In lighter news, a woman tried to keep her house in a divorce settlement by alleging that a ghost has been haunting the home she shared with her husband. The woman reportedly spread the false information to lower the market value of the house, making it low enough for her to be able to buy said house.
However, the judge and the valuer saw through her ploy. The court ruled that the woman could keep her house if she pays $189,000 to her husband.
The case of this 52-year-old woman is not the first of its kind. In 2008, a Cambodian man sawed in half his wooden house brought his half of the house to his parents’ home and left the other half, which is still standing, for his wife.
First of all, the divorce action is separate from a property settlement. A spouse has a time limit of 12 months from the time of separation to institute an action in court for property settlement.
The first step in property settlement is to pool all assets and liabilities acquired before, during and after the marriage. The court will then assess the direct and indirect financial contributions of the parties pursuant to Section 79 of the Family Law Act 1975. The third step is for the courts to consider the future needs of the parties. This way, the judge can make the necessary adjustments in the division of property. Finally, the court will issue a property settlement order that is just and equitable.
In the instant case, the wife tried to scheme her way unsuccessfully through the process which is designed to be fair to both parties.
A divorce settlement has already been issued by the court which is the final order with regard to the division of properties. When the wife sought to drive down the value of the house which was valued at $750,000, in effect she tried to deprive her husband of his rightful share from the sale of the property. The intervention of the court was timely and proper because the wife should not be allowed to circumvent the purpose of the law: just and equitable property settlement.
Sources: Divorce Stories: Australian Woman Cites Ghost In Order to Keep House in Divorce Settlement (2013, February 13).