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Property Settlements. What you need to know

What is a Property Settlement

Family Law Property Settlements are the division of real estate, assets and other property between the two parties who are separating. The Family Law Act provides for Property Settlements between couples who are or have been married or in a de facto relationship.

There is a time limit for doing a Property Settlement

Separated couples are encouraged to do their Property Settlements within a practical timeframe.

Married couples have 12 months from the date of divorce to do a Property Settlement (if you remain married post separation there is no time limit)

De facto couples have 2 years from the date of separation to do their Property Settlement

There are three ways to document a Property Settlement

If an agreement is reached then you can do a Property Settlement through:

  1. Binding Financial Agreement (BFA) – where each party needs a lawyer to come to an agreement about how property and finances will be divided. The agreement does not need to be just and equitable. ⁠
  2. Consent Order – at least one of the parties needs a lawyer to fill out this form and submit it for approval by the court. It must be just and equitable. ⁠

If an agreement cannot be reached, the court can document your Property Settlement for you.

Why you should formalise your Property Settlement

Even if you have reached an agreement with your ex partner and you have already divided your assets, it is strongly recommended that you formally document your Property Settlement to avoid disputes and litigation if things get complicated.

We can’t predict our circumstances down the track following a separation. Such circumstances can involve new relationships and other children. So while some couples want to save money or believe that they are amicable enough to reach an agreement without lawyers, they may be leaving themselves (or their future partners and children) vulnerable to litigation down the track.

Property Settlements by Respect Legal

About Respect Legal

Respect Legal is here to disrupt traditional ways of practicing family law through our respectful approach to dispute resolution. We focus on outcomes that strengthen families, rather than tear them apart.

Our team of highly skilled lawyers are leaders in their field who provide expert advice and guidance through complex legal processes so you can achieve an outcome that works best for you and your family.

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