Family Law Property Settlement

What is a family law property settlement?

A family law “property settlement” refers to the division of property between a couple after they have decided to divorce (marriage) or separate (de facto).

What is considered property in a family law divorce settlement?

Property includes all the assets and liabilities owned by both parties and can include the family home, investment properties (whether in your name or the name of the other party), bank accounts, inheritance, superannuation, shares, interests in trust, companies or partnerships, and debts.

In Australia, both assets held in Australia and overseas, whether acquired before or after the relationship, will be considered property for family law purposes.

What is the time limit for property settlement after divorce?

A married couple who has divorced has 1 year after they divorce to apply for a property settlement. A de facto couple has 2 years after separation to apply for a property settlement.

How long after separation or divorce does property settlement / financial settlement occur?

You may apply for a property settlement as soon as you have separated. We generally advise that people finalise their property settlement sooner rather than later after they separate to avoid arguments about whether one party has dissipated any assets or made more contributions than the other to the assets after separation.

You can finalise your property settlement either before or after divorce. Divorce and property settlement are two separate legal processes in Australia.

Should I seek advice about property settlement?

Yes, you should always seek legal advice about your property settlement.

Although it is not compulsory to seek legal advice, because there are no “rules” about how property is divided in Australia, you need an experienced family lawyer to assess what the range of outcomes might be if your matter were to be determined by a Court.

Do I need a lawyer for property settlement?

While you can make a property settlement informally without a lawyer, these are not enforceable by a Court. It is best practice to get a lawyer to assist with your settlement to ensure that the other party will not ask for more from you in the future.

How does Modern Divorce work?

  1. You have separated and you need some help working out a settlement
  2. You complete our online questionnaire seeking advice about your financial and parenting issues.
  3. We prepare an advice, tailored to you (not automated or computer generated) about the issues you need to resolve. Timeframe/cost.
  4. You use the advice to negotiate a settlement with your spouse, either directly or via mediation or similar (we do not assist with this step).
  5. Once you have an agreement, you complete our online agreement tool telling us about the agreement.
  6. We prepare the settlement documents that you need to document your agreement/s in a enforceable way, and give you the requisite legal advice for them to be legally binding.
  7. The settlement documents are sealed and ratified by the Court where necessary.
  8. Your case is finished with minimum cost, stress and delay.
  9. You tell your friends how great Modern Divorce is.