Funding Separation

Funding Separation

Spouses will at times organise their roles so that one person is the primary income earner and the other attends to the parenting and homemaker duties.

Although this division of roles may work during a relationship, when separation occurs this can create a huge disparity in the ability of the parties to fund negotiations. This is particularly the case when one person has organised and continues to have sole access to the finances of the relationship.

In the case of Strahan and Strahan the Full Court Ordered the Husband to pay the Wife funds by way of interim property settlement to meet her ongoing litigation costs.

The Court acknowledged the need for parties to be able to seek to fund litigation as “very often the wealth of the parties is controlled by one rather than both of them,” and that such Orders “may be necessary to ensure that the other party, who does not have the fortune of controlling the funds, at least has an equal or near equal opportunity to present his or her case.”[1]

The Courts have diverse powers to make these Orders including on the basis of spousal maintenance, interim property settlement or a Costs Order.

If you are having difficulties in accessing relationship funds to prosecute your case or your ex-spouse has requested you release money to fund their solicitor’s costs, we recommend that your contact our office and speak with one of our experienced Family Lawyers.

[1] Strahan & Strahan [2017] FamCA 76