Third Parties

Becoming entangled in somebody else’s divorce or separation


A “third party” is a person or entity who becomes “entangled” in the legal circumstances of a couple who are going through divorce or separation.

Some examples of third parties include relatives, friends, associates, and entities (i.e. companies, trusts, partnerships, etc) who:

  • Co-own property, have a loan arrangement, or own a business or other investment with one or both of spouses
  • Is holding property on trust for one or both of the spouses (or vice-versa)
  • Is alleged to be party to a fraud or a scheme to deprive one of the spouses of their family law entitlements
  • Is owed money by or has a legal claim against one or both of the spouses (particularly if that claim will be frustrated as a result of a financial settlement between the spouses)
  • Will have their legal rights affected by the proposed family law orders or settlement

Third parties can also become involved in parenting cases. This most commonly occurs with grandparents.

In family law court proceedings, a third party can (if certain criteria is met) be joined as a party to the proceedings or may apply to intervene as a party.

The family law courts have wide powers, which usually enables the Court to determine related third party claims at the same time as resolving the family law case. However, in some cases third party claims are best dealt with (or are required by the Court to be dealt with) in the civil law courts.

How we can help

We have expertise in acting for third parties in family law financial cases, including grandparents, relatives, and companies.

We can help you understand where you stand and your options, including whether you should or should not intervene in a case, and whether your case is best litigated in the family law courts or in the civil law courts.

If your case is already in court, we can represent you in those proceedings.

If you are planning on gifting or loaning money or property to a relative and are worried about these being unrecoverable if your relative separates from their partner, we can give you advice about the options to minimise this risk.

Book a Free Introductory Call

In this free 15-minute call, we will confirm if we can assist with your case, answer any questions you have about our services, and discuss the next steps. This call is with David Gale, Director & Accredited Specialist in Family Law.