Elevate Family Law

Property Settlements in Australia.

  • Dividing property and understanding what you’re entitled to after separation can be challenging to navigate.
  • There is a common misunderstanding that assets are divided equally.
  • However, each property settlement has its own unique circumstances making it impossible to apply a “one fits all” method to divide your property with your spouse or de facto partner.

 

  • The Family Courts apply a “four-step” process to identify the key features of each case, guided by the principle that any agreement reached must be “just and equitable”. 
  • We have experience in matters concerning the division of assets after divorce and will be able to provide advice on how to achieve the best outcome for you.

We will be able to assist you with :

  1. understanding the assets available for distribution between you and your spouse.
  2. drafting both financial agreements and consent orders that are to be considered by the Court.
  3. If your property dispute cannot be resolved through mediation, we will confidently represent you in Court.

Pre-action Procedures Property

What are pre-action procedures?

  • Before commencing Court proceedings, we will be able to assist you with the mandatory pre-action procedures.
  • The pre-action procedures encourage you and your spouse to resolve disputes without the need for Court intervention.
  • You and your former spouse will need to agree on a form of dispute resolution and will need to make a genuine effort to resolve the dispute. This requires you to actively participate in dispute resolution.

What is "property" in Australian family law proceedings?

  • Property under section 4 of the Family Law Act 1975 consists of property “to which those parties are, or that party is, as the case may be, entitled, whether in possession or reversion”.

This definition has broad application however, assets that are commonly divided in property disputes include:

  • Matrimonial Home
  • Investment Property
  • Superannuation
  • Shares
  • Jewellery
  • Debts (personal debts, mortgages)
  • Inheritances
  • Vehicles

family law property settlement process

The four step process to family law property settlements

Identification and valuation of the asset pool

A determination must be made by the court  regarding the size and nature of the property pool. Both parties will be obliged to provide disclosure of their assets to the court and the other party.

Contribution Assessment

The parties contributions to the relationship and family - both financial and non-financial contributions will be assessed.

Future Needs Assessment

The future needs of both parties (s 75(2) factors) are assessed. Factors such as age, health, child care responsibilities, and earning capacity after separation are taken into consideration

Just and equitable Outcome

A determination of  what would be a just and equitable property settlement is made.

Do I need to go to Court ?

  • You do not necessarily need to commence proceedings in court to settle a property dispute.
  • However, a formal agreement (consent order) enforced by the court will have the effect of formalising previous decisions.
  • A binding financial agreement will prevent future disputes regarding parties’ assets. Once the Court has made the order final, it will be considered a binding property settlement setting out how your assets are divided with your former spouse.
  • It is a legal requirement that the parties to a binding financial agreement must obtain independent legal advice before signing the agreement.

how we've helped people just like you

Elevate Family Law handled my property settlement matter professionally and with so much empathy. Zohra’s advice and her teams’ willingness to go above and beyond for me was a major reason for my favorable outcome in my matter….

Lisa Marie

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Most frequent questions and answers

There is a common misunderstanding that assets are divided equally. However, each property settlement has its own unique circumstances making it impossible to apply a one fits all method to divide your property with your former partner.

Your partner is required to  disclose their financial records, assets, liabilities and financial resources. Penalties for non-disclosure will apply.

No, if both parties agree on how the assets and property will be divided, there are 2 approaches available, neither of which requires attending the Court:

  • A Binding Financial Agreement  or
  • A Consent Order lodged at Court (Court attendance not required) detailing the agreement.

No. If you are in a de facto relationship, you can apply for a property settlement by way of Consent Orders or Binding Financial Agreements.