Whether you are leaving a marriage or de facto relationship, you may require a property settlement or the division of assets upon the breakdown of your relationship. The Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) has a range of avenues available to protect your interests and lead to a resolution of all relevant financial matters.
Negotiating a divorce settlement can be a time consuming and stressful process both for de facto and married couples alike. Separating couples can record their property settlement in a private agreement, by way of a Binding Financial Agreement, or by approaching the court for consent orders.
Where a decision cannot be reached by both parties, you can approach the Federal Circuit Court (for most financial disputes), or the Family Court of Australia for more complex matters. The Court process can assist to:
- Put structure in place to narrow the issues in dispute through the process of exchanging disclosure, obtaining expert valuations and ordering parties to make a genuine effort to settle at mediation;
- Provide a party with maintenance to meet their reasonable living costs (including on an urgent basis);
- Protect assets until final agreement or orders; and
- Obtain a final judicial decision on how your net assets will be dealt with and divided between you.
Whether you reach agreement out of Court, or have to litigate to obtain your entitlement, the law we advise you on when it comes to property settlement is the same.
Broadly, this process involves:
- Ascertaining the legal and equitable entitlements of both parties (which can include assets in another person’s or entity’s name), known as the “property pool”;
- Assessing whether or not it is just and equitable to make orders for property settlement and, if it is, assess each party’s financial and non-financial contributions to the property pool and the relationship;
- Considering other relevant factors which will impact on your entitlement, such as your state of health, discrepancies in respective earning capacities and care of children of the relationship under the age of 18 years; and
- Considering whether the structure and monetary outcome of the proposed settlement is just and equitable or, in other words, appropriate
Daykin Family Law has a broad range of extensive experience in navigating, resolving and finalising property settlement and financial issues upon the breakdown of a relationship, including acting for third parties whose interests are affected by marriage or de facto relationship breakdowns.
This is a complex area of law; therefore, sound and pragmatic advice is needed to ensure that all issues are fully assessed from the outset and steps are put into place to protect you and your interests throughout your whole matter.
For more information or to make an appointment for a consultation on property settlement with Daykin Family Law by phone or at our Fortitude Valley, Brisbane office, contact us today on or email [email protected]