One of the most common points of tension in family law is how to divide financial assets. It is important to seek legal advice from a family property lawyer before, during and after separation to ensure your assets are protected in the event of separation.
Can I apply for a property settlement?
For married couples, you must make an application to the Court for property settlement within 12 months from the date of divorce, unless there is consent by the other party or you have obtained permission from the Court.
For de facto couples, you must commence property proceedings and make an application to the Court within 2 years from the date of breakdown of the de facto relationship. Otherwise, you must obtain permission from the Court.
How can I finalise property in my marriage settlement or de facto settlement?
The Family Law Act recognises final property settlement either by way of:
1. Consent Orders;
2. Binding Financial Agreement.
A Consent Order is approved by the Court whereas a Binding Financial Agreement (or commonly known as a Prenuptial Agreement) is not.
Once your property in your marriage settlement or de facto settlement has been finalised by way of Consent Orders or a Binding Financial Agreement, the agreement becomes final and can only be set aside or varied in exceptional circumstances.
Is my superannuation or my partner’s superannuation included?
Contrary to public belief, superannuation is taken into account in a property settlement.
The Court has power to make Orders with respect to parties’ superannuation interest. For example, the Court can make an Order that part of the property settlement, you receive a portion of your ex partner’s superannuation.
There are complex requirements whereby the Superannuation Fund will need to be notified of any agreement reached by you and your ex-partner.
How do I know what I am entitled to?
The five essential steps which the Court embarks on to determine your entitlements are as follows:
1. Determine whether an Order should be made;
2. Identify and value all of your assets, financial resources and liabilities;
3. Identify and assess the contributions that you and your partner have made;
4. Identify and assess your future needs;
5. Determine an Order which is fair in the circumstances of your case.
Essentially, there are complex factors which sometimes need to be considered including the interplay of any companies, Trusts, inheritances, compensation payouts and lottery winnings that may be received by either spouse. As such, consulting a divorce lawyer from Matthews Folbigg Lawyers is essential.
How can we help you?
Reaching a property settlement can be complex and stressful.
Matthews Folbigg divorce lawyers specialise in property settlements for both married and de facto couples.
We have a team of solicitors including accredited specialists in family law who may provide succinct legal advice to you in a cost efficient manner.
We also provide divorce advice.
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