Property Settlement Lawyers

Whether you need help with a divorce property settlement or splitting assets at the end of a de facto relationship, our team will help you reach a just and amicable property settlement agreement.

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Experienced Property Settlement Lawyers That Protect Your Best Interests

Ensuring a just and equitable division of assets during a separation requires good legal guidance. Our property settlement lawyers specialise in handling the nuances of asset division, working diligently to secure an equitable outcome for you. You can rely on our team to keep you informed at all stages of the property settlement process to achieve a settlement that protects your interests.

Negotiating a Property Settlement

Negotiating a property settlement involves understanding each party’s property pool, contributions, and future needs. Many people can reach a settlement through mediation or with assistance from lawyers who specialise in property settlement.

Our property settlement services will help you undertake these negotiations efficiently and effectively, and we’ll provide advice throughout the process. Once an agreement has been reached, we will prepare a financial agreement or consent order to formalise the settlement you and your ex-partner have reached.


Divorce Property Settlements - The Four-Step Approach to Property Settlement

When determining how property should be divided after separation, the following four (4) step approach should be applied after first determining that there should be an adjustment of property rather than each party retaining the property they currently hold:

1. Determine the Pool of Assets, Liabilities, and Financial Resources

Determine the pool of assets, liabilities, and financial resources at the time of reaching the agreement (i.e., the pool is not determined at the date of separation) or at the time of the hearing if the Court is determining your matter.

All property is included in the asset pool regardless of whose name the property is held in or when the property was acquired. Superannuation is treated as property.

2. Contributions by Each Party

Determine each party’s contributions to the acquisition, conservation and improvement of the property. The contributions can be direct and indirect (for example, gifts and inheritances) and financial and non-financial (for example, the care of children). The contributions made by each party at the commencement of the relationship, during the relationship and since separation will be considered.

3. Future Means and Needs of the Parties

Assess the future means and needs of the parties with regard to a number of issues set out in Section 75(2) of the Family Law Act, including income and earning capacity, property and resources, superannuation entitlements, health issues and the need for one party to care for the children of the marriage. An assessment of entitlement to the property in percentage terms can then be made based on contributions and future means and needs of the parties.

4. Just and Equitable Distribution

The Court has an overriding discretion to make an Order for property settlement, which is just and equitable, and will make any further adjustments to achieve a just and equitable distribution of property.

What Are The Time Limits for Property Settlements?

Time limits apply to start the process of property settlement, which begins from the date of your separation. This can be more complex if both parties can’t agree on a date of separation or when two parties are living under the same roof separated.

Divorce Property Settlement

For married couples, you have twelve (12) months from the date the Divorce Order comes into effect to apply for a property settlement.

De Facto Relationship Property Settlement

For de facto relationships, you have two years from the date of separation. If you miss these deadlines, you must seek the court’s permission to apply, which is not guaranteed.

What If The Time Limit Has Already Passed?

Alternatively, you will need the court’s permission to apply for a property settlement after these limitation periods. There is no guarantee that the Court will grant this permission. See our section under Divorce for more information.

Get Started With Our Property Settlement Specialists

Contact our specialist family law firm today for expert guidance on property settlements. Our experienced lawyers will help you with every step of the process Schedule your consultation and secure your future.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Duty of disclosure requires both parties to provide full and frank disclosure of all financial information during property settlement negotiations. This includes revealing assets, liabilities, and income. Failure to comply with this duty can result in serious consequences, such as penalties or an unfair settlement, and may affect the court’s final decision.

Not necessarily. Many property settlements are resolved through negotiation or mediation, resulting in a financial agreement or consent orders. If an agreement can’t be reached, the matter may need to be decided by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

This four-step approach is also applied by the Court when determining property settlement applications in matters where parties cannot reach an agreement. The court applies this approach even when making Consent Orders (Orders that are agreed to by both parties) as it still needs to ensure that they are just and equitable.

If you are divorced, you only have twelve (12) months from the date the Divorce Order comes into effect to apply for property settlement. If you were in a de facto relationship, you only have two (2) years from the date of separation to apply for property settlement.

If you would like more information about property settlement or family law matters, please do not hesitate to contact us to arrange an initial consultation.

There is no fixed method to split assets under the Family Law Act; each case is unique. The Act provides guidelines for just and equitable distribution, but the division depends on various factors. A property settlement lawyer can offer guidance on this complex process.

Experienced family lawyers assess contributions made by each party during the relationship, including financial contributions, non-financial contributions, and future needs. Splits such as 60/40, 70/30, or 50/50 are standard but are not predetermined. Instead, property settlement lawyers evaluate each party’s property interests and circumstances.

In some cases, both parties may agree on a just and equitable split without court intervention, facilitated by a property settlement lawyer. Financial agreements can be drafted to reflect these decisions. If consensus is reached, it can be formalised through court orders.
An independent valuation of assets, including corporate entities, is necessary for more contentious cases. If parties cannot agree, the court decides based on evidence, considering contributions, child support, and each party’s mental capacity and financial situation.

A good family lawyer or property settlement lawyer will consider the dollar value of assets, those held in joint names, and individual contributions to provide fixed fees and tailored advice. Whether dealing with married couples or de facto relationships, experienced family lawyers ensure a just and equitable settlement is reached.

Negotiating property settlements involves several options to ensure a just and equitable distribution of the property pool between the parties involved. Firstly, parties can engage lawyers to assist in drafting a consent order or financial agreement, providing legal guidance throughout the property settlement process.
Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) services are effective alternatives for reaching an agreement without going to court. These property settlement services help facilitate discussions and negotiations between you and your former partner, aiming for a mutually acceptable property settlement agreement.

The Family Law Act sets the framework for property settlements, ensuring that the financial relationship between the parties is fairly addressed. If an agreement is reached, it can be formalised by consent orders, which are court orders approved by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia.

If negotiations fail, a court hearing may be necessary. The court will consider the contributions and future needs of each party, ensuring a just and equitable division. Regardless of the method chosen, it’s crucial that both parties disclose all relevant financial information to reach a just and equitable settlement.

No, financial agreements and consent orders are not the same thing. A financial agreement is a legal contract between parties outlining how property, financial resources, and spousal maintenance will be dealt with in case of separation or divorce without court involvement. Some people choose to use them after a relationship breaks down, too.

Conversely, consent orders are agreements approved by the court, making them enforceable under family law. They formalise agreements reached by parties regarding property settlements, parenting arrangements, or financial matters, ensuring legal certainty and enforceability through court approval.

Child support can be dealt with at the same time as finalising property matters. This is usually achieved by entering into a Binding Child Support Agreement at the same time as Consent Orders. A Binding Child Support Agreement can deal with periodic payments of child support (a set amount payable each week, fortnight or month) and non-periodic payments such as school fees, medical expenses and extra-curricular expenses. A Binding Child Support Agreement can be registered with the Child Support Agency and can provide clarity and security for both parties.

Yes, you can sort out parenting arrangements and financial settlement simultaneously, and many people choose to do this. Addressing both issues together allows for a comprehensive resolution of all matters related to the separation, ensuring that both the financial needs and the wellbeing of the children are considered simultaneously.

In the context of a property settlement, the asset pool includes all items considered part of the property pool shared between you and your former partner. This pool encompasses both assets and liabilities, covering a wide range of financial and non-financial resources.

Property includes assets such as:

  • Bank accounts
  • Real estate property
  • Personal debts
  • Shares in a family company
  • Assets owned individually by one party
  • Financial resources such as superannuation

Additionally, non-financial contributions, such as homemaking and parenting, are considered when determining each party’s entitlement to the property pool. This comprehensive evaluation ensures that all financial resources and spousal maintenance obligations are considered to achieve a just and equitable division of assets and liabilities.

It’s quite common for only one party to have assets in their name during a relationship, for a variety of reasons. During a family law settlement, assets can be split and transferred regardless of whose name they are in, as long as the division is deemed just and equitable.

Factors considered in property settlement include earning capacity, non-financial contributions like domestic tasks, and property held in joint or individual names. Superannuation is also evaluated to ensure just and equitable distribution based on each party’s contributions and future needs under family law guidelines.

If your ex-partner rejects a proposed property settlement, you may need to pursue mediation, have a lawyer negotiate further, or apply to the court for property settlement orders to resolve the dispute according to family law guidelines.

Yes, domestic and family violence matters can significantly impact a property settlement. Courts consider safety concerns and contributions affected by violence when determining a just and equitable distribution of assets and liabilities.

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“I wanted to let you know, Temika – how very grateful I have been to have you represent me over the past few years. You have certainly seen my worst side and kept me sane when I have really needed it! Your professionalism is second to none and I couldn’t have asked for any one better to be on my side! So from the very bottom of my heart thank you!!”

– KD

Your path to settlement starts here, with Stewart Family Law