Unfortunately, I have been where you are and it doesn't end nicely. My ex kicked our son and I out of our family home when he was confronted about multiple affairs, we were fortunate enough to retrieve some of our clothing, but nothing else. That was just over 12 months ago and it has been a legal battle since. I pursued the court option as I didn't have another choice, but my ex decided to drag custody matters into court at the same time (there was no issue with custody prior). Our assests were less than modest, but I chose to pursue it as something would be better than nothing and I had worked hard to gain said assests as well as raise our son. Perhaps discuss payment options with your solicitor, either as a payment plan, or a portion of your settlement? Sometimes the threat of court action by a certain date if you haven't yet received a response is enough to make them act. I hope this is the case for you. Just know it is a long road, so even if you apply to courts now, it can still take a further 12 months or more to settle. I wish you and your children all the best.
I know that my ex ignored all correspondence and I spent a lot of money trying to negotiate using my solicitor (about $5k) It is very difficult if they don't engage a solicitor, they can ignore everything. Sometimes the only thing you can do is apply to court. BUT you can go to mediation over property. Contact Relationships Australia or Catholic Care or similar (I found both to be fantastic) and they will invite him to attend.
If the negotiation breaks down you will receive a certificate that says that you both attempted negotiation but there was no resolution and you can then file to court. The certificate doesn't say which one of you caused the breakdown it is very generic certificate.
If you agree during mediation then you can file for consent orders with the court. You only need a solicitor then to make sure the consent orders are well written (i.e. that you are getting what you mediated over) ... he has to sign the consent order application.
If you go to court because mediation has failed and you have the certificate, It doesn't necessarily mean that you will 'win' what you want (court is tough - it's a bloody nightmare!!), but mediation IS a prerequisite for court. The courts want people to settle things 'amicably' (yeah right) before 'clogging up the court system'.... regarding court - the actual filing costs aren't that high, but using a solicitor is the big cost. It's a nightmare when the other party will not engage with the legal system the correct way - especially since a lot of men like this will scream out loud that you are trying to take him for everything he has ... meanwhile he doesn't even engage a solicitor to fight for what he perceives his rights are!!! there's a fair bit of control involved here!!
All I want is $5k so that my daughter and I can start again. All the furniture in the house I bought in the past 12 months (and have bank statements to prove this). He owns his car outright - and has new tyres etc courtesy of me. I have a $13k debt on my car worth $7k. He can work full time - I can't due to health issues. There are items in the house that were mine prior to us meeting but I don't want any of it - just some cash to move forward.
One of the local women's legal services supposedly will write a "letter of demand" but what is the point of going down that road when he will just ignore it. Having seen the abuse he hurled at my lawyer (free from a DV service) when I applied for the DVO I know he is just not going to play nice