Is Your Tradie Marriage Heading for Divorce?

Is Your Tradie Marriage Heading for Divorce?

There are many women who would give their eye teeth to be married to a tradie!

After all, Australia’s 1.5 million trades workers and technicians are in high demand. Who wouldn’t love having a builder, plumber, electrician, or mechanic at their beck and call?!

We might make a joke of it, but the reality is that the tradie’s own home, car or even family are usually the last to receive their tender loving care. That’s because when you run a business, paying clients tend to come first!

Unfortunately, “unfinished business” around their own home is just one of the strains commonly faced by tradie marriages.

Add to that the fact that tradie wives are often just as pressured by their responsibilities in the business, taking on tasks like bookkeeping, phone calls and social media to name just a few.

When you read through the many posts in the Tradie Wives Facebook group, you’ll know that mixing marriage with the pressures of running a small business, is not for the faint of heart!

Just as being in a relationship with a tradie has its own unique set of challenges, should the time come to part there are additional factors to consider. Separation isn’t just emotionally draining and major upheaval for all involved, but there are also the implications for your family business.

For these reasons, protecting yourself financially and legally should be a top priority.

When to seek legal advice

It’s vital to speak with an experienced family lawyer as soon as separation occurs – or even before if possible – as they can provide valuable initial advice and insight into the legal process.

While you can certainly trial a separation without involving lawyers or court, this can get complicated.

Regardless of whether you work in your husband’s business or not, most likely there are joint finances, shared assets, co-parenting duties, and numerous other things to work through. Having the right family lawyer will ensure you receive your fair share.

How much is a wife entitled to in a divorce?

People sometimes assume that in a divorce a couple’s assets are shared 50/50, but dividing assets is rarely simple.

For example, a tradie wife is not automatically entitled to half of her partner’s business. Instead, the business will be valued according to certain criteria, and this figure will be included in the property pool.

Dividing assets like businesses, real estate, superannuation, vehicles, caravans, and even tradie tools is a complex and stressful process where a range of factors are assessed such as:

  • the assets and liabilities of both parties,
  • all financial contributions made by the husband and wife to the marriage,
  • all non-financial contributions to the marriage such as caring for the children, maintaining the household, etc.
  • the future needs of both parties including the welfare of children, health issues, and each person’s capacity to earn.

Divorcing couples are encouraged to reach a fair settlement outside court, a task best handled by an experienced family lawyer – especially if you would rather not negotiate with your former partner.

Moving forward

Although separation and divorce are relatively common in Australia, there are a myriad of aspects to consider including child support and maintenance in addition to property settlements at a time when you are already under huge stress.

Having a strong network of support, through family, friends or counselling, plus sound legal advice, are key to helping you navigate these turbulent waters so you can face the future with a degree of confidence.

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