The state has refused to budge on its bid to seize the Brisbane house despite solicitor Ana Brkan complaining she could not afford the $40,000 in legal fees needed to unlock her share.
The Holland Park house is in the name of her husband Nuno Da Silva, who is behind bars awaiting trial over an alleged multimillion-dollar ice racket run out of his East Brisbane locksmith shop.
Supreme Court documents detail the government’s refusal to negotiate with Ms Brkan, 32, who claims her name was kept off the title because her poor credit rating would have ruled out a mortgage.
The mother of one is “desperate” to sell the property and get her share of the proceeds, an estimated $87,500, as it is her “only asset”, she states in an affidavit.
She claims she paid half the deposit and mortgage and continued to live in the house after splitting from Da Silva in February 2011.
Ms Brkan had fallen $64,624 in debt “as a result of borrowing money from immediate family and friends” since Da Silva’s arrest last year.
She and her 13-year-old daughter have since moved in with her parents where “conditions are cramped”.
“It is hard to raise my daughter in these circumstances as we have no living space of our own,” she says.
Ms Brkan says she earns $500 a week from her firm Insight Law and another $200 from a family tax benefit.
She estimates her weekly living expenses upon moving out, including rent and her daughter’s $230-a-week private school fees, will be $1233.
Ms Brkan wanted the government to spare her the expense of an “exclusion order” by leaving her share out of its restraining order.
Government lawyers responded in an affidavit that Ms Brkan “claims an interest in the property but the evidence does not demonstrate that that property is not under the effective control of (Da Silva)”.
Ms Brkan’s move to oppose the order proved costly, with the court last month ordering her to pay the government’s costs. Her alleged share of the house is now out of reach until the government applies for the house to be forfeited, which may take months or potentially years.
She is “currently attempting to finalise” her divorce from Da Silva, she says.