When people separate, they usually need to sort out how to divide their assets (property) and debts.
Within Australia, there are a few ways in which asset division can take place:
It is important to consider what the implications will be, and the full extent of the separation regarding the division of property, assets and other items that you own. Property Settlement may occur between couples who currently are, or previously have been, married or in a de facto relationship. The Family Law Act also recognises same-sex de facto relationships.
As soon as you have separated you can make arrangements to split your property and debts between you and your ex-partner, you do not have to wait until you are divorced.
No, not at all. If you have already agreed on how things should be divided between you, your lawyer can draw up the document which will finalise the arrangements, and then get underway the legal processes which will split the assets.
There is an established process in cases where there is disagreement over how property should be split. The court needs to be satisfied that you have attempted to reach agreement, and to this end you will be ordered to participate in dispute resolution.
If this doesn’t resolve the matter, then an application for property orders must be filed with the Family Court. This application must be made within 12 months of your divorce becoming final. The matter will be set down for hearing and a legally binding decision will be made by the court.
The court will calculate the total assets owned by both parties, including property, shares, cars, jewellery, savings, furniture, superannuation etc. This includes things you brought into the relationship, those acquired during the relationship and those obtained after separation.
The court will then weigh up the contributions from both parties, including financial, non-financial, inheritances and assets brought into the relationship. The court will look at the future needs of both parties, including factors such as your capacity to earn money and your parental responsibilities.
Lastly the court will make a final decision based on what is just and equitable to both parties.
Dealing with the complexities of property settlement is stressful but the consequences of not doing it properly can impact on the rest of your life. We are experienced negotiators and will make sure that you get the best possible outcome. Contact our team for a consultation today.
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