Third Party and Family Law

When relationships break down, sometimes the financial interests of third parties become a factor. The third parties affected are not spouses, but they can include other members of the family who have a role as a guardian, or private companies and trusts. When a separation is underway, some people make the mistake of believing that a private company is excluded from property proceedings. However, there are ways that third parties can become involved in such matters.

Protecting each party’s interests

It is possible to involve the Family Court in making orders to prevent a party from using their role in a private company to take actions that negatively affect another party. This can include requesting the removal of a director, transferring shares from one spouse to another, or allocating assets. During the course of these proceedings, it is necessary to address any arising tax concerns.

Courts can also issue binding orders to prevent the transfer of assets or the loss of assets during a divorce. The Family Court can protect third parties by preventing a spouse from selling shares when it would be to the detriment of another party. It is also possible to use proceedings to transfer liability of debts.

For a third party to be joined in Family Court proceedings, they need to make an application. Procedural fairness is used to identify whether it is appropriate for the third party to become involved in the case.

Examples of third parties in property matters

The most common example of a third party becoming involved in family law property matters is any co-owner of a corporation or real estate. Companies and trusts that have a connection with a person’s trusts and estates may also make third-party applications. In some cases, creditors and the ATO may make applications too.

Representing third parties in non-property matters

It is not unusual for a relationship breakdown or divorce to affect extended members of the family. Grandparents and other relatives may find that maintaining their relationship with any children involved becomes challenging. When that happens, the lawyers at Boyce Family Law & Mediation can assist you with third-party orders that help you maintain a role in the child’s life.

At Boyce Family Law & Mediation, we protect the interests of third parties who need to become involved in family court proceedings. If you require our assistance, call 02 9223 3099 (8.30am to 5.30pm weekdays) or email enquiry@boycefamilylaw.com.au.