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Property Settlement

Family Law Time Limits.

If you have been been married, or in a de-facto relationship, and that relationship lasted at least 2 years (sometimes less in certain exceptional circumstances) then talk to us about your property settlement options.

property orders

Why do you need our help with your property settlement?

Your property settlement – making sure you get your fair share!

Property settlements can be complex and contentious – we will guide you through the whole process and make sure you get the best, the fairest, and most realistic result. We will help you to avoid mistakes, and recognise the strategies being used against you. We will make sure you spot subtle bullying and intimidation and your ex using the property settlement to correct perceived wrongs.

Alongside the emotion of separation and divorce, dealing with bricks-and-mortar property, investments, shares, cars, superannuation, savings, furniture and effects, mortgages, loans, credit cards – anything that can be regarded as either an asset or a liability – can be hard. But the decisions and choices you make now can have long terms impacts so it’s critical you make these decisions in an informed way, with the best available information and advice.

Property settlement is a forensic process. We are experts at finding out about all your former partner’s assets and making sure you are treated fairly and in accordance with the law.

Our approach is not to jump up and down on the spot and make a lot of noise, we are just calm, methodical, and tenacious. Even where parties are in agreement, the law still says that full and frank disclosure of all relevant facts is required.

If you want to settle your matter amicably, and a lawyer is drafting or advising on court orders they are still bound to provide legal advice to you, and this can only be done after a careful review of all the relevant facts.

Is your partner running up debts on credit card or loans?

If you are concerned your partner may be hiding assets, asset stripping, or running up debt on credit cards or loans you may be liable for a share of that and you must speak to us urgently so we can advise you what to do, and if necessary seek a Family Court injunction, a court order that requires a person refrain from doing a particular act. We would get an injunction  to stop them running up debt.

We never make wild claims of getting you everything.  We will never give you false expectations or tell you we can get more than any other lawyer. But we will fight wild claims from the other side using the law and the facts. We will make sure you get the advice you need to get your fair settlement, in accordance with the law; we will explain the law; we will make sure you get the full benefit of the law.

What about Super and Inheritances?

Sometimes, family businesses are involved, or complex Self-Managed Super funds, or Defined Benefit Interests (such as PSS). At other times, inheritances, employee share plans, family trusts or other investments are involved. These things are all included in the shared asset pool – they do not belong to just one party – so get the right advice from day one.

Even if you think you agree, you should consider involving us as your lawyers. We will help get advice from accountants, valuers, and potentially investigators. We will track bank accounts and spending, provide valuations of assets, and review debts – never trust anything other people tell you. Get legal advice.

Once we’ve been through all this, in the end, the difference between both a legal and each parties’ assessment of what is a fair split usually comes down to just a few percentage points and a robust, final negotiation. Make sure you know what you are fighting for and why. It costs nothing to reach out for a free family law consultation. Get in touch now.

What’s involved in a property settlement?

Working out a property settlement involves past contributions (which can include domestic, ‘home-maker’ or non-financial contributions), inheritances, future earning capacity, and future needs (both of the parties and of any children).  The length of the relationship, the roles you played, and your future earnings potential are all relevant considerations. The aim is to get a fair outcome for everyone involved given your unique circumstances.

Is there a Pre-Nup?

Most people have heard the term “Pre-Nup”, short for pre-nuptial agreement.  However, the correct legal term for all domestic partnership and marriage related agreements is Binding Financial Agreement, or ‘BFA’.

BFA’s can include any of the following agreements:

  • pre-nuptial
  • post-nuptial
  • cohabitation
  • separation, and
  • divorce agreements

Is there a BFA?

Sometimes there is a pre-nuptial agreement (now called a binding financial agreement or BFA) to take into account. Is it valid? Does it cover spouse maintenance or super? Could it be set aside? We have expertise in pre-nup analysis – we aim to make sure the pre-nup is in fact lawful and binding. If it can be challenged, we can help you to do that.

BFA’s are agreements made between either married or de-facto couples. BFA’s can be made either before or after the marriage or relationship commences and outline how the parties respective assets and liabilities will be dealt with in the event of a breakdown in the relationship. It is an agreement in advance of the relationship failing.

A BFA is a legal contract so it must be reasonable and cannot be signed under duress, or whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol. To be valid both parties need to seek their own legal advice, from separate lawyers, usually from different law firms. Your lawyer has to sign a certificate confirming legal advice was given before the BFA was signed.

A BFA can introduce an element of certainty to a relationship, but can also create tensions – if you have not already discussed this with your partner we strongly urge you to bring up the subject in a sensitive way.

You need to be aware that if your situation changes, such as when children come along or long term partners become married, a new BFA might be needed.

Who can enter into a BFA?

You can enter into a BFA if you are planning to cohabit, getting married, separating, or divorcing, and whether you are in a heterosexual or same-sex relationship.

Click here for links to family law legislation.

You can read more about property settlement and finances here.

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