Property division under Family Law
Are you going through divorce or separation with your spouse? One important thing you need to consider is property division, or sometimes we call that property settlement.
This is to say, you split your joint properties with your spouse, without going through expensive court litigation.
Property Division (Property Settlement)
Let’s say you own properties in your own name, and you also have properties in joint names with your spouse. Of course, your spouse might own some properties too.
When you go through a relationship breakdown leading to separation or divorce, a wise thing to do is to divide these properties before the relationship gets worse. If you can reach peaceful agreement with your spouse as to how these properties are divided, that is what we call “property division“, or “property settlement“.
Full and frank disclosure
In order to achieve property settlement, you and your spouse need to honestly and completely disclose all the properties you own to each other. Yes, this includes ALL properties you own.
If there is a failure to disclose property, the property settlement agreement which is being reached may become invalidly.
Therefore, this is an extremely important step!
Advantages of property settlement
- You have more control over the result – you decide what you agree!
- Much cheaper than litigation
- Quicker than litigation – so you can start a “new life” quicker!
- Much more peaceful than litigation
2 different ways of Property Settlement
Without going to court litigation, there are 2 different ways of Property Settlement:
- Financial Agreements
- Consent Orders
Sometimes, we call these agreements “prenups“, but their proper legal name is “Financial Agreement” under the Family Law Act.
These are written agreements made by you and your ex-spouse to agree on a certain arrangement of Property Settlement.
Financial Agreements are legally binding documents. They are kept by both parties or the parties solicitors, but they are not filed with the Court.
Both you and your spouse must engage a solicitor to have Financial Agreements “signed off”, in order for Financial Agreements to be binding.
You may think of Consent Orders as “agreements endorsed by the Court”. And since they are endorsed by the Court, they have stronger legal binding power, compared to Financial Agreements.
Contrary to Financial Agreements, it is not necessary for the parties to engage solicitors. But due to the complexity of the application forms and the involvement of legal procedures, it is a wise idea to engage one.
Consent Orders may deal with, apart from properties:
- Time spent with children
- Living arrangements with children
- Child maintenance
- Spousal maintenance
- Superannuation splits
Marriage, families and separation
If you want to read further, you may download this brochure (also available at the Family Court website).
Contact us so we can give you guidance in applying or further advice!
Our phone number is 07 3344 2888, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.