Property settlement in a nutshell
A property settlement is resolving all financial matters between you and your former partner, following the irretrievable breakdown of your relationship on a full and final basis.
A property settlement divides the assets and liabilities in the property pool. This means that following a property settlement, any asset or liability retained by either of you in the settlement will be owned free from the other person in the future.
Property settlements can occur at any stage following separation and even after divorce in the case of a marriage. There are time limitations that need to be considered which are different for married couples and de facto partnerships.
Following an order for Divorce, either person has 12 months from the date of divorce to commence proceedings in Court for a property settlement. For de facto couples, the time frame is 2 years from the date of separation.
What is the process?
The process of starting to deal with your financial matters can be overwhelming, daunting and emotional. What you need to understand is that there is no blanket rule on how you and your partner should come to an agreement. The way of resolving your property matter can be flexible to your situation.
There are many different ways you and your partner can resolve your property matters. Some of these are:-
- Informal Discussions over the kitchen table, to come to an agreement between you;
- Mediation through a community based mediation service or a private mediator to come to an agreement. You can mediate with or without your lawyer’s help;
- Collaborative practice, with the assistance of family consultants and/or neutral financial specialists and your solicitors to come to an agreement;
- Lawyer negotiation, where you and your partner negotiate with the assistance of your lawyers to come to an agreement;
- Court proceedings, where either you or your partner commences proceedings in Court so that the Court will determine the outcome of property matters.
There are also a number of factors that need to be considered in the process of negotiating and coming to a resolution of a property settlement. These are:
- The length of the relationship;
- Financial contributions;
- Non-financial contributions and household duties;
- Lump sum contributions such as inheritances, compensation claims and large gifts;
- The ability of each party to maintain an income in the future;
- Who is the main carer of the children;
- If either party has any health issues which would detriment their earning capacity in the future.
When coming to an agreement, even if it is done informally, it is highly recommended that your agreement is finalised in a formal document known as Consent Orders, particularly when there is real property involved.
Contact Lindbloms Lawyers to discuss your resolution options and how we can help you get the best outcome for your matter today on (08) 8357 7611