The process of separating from a partner can be one of the most stressful and emotional times in a person's life.
Navigating how to separate with care for the family and dividing assets and finances can feel overwhelming. During a relationship breakdown the team at Acumentis work alongside solicitors, accountants, and clients to support effective property settlement and help reduce confusion and uncertainty.
Hear from one of our valued family law partners, Ellie Prior at McDonald Law to find out what options are available for separating couples and the role of a property valuer in this process.
Family Law Process
Couples that are unable to reach agreement during their separation have three options for resolving disputes. These include:
Negotiation: Negotiation involves the couple communicating directly with each other, either face-to-face or through their solicitors, to try and reach a settlement on the issues in dispute. This is usually the fastest and cheapest option and can also help to maintain a better relationship between the separated couple in the future.
Mediation: Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution where a neutral third party, known as a mediator, helps the parties to reach a settlement. The mediator does not make decisions for the parties but facilitates communication between them and helps them to find a mutually acceptable solution. Mediation is often faster and less formal than going to court, and it allows the parties to have more control over the outcome of the dispute.
Family Law Court: If negotiation and mediation are unsuccessful, the parties can apply to the Family Law Court for a resolution of their disputes. The Family Law Court has the power to make binding decisions on a range of issues arising from separation, including property division, spousal maintenance, and arrangements for the care of children. This can be a time-consuming and expensive option, and the outcome is determined by a judge rather than the parties themselves.
Each option has its own benefits and drawbacks, and it is important to seek professional advice from a family lawyer to determine which option is best for your situation.
One of the most significant parts of the separation process is property settlement, which often includes the family home and investment properties. It is crucial to understand the value of property assets, which is why family lawyers engage property valuers on behalf of their clients. Property valuers provide an independent and unbiased assessment of the value of the assets, which helps to avoid disputes over the value and allows for a fair division of the assets.
The Role of Property Valuers in Property Settlement
The role of property valuers in divorce proceedings is to provide an independent and unbiased assessment of the value of the assets. The valuer's role is to determine the current market value of the property, considering factors such as location, age, condition, and recent sales of similar properties in the area. This information is then used by the family lawyers to negotiate a fair division of the assets between the separating parties.
In some cases, the parties may agree on the value of the assets without the need for a valuer. However, in many cases, especially when there is a dispute over the value, a valuer's assessment is necessary to ensure that the assets are divided fairly and equitably. Property valuers provide a comprehensive report on the value of the assets, which can be used as evidence in court proceedings if necessary.
When choosing a valuation company, family lawyers look for several key factors, including independence, expertise, and efficiency. An experienced team of valuers with a track record of handling complex portfolios and delivering accurate valuations is essential. The valuer must also be professional, empathetic, and conduct their work with due diligence, especially during such an emotional time for clients.
Separating from a partner can be a challenging and stressful experience but having the right team in place can make the process less overwhelming. Family lawyers and property valuers play a crucial role in ensuring that property settlements are conducted fairly and efficiently.
If you or someone you know is going through separation, seek professional advice from a family lawyer and engage a trusted property valuer to make the process a little less stressful.
Reach out to our expert family law valuation team who are here to help.