Protecting your property is essential following separation. Both parties must ensure they do not significantly diminish the net asset pool prior to settlement. For example, if one person was to deliberately waste money from the pool on holidays or gambling, the court may order them to ‘add back’ the amount used. However, this is not always easy to prove.
If you are concerned that your former partner may attempt to hide or sell property prior to settlement, you may want to consider lodging a caveat or applying for an injunction.
A caveat serves as a warning to the world that a person claims an interest in the land. This means that the person who creates the caveat (the caveator) must consent before the title can be transferred. It is basically a legal note on your land title to prevent it from being sold.
An injunction is a court order that will prevent a person from doing something. This may be useful if you are concerned that your ex-partner may sell, transfer or give away your assets. In some cases, a court may even freeze bank accounts to ensure that property remains untouched until after settlement.