If you are separated or thinking of separating- now is the time to understand what assets and liabilities are subject to a settlement -or claim for settlement. To achieve the best settlement you can, speak to Australian Family Lawyers to understand your rights and obligations.
We protect and fight for your rights
Many couples own property together and share debts. Often one party has assets or liabilities they acquired prior to the relationship or after separation.
Very often one partner might not have contributed as much financially, but may have contributed in other ways. We ensure you get you the best possible outcome in your property settlement with clear advice and thorough legal representation.
Property settlement fundamentals
Going through a separation or divorce is difficult. It is vital to get legal advice early on in a property settlement matter so that your rights and interests are protected from the start and you understand the risks and strengths in your situation.
Get a team – having the right people in your team helps. If you are overwhelmed – get supportive counselling. Often the financials are complex and confusing so we can refer you to and work with accountants and financial planners so you can made better informed decisions- both now and for your future.
If you agree on how to split your property and assets, it is possible to finalise matters without involving the court. You can make your agreement legally binding by a consent order, or can make a financial agreement. If you do not agree on how your assets should be divided you can apply for a property settlement – but there are risks in going to court and pre action procedures to comply with beforehand.
Property settlements are largely determined in the same way whether you were in a de facto relationship or a marriage. The only difference relates to time limits to apply for a property settlement. You have 12 months after a divorce becomes final to apply, whereas you have two years after the end of your de facto relationship to apply.
Disclosure is important and required to be provided including out of court property settlements.
Not all assets may be divided and instead assets or liabilities may be retained by the relevant party.
Each settlement is different as each outcome depends on the historical facts in each matter and prospective needs.
Advice now prevents regret later. Decision you make will impact
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Commonly asked questions about property settlement
A divorce means you are no longer married. A property settlement is the process of dividing /retaining assets and liabilities when a relationship – whether the couple were married or in a defacto relationship- is over.
Get some advice on the agreement reached and about how to finalise it – most couples apply apply to the court for a consent order which is made without you or your lawyer having to attend court
Orders are enforceable and protect you if your former partner changes their mind. Once orders are made they difficult to set aside. If the agreement is not carried out then orders enable you to enforce it.
Orders can also attract savings by stamp duty and capital gains tax rollover relief in some instances.
No – most couples avoid having to litigate their property settlement using alternate dispute resolution – including collaborative practice, mediation and informal settlement conferences.
Sometimes a separation turns nasty and people attempt to get rid of their assets rather than divide them with their former partner. If you suspect this may happen you can apply for an injunction which prevents someone from disposing of property, cash, businesses, or other assets. You need to demonstrate a real risk of this taking place, and at AFL we can assist you in getting the necessary injunction to protect your rights.
A property owned in joint names may have parties named on the mortgage or it not then one party might be guarantor. Each person will have an ongoing responsibility for debts of any shared property, and if the parties do not make the necessary payments the bank may take action to repossess the home. Sometimes orders are required to compel one party to pay it.
About Australian Family Lawyers
Our dedicated and experienced family lawyers are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you in your property settlement matter. We worked to represent and resolve family law matters across Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane and are here to ensure your rights are protected.Learn more about us