Property settlement after separation: What you need to know

What is a fair property settlement after separation and how can you protect your property settlement rights?

By Steven Edward, Head of Family Law at Australian Family Lawyers (Melbourne)

 If you are going through separation or divorce and have reached agreement on how all your assets are to be divided, it’s vital that your property settlement agreement is legally binding

If you are leaving a de facto relationship or your marriage has broken down, and you do not have a legally enforceable property settlement agreement in place, you’re exposed to the possibility that at some stage in the future there will be a change of circumstances or change of heart. That could see you involved in expensive and uncertain Court proceedings for a decision on how assets are divided.

Documenting your family law property division agreement

Property settlement after separation documents

There are only two ways of documenting your family law property division agreement, to prevent future court claims: 

  1. Having final consent orders made by a Registrar of the Family Court, or
  2. With a properly prepared Binding Financial Agreement

Any assets you get after this, you keep and are safe from claims.

Sure, there are time limits for someone to make a claim in Court for property division, and those time limits vary depending on whether you are leaving a de facto relationship or have been married and divorced. But the Courts have shown flexibility in often allowing claims years outside the time limits. Also, if you are married and not yet divorced, there is no time limit for property settlement Court claims, except for the death of either spouse.

Property settlement and superannuation

You cannot have division of superannuation entitlements without either a Court approved superannuation splitting consent order, or superannuation splitting requirements in a Binding Financial Agreement. This is another important reason to have your agreement done properly. Read more about splitting superannuation here.

And if you’re looking to get your property settlement after separation underway? We can assist you in negotiating a fair, overall final property division and also in making sure that your property settlement agreement is in fact final and legally binding, and your rights are protected.

Learn how we can help protect your property settlement rights or fill in the form below to get in touch with us.

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