Friday, 25 July 2008

Federal Magistrate Court case - money tied up in a loan account

In the recent Federal Magistrate Court case of Baxter and Warren, Federal Magistrate Howard awarded the wife 20% of the property when the parties had been together for just over 3 years, but when it was clear that she had significant ongoing health problems.

Out of a pool of about $290,000, about $280,000 was held by the husband in a loan account in a discretionary trust- which he did not control but was controlled by his father.

His Honour found that the trust was the father's entity but that it was a "certainty" that the husband could receive the whole of the $280,000 if he sought it.

His Honour considered that the wife spending $45,000 post-separation was legitimate in light of her health needs, and that she was worse off financially than before the marriage, but in light of the division of property declined her application for spousal maintenance.

His Honour divided contributions 90/10 in favour of the husband and added another 10% adjustment to the wife under s.75(2) factors.

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