Erica Baxter and James Packer Seek Private Amicable Settlement

by Peter Magee on October 24, 2013

Peter Magee

Recently a significant amount of publicity has surrounded the James Packer and Erica Baxter separation.

Several newspapers have covered the separation, including The Brisbane Times in their article called “For Richer, Not Poorer: Erica Baxter Debuts on BRW Young Rich List”. In the article published on 18 September 2013, Daisy Dumas and Andrew Heathcote that Ms Baxter’s “six year marriage to Packer ended earlier this month and the pair are already believed to have reached a confidential settlement.”

The article reports that Erica Baxter who, as most people are aware was a former model, gave up her career as a recording artist when she met and married James Packer in 2007. The couple have three children, Indigo, 5, Jackson, 3, and Emmanuelle who is almost 1 year old. Currently Erica Baxter is residing in LA with her and James’ three children.

In article called “Sad Erica Baxter Hopes to Mend Broken Heart as James Packer Focuses on a Hollywood Film Business in Wake of Split” (published 7 September 2013) in “The Telegraph” John Lehmann and Jonathon Moran report that Mr Packer is Australia’s third richest person with an estimated personal fortune of around $6 billion.

Lehman and Moran report that, the divorce settlement finalised in Sydney last week, is confidential though it is said that James Packer offered Erica the couples newly completed $50 million mansion in Vaucluse if she did want to reside there.

They also report that some have speculated that Baxter will, in the end, receive a settlement of well over $100 million, which was much more than was originally agreed in the couple’s pre-nuptial agreement (more correctly termed pre-marriage binding financial agreement).

The reality is, however, that at this stage it is not public knowledge as to what the exact settlement will be.

Although they are celebrities, like many “normal” or “everyday” people, Erica Baxter and James Packer appear to be trying to resolve their matter outside of the Courts rather than through litigation.

The reasons for this may be that they wish to resolve the matter quickly, that they wish to avoid the stress of litigation and also that they want to maintain (as much as is possible) an amicable relationship so that they can continue to co parent successfully in relation to their children. Also, given their fame they may also have the added desire to avoid unnecessary publicity.

At Armstrong Legal we have extensive experience in litigating family law matters and are certainly familiar with running matters through to a final hearing in Court if need be.

That being said, we understand and respect the reality that many people simply do not wish to go to Court.

Anecdotally I would say that many of my clients, when I initially meet with them, articulate a clear wish to resolve the matter outside of Court if this is possible.

Sometimes this is not possible because the parties are too far apart in what they want in relation to either parenting or property.

It may also not be possible if the other party has unrealistic expectations of what they should receive, for example, out of the property pool.

That being said, I am of the view that if it is possible and my client does express the wish to resolve the matter outside of Court then, of course, I will try my best to settle the matter amicably.

Parenting and/or property matters can be settled amicably between parties. Once an agreement is reached the settlement can be documented by way of what is called “Consent Orders”. These Orders are filed with the Court and, depending on the Court’s discretion, the Court will make these Orders.

This means that you and your ex-partner can then receive Orders that have been agreed and consented to by both of you and made by the Court. This gives you the security of knowing that your Orders have been made by the Court without having to actually physically appear in Court as an adversary against your former partner. You are also able to control the outcome of what is agreed to.

If you have any questions in relation to obtaining an amicable settlement with your ex-partner including questions about “Consent Orders”, or if you have any questions in general about property and/or parenting issues following separation, please do not hesitate to contact us at Armstrong Legal on 02 9261 4555 for your initial obligation free appointment.

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