You can finalise your property settlement immediately after you have separated, but there are time limits to bring a property settlement application before the Court – a court application must be filed within 12 months from divorce or within 2 years from the date of separation of a de facto relationship.
The Family Law Act sets out how assets should be divided when a marriage or de facto relationship has ended. The division of assets is at the discretion of the judge, and the Family Law Act provides the following factors are taken into account:
- Whether ordering to divide property or altering the interests of the parties in property is just and equitable (fair and reasonable)
- Contributions (financial and non-financial) made by a party towards property – at the commencement of the relationship, during the relationship, and after separation
- Contributions made by a party to the welfare of the family (homemaker and parent)
- The effect of an order on the earning capacity of either party
- Other relevant factors which consider the future needs of each party – e.g. state of health, support of children of the marriage, and the ability to obtain or continue work
The law encourages parties to negotiate and reach an amicable agreement to finalise their property settlement. When an agreement is reached, your settlement may need to be documented in the form of Consent Orders or Financial Agreements, without the need for any court appearances.
Where parties are unable to reach an agreement and Court proceedings are commenced, we can represent your interests throughout your proceedings, working with you to optimise your case to the Court.
Our family lawyers have experience in all aspects of family law property settlements, including property divisions involving farming properties, family businesses, companies, partnerships and trusts.
It is important that you speak with a family lawyer to obtain personalised advice regarding your rights and entitlements in your property settlement.