'Til Death Do Us Part


Til Death Do Us Part - How is your client's or your client's former spouse's health? 

Published on April 28, 2016


There will be occasions when a client informs you that their marriage or relationship has ended and that either:

  • Your client is seriously ill; or
  • Your client’s former spouse or partner is seriously ill.

In these circumstances, it is extremely important to consider whether and how to preserve your client’s rights under the Family Law Act. If your client's spouse or partner is seriously ill, preserving your client's rights is normally achieved by immediately issuing Court proceedings seeking orders property settlement and/or spousal maintenance. Negotiations and settlement can follow. If Court proceedings have not been commenced and your client’s former spouse or partner dies, your client loses the right to make an application for property settlement and spousal maintenance under the Family Law Act

Similarly, it may that it is your client who is ill and may die in the near future. If that is the case and it is him or her that is not in the stronger financial position and therefore stands to benefit from a property settlement court order, it is always extremely prudent to issue Court proceedings whilst they are alive to preserve their own position.

It is for these reasons that if a client informs you that they have recently separated, the health of your client and the health of his or her partner or spouse is an important matter you need to raise with them. Based on the information you receive, early legal advice may need to be obtained as urgent Court proceedings may need to be issued to preserve your client’s position.

 Ben Farmer




Clelands Lawyers are one of the most respected Adelaide law firms who practice in family law. For more information our team will be pleased to assist you, contact Ben Farmer, Victoria Treloar or Shelley O'Connell