths involved, but hopefully illustrates why settlements are usually better than expensive litigation.

Naturally she needs to get informed advice from her lawyer as the above example is based on my own guess work as to the merits of the case and the possible reasoning of the lawyer, but her fully briefed lawyer should be willing to explain his recommendations and will presumably have formed them based on the full knowledge of the case.

I trust the above assists.

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Thank you and good luck.


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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Patrick I appreciate you prompt response.