• When we grow old

    Posted on January 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm under Family Law category.

    There has just been published with the Family Court a decision which highlights the complications when people in second marriages, even after being married for a very significant period of time (in this case it was 40 years), have children from previous relationships.

    In that case the matrimonial home was the party’s main asset which was owned by the husband.The wife had only a few assets in her name. The wife became ill with dementia and went into a nursing home. Her children applied for an application in the Family Court for a property settlement on behalf of their mother seeking a share of the home as they believed that their mother was entitled to a financial recompense for the years of the marriage.

    The children believed that with these additional funds her quality of life would be improved. Unfortunately during the proceedings the wife passed away.

    The Court was very respectful of the motives of the children involved.

    The Court made orders that upon the sale of the husband’s home or his death that his wife’s estate was to receive a sum of money. This amount reflected approximately half the value of the home.

    Had these proceedings not been commenced and the husband had died then the wife’s estate would have received little or no benefit.

    This decision raises some very interesting issues for an ageing population and in particular that family law proceedings were able to be brought on behalf of an elderly parent who has lost capacity to make decisions for him or herself and is placed into a nursing home.