Property and Finance
Property settlements can be complicated.
Yes. It’s generally a good idea to hire an experienced family lawyer for your property settlement.
This can help both parties get what they deserve.
There are many misconceptions about how assets and liabilities are divided after the breakdown of a marriage or de facto relationship.
With each family’s circumstances being different, applying the law to your particular situation can be quite complex.
Negotiating directly with your ex can be stressful and, where there has been domestic violence/abuse, virtually impossible.
How do we help?
We provide advice and settlement options focused on your individual circumstances.
We negotiate on your behalf to try and resolve your dispute without having to go to Court.
In some cases, the only way to end a dispute is by going to the Family Law Courts.
You’ll be advised if this is the case.
Since 1 March 2009, de facto property disputes have been dealt with under the Family Law Act 1975.
This means that de facto couples have essentially the same rights to a property settlement after separation as married couples.
Further, disputes about the division of the assets are dealt with by the Federal Family Law Courts and not the State Courts.
The main difference between married and de facto property disputes is that married couples have 12 months from the date of divorce (not separation) to bring an application for property orders before the Family Law Courts while de facto couples have 2 years from the date of final separation.
It is usually a good idea to finalise your property settlement as soon as possible after separation.
Even if you and your ex do not have many assets.
Why? If you find yourself before the Family Law Courts in relation to a property dispute, the Court will generally assess the net asset pool from the date of trial and not separation.
Inheritances and other windfalls received after separation but before Court Orders are made (or a Financial Agreement becomes binding) and assets accumulated by one person after separation may be included in the asset pool by the Court.
In other words, it’s usually in your best interests do sort out the property settlement shortly after separation.
When you’ve reached an agreement about how to divide up the assets and liabilities, it is important to have the agreement formalised by either Family Court Consent Orders (court orders) or an enforceable and binding Financial Agreement.
This protects both of you from any further claims by your ex-spouse for an additional property settlement.
We can advise if your agreement is in the range of what is fair.
We’ll consider your circumstances and prepare and/or advise you in relation to any documents required to formalise your agreement.
Consider Keane Family Law.
We’re experienced with financial settlements.