We find that many of our clients see us once they have
encountered issues during a divorce, rather than seeking advice
from the get go. Seeking advice from the outset ensures that our
client's money is properly protected on the divorce of their
Parents often gift or loan money to their children to help them
financially purchase a property or set them up in a business, or
they may sell their own home to their children for a sum lower than
its true market value. When they lend a hand to their children in
this way they often don't intend that their daughter or
son-in-law will one day part with some of that money if they
separate or divorce.
If you are going to loan money to your child you must document
it properly. If you don't you could find your son or
daughter-in-law making a claim to those assets and they may well be
successful in that claim.
If you blend your money with your children's money make sure
the arrangement is properly formalised so there can't be
arguments in the future. You might think nothing of it at the time
but find down the track once your child is in the midst of a
separation that you wished you had secured the arrangement better,
especially when you see the estranged partner making a claim to
Grandparents can also find themselves in a difficult position
after the divorce of their children in being able to continue their
relationship with their grandchildren. The grandparent may have
been very involved in their grandchildren's lives but after the
separation of their grandchildren's parents they find that they
have been forgotten in the arrangements that are set up.
Grandparents are able to go to the Family Court and insist that it
is in the child's best interest to spend time with the
grandparents, however having to do this should be a last resort.
Being able to work out an arrangement to see the grandchildren
without having to go to these lengths is always best.
Happily we find that most parents who separate are able to reach
sensible agreements about the children which include spending time
with extended family members and their grandparents. However our
tip is that even though you may want to become involved in the
dispute between your child and their partner it is better if you
are able to make an effort to rather remove yourself from that
situation and not take sides. This will protect your position as a
grandparent and be your best chance at ensuring that you maintain
an ongoing relationship with your grandchildren well into the
If you are doing a Will, or you are the executor of a deceased estate, consider what taxes and duties could be payable.
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