Married & Defacto Property Settlements

We understand that the negotiation of the division of your assets can be hard. Ideally, we aim to help you do this without resorting to litigation and then record it as Consent Order of the court. Unfortunately sometimes this is not possible and Court action is required. We can help you with this too.

A “property settlement” refers to the division of assets arising out of a relationship such as a Marriage or De facto Relationship.

For marriages, you have up until 1 year after a Divorce Certificate has been issued to formalise your matrimonial property division or you may not be able to rely on the provisions of the Family Law Act 1975. You do not have to be divorced to do property settlement.

For De facto Relationships, you have until 2 years after the date of separation.

It is important to understand that you can sort out your property affairs from any time after the date of separation up and until the relevant time limit has lapsed.

Once the Court has determined that a division of the assets is appropriate then a 4 step process to assess what each party would likely receive from the relationship is undertaken.

The first step in that process is to identify and value the asset pool. When determining the nature and value of the asset pool, one must include all assets of the parties regardless of whose name the asset is in or how it has been aquired.

The second step is to look at the parties contributions, such as what each party brought into the relationship, who did what during the relationship and whether or not anyone received any inheritances during the relationship. This includes financial contributions, such as income, and non-financial contributions such as who maintained the home, did the washing and the like.

Step three is to look at what is commonly (but incorrectly) referred to as “future needs” factors as detailed in section 75(2) of the Family Law Act 1975 for matrimonial matters or section 90SF(3) for de facto matters. These “future needs” factors consider your age and health, your ability to work, and whether you have care of children of the relationship.

The last step in the process is an overview step. It requires the Court to look at the outcomes of the previous steps and to make orders that are practicable and fair and reasonable in the circumstances.

Try not to compare your matter to anyone else’s, as every matter is different.

We specialise in all areas of Family Law Property division matters including:

  1. Negotiating and preparation of:-
    1. Consent Orders;
    2. Binding Financial Agreements;
    3. Prenuptial Agreements;
    4. Cohabitation Agreements;
  2. Complex Property Matters including farming matters;
  3. Property Pools including Companies, Family Trusts and/or Self-Managed Superfunds;
  4. Enforcement Proceedings;
  5. Spousal Maintenance.