What is a Property Settlement Agreement?
A Property Settlement Agreement contains the agreed terms to divide property between you and your former partner following separation. This includes assets, liabilities and superannuation.
When Can I Get A Property Settlement Agreement?
You can finalise a property settlement agreement as soon as you and your former partner have decided to separate i.e. end your relationship.
What if we are still living under the same roof?
You can be living under the same roof but still be considered ‘legally separated’. You do not need to be living in separate households; however, your relationship does need to have ended.
What are the deadlines for obtaining a Property Settlement Agreement?
The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) provides some “deadline dates” depending on whether you were married or in a de facto relationship. There are some exceptions however, the general rule is:
For married couples: You have 12 months from the date your divorce* comes into effect to make an application for a Property Settlement.
Note: * Parties must be separated for 12 months to apply for a divorce.
For de facto relationships: You have 24 months from the date of separation to finalise your property settlement.
My ex-partner and I agree on how we want to split everything, how do we formalise it?
Your Property Settlement Agreement can be formalised by way of an Application for Consent Orders. This Application is submitted to the Court together with Terms of Settlement. The Terms of Settlement are prepared by your lawyer setting out what property each party will keep and how the agreement will be effected. These two documents are submitted to the Court where they will be reviewed by a Registrar of the Court. In this process, neither party is required to attend at Court. Your lawyer can prepare and submit the documents to the Court and then provide the “sealed” documents to you once the Court has formalised these.
Alternatively, your Property Settlement Agreement may be finalised by way of a Binding Financial Agreement. Both parties will need to obtain independent legal advice and one of the parties’ lawyers will need to draft the Binding Financial agreement while the other party’s lawyer reviews it.
Your lawyer can advise you of the best way forward having regard to your particular set of circumstances.
My ex and I do not agree on how to split our assets, what do I do?
You can seek advice relevant to your particular set of circumstances from an experienced Family Lawyer. Your lawyer will be able to assess the situation and provide you with options. Depending on your circumstances, this may include attempts to locate and engage your ex-partner in negotiations, writing to your ex’s lawyer, recommending a Mediator suitable to your needs and/or recommending you initiate proceedings in Court. Every case is different and our lawyers will provide advice and suggest strategies that are tailored to your particular needs.
For advice about negotiating a Property Settlement Agreement contact us on 1800 300 170 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Family law situations can be complex and sometimes they can involve serious issues. Information outlined is proposed to provide general guidance only. Due to the seriousness of legal matters as well as the uniqueness of your individual situation, professional advice should be sought. For advice, please contact one of our Family Lawyers.