Orders to Restrain a Spouse from Disposing of Family Property


If a party to a separation has concerns that their ex-spouse might dispose of family property, or deal with it in a way which adversely affects their interests, a section 91 order may help. The Family Law Act requires that, on application by a spouse, the Supreme Court make an order restraining the other spouse from disposing of any property at issue. These orders are often made mutually, such that both spouses are restrained from deposing of property, pending a resolution of the matters.

This type of order is a form of interim relief, and can only be applied for by a party who has standing under the FLA. To have standing, the party must be married, divorced, separated, or have lived with their ex in a marriage-like relationship of over two years.

Situations in which it may be beneficial to apply for a section 91 order include:
• A spouse refuses to communicate regarding assets;
• A spouse is likely to declare bankruptcy;
• A spouse making attempts to transfer or sell assets; or
• A spouse using substantial amounts of a line of credit.

Finally, applications for section 91 orders can be made prior to having to attend a Judicial Case Conference, which is very beneficial considering the lengthy wait times to be able to attend a JCC.
For more information regarding family law and property matters, please call Heath Law LLP to book a consultation.