Property Settlement is one of the most commonly discussed issues after separation. It is important to take note that this matter is different from a divorce, which involves the legal termination of a marriage. A divorce can only be filed at least 12 months after the separation, but even without applying for this, you can get started with the property settlement concerns. Put simply, a property settlement refers to an arrangement where separating parties decide on how to divide assets, liabilities, and financial resources.
How Does a Property Settlement After Separation Proceed?
Family Lawyers will serve as your guide and representative throughout every step of the property settlement process, so you can be sure that you handle all legal matters correctly and do not miss out on anything important. The process often begins by determining the value of each parties’ assets and debts, which includes identifying which of these are jointly and individually held.
Next, the Court will assess individual contributions from each party. This step can include financial or monetary contributions from income, inheritances, and the like, as well as non-financial contributions from home renovations or something similar. Aside from these two, parental and familial contributions will also be assessed as caring for the family’s welfare is considered to be on the same level as working a full-time job.
Once the individual contributions are examined, the Court will then determine your current and future needs. They will look into factors such as age, health condition, earning capacity, financial resources, duration of marriage, and other things to see how these may affect each parties’ future. After the above process has been met, the last step will be to review the proposed division or outcome for the Property Settlement and determine whether it is just and equitable. The Family Law Act provides several guidelines for the Court to make such a decision.
Applying for a Property Settlement
Property Settlement orders can apply to married couples and de facto relationships, with both having provisions outlined in the Family Law Act. Typically, married couples have to apply for property settlement and adjustments within 12 months of the divorce becoming finalized, while those in de facto relationships must do it within 2 years after the relationship ended.
Family Lawyers specialise in such matters, so the first thing you can do is to look for a reputable lawyer who can help you with your case. In some cases, you and your former spouse may reach an informal agreement without needing a lawyer, but even so, this will not be enforceable in court. Thus, it is still better to have a binding document that states the division of your properties clearly to prevent conflict from arising in the future.
Consent Order for Property Settlement
While it is highly advisable that you seek legal advice when dealing with property settlements, this does not necessarily mean you need to go to court to handle the matter. If you can agree on property division without Court mediation, you can instead get a written financial agreement, or a consent order approved by the Court. No matter what option you choose, getting legal assistance will be beneficial in forging your agreements.
The property settlement process following separation can be tricky and challenging, especially if separating parties have conflicting interests. Thus, getting legal advice and help on this matter will be extremely helpful and beneficial as it ensures that you go through proper procedures. Be sure to choose a lawyer who has experience and expertise in family law to get the best outcome. Platinum Lawyers are experienced Divorce and Family Lawyers who can assist you with your property settlement following a divorce.