Use of Family Law Orders to Realign Asset Ownership
Estate Planning Update – Autumn 2013
One benefit of family law proceedings is that the ownership of assets can be realigned without necessarily triggering CGT or state or territory duty. This has meant that parties to marriage or other domestic relationship with no wish to separate from each other have contemplated issuing family law proceedings in order to achieve a more satisfactory alignment of asset ownership.
For example, one of the parties might be in a risk occupation and have a hostile family member likely to challenge their estate on death. Moving assets to the other party may, at least in the longer term, remove that risk or thwart that challenge.
The Family Court has now ruled that it will not issue orders where there is no breakdown of the marriage or other domestic relationship, even though there may be asset protection advantages for the other parties.