A binding financial agreement is usually sought from the courts when a relationship has broken down and the parties have divorced. In some cases the distribution of assets can be decided between the two parties without recourse to a court decision on the matter, but most often there is no agreement, so the matter must be decided by the Family Law Court and both parties should be represented by experienced family lawyers such as Robertson Hayles.
However, you can’t simply apply for a court decision as soon as the divorce is final. First of all, seek advice from a family lawyer and if this is too costly for you, there is a free legal service available through the Family Relationship Advice Line or the Legal Aid Service in your state.
Using a dispute resolution service
The Family Law Courts require you to have genuinely attempted to come to an agreement through a dispute resolution service. The benefits of going this route are that you have more control over the process and it is much more affordable, not to mention quicker. So you can get on with your new life much more quickly when you work out an agreement with these people.
Once an agreement has been worked out, you can then file for consent orders or make a parenting plan with the courts. In some cases this requirement can be superseded by simply going to court and this can be done in the case of child abuse or past violence with the risk of it occurring again, or if there is urgency due to another genuine reason.
When a binding financial agreement or order is decided on it must be signed by both parties and they are then under a legal obligation to carry it out. But what happens if one party refuses to sign or has signed and refuses to obey? In the first case, a judicial officer may be able to sign it in place of the defaulting party. It has to go to court for this to happen.
In the latter case where a person refuses to pay money that was agreed on, you need to get information about their financial status by one of the two following methods.
- Sending them written notice to provide financial statements within 14 days.
- Apply to the Court for an order for them to disclose their financial affairs
Once this has been successfully accomplished you will be able to apply to the courts for an enforcement process. There are several ways in which a court can enforce the payer to meet his or her obligations and responsibilities so it is worthwhile to go this route. However, it is difficult to do it all yourself so having a lawyer do it for you will be a big help and facilitate the matter.