When parties to a relationship separate or divorce, they will at some stage need to divide their property through the process of a property settlement. Time limits apply to applications to the court for property settlement.
Sometimes there can be a significant delay between the date of separation and date of a final property settlement. This may be because one party does not accept that the marriage is over or they do not want to meet with a divorce lawyer. It may also be because the parties just want to get on with their lives and avoid the perceived complexity relating to a property law settlement. This type of delay can have an impact on the final settlement, particularly if one of the parties receives an inheritance or other large lump sum payment after separation.
It is often thought that property acquired after separation will be excluded from the property pool to be divided between the parties. This was an issue that the Full Court of the Family Court of Western Australia considered in the recent case of Calvin v McTier  Fam CAFC 125. In this case the husband acquired a significant inheritance from his father’s Estate four years after the parties separated. The Trial Judge found the net value of the matrimonial property to be $1,340,319.00. The inheritance remaining at the time of the trial was $430,686.00.