Reaching an agreement on what assets are considered matrimonial property, and how they are to be divided, can be difficult and stressful. That’s why our experienced property settlement lawyers are here to guide you through it.
Whether your de facto relationship or marriage has broken down, we can advise you on the best way to obtain your desired property settlement outcome.
We pride ourselves in adopting a sensitive and strategic approach to all our family law matters and we are ready to assist you with any issue you may be facing.
How do I get a property settlement agreement?
To get a property settlement agreement, you can either:
- come to an agreement with your ex-spouse about the division of assets, or
- take the issue to court if you cannot agree.
If you are able to agree on your de facto or divorce financial settlement, you can:
- Make an informal agreement
- Make a financial agreement
- Get a consent order from the court
Under the Family Law Act 1975, the family court requires you and your ex-spouse to make a genuine attempt to settle your property outside of the court—which is best negotiated with the help of a property settlement lawyer or financial advisor.
Does a property settlement have to go to court?
If you and your ex-spouse can agree on how the assets and property will be divided, you may not need to take your property settlement to court. Instead, you can have a property settlement lawyer draft up a financial agreement or organise a consent order from the court.
However, this is not always possible. In such cases, it’s best to speak to a property settlement lawyer about the next steps you can take.
Is there a time limit on property settlement?
If you’re experiencing a de facto relationship or marriage break down, it’s incredibly important to organise your property settlement as soon as possible. This is because there are time limits that apply to financial settlements in NSW.
If you’re divorcing: the time limit for a property settlement is within 12 months of your divorce becoming final. It’s also worth noting that you don’t have to wait until you are divorced to do a property settlement.
If you’re separating from a de facto relationship: you have 24 months following the end of the relationship to commence proceedings.
Learn more: de facto property settlement
How is property settlement calculated?
As per the Family Law Act 1975, there are 4 steps that need to be taken to determine a property settlement:
- The property, assets and liabilities of both parties are identified and valued
- Contributions to the relationship (both financial and non-financial) will be evaluated
- The future needs of each party will be considered
- It will be decided if the settlement is fair for both parties
What assets are included in a financial settlement?
In a property and financial settlement after separation, the following can be classified as ‘property’:
- Property (including the family home and any other real estate)
- Bank accounts and cash
- Insurance policies
- Splitting superannuation after separation
- Dividing assets in divorce
How long does property settlement take in separation?
The time it takes for property and financial settlements to be finalised differs from case to case. Complicated property settlements can take years, while others may only take months. It all depends on the willingness of each party to come to an agreement, how long it takes for the property to be valued and documented and how easily the financial needs of each party can be assessed.
Speak to a property settlement lawyer
Whether your property settlement involves the division of the family home and funds in the bank, or your matter is more complex involving business ventures, trusts and self-managed superfunds, the family lawyers at Owen Hodge can guide you through to the end.
Call our financial settlement and divorce lawyers on 1800 770 780 to schedule an initial consultation.
Here’s what our clients are saying
My divorce has gone through without a hitch. Thank you for all your help and advice through this process.
Helpful and Supportive
During my divorce proceedings I was in a position I had never experienced previously and was not sure what direction to take.
Kristy Lee advised me in a way that was easy to understand but also firm & direct which to my surprise led to a favorable outcome and put an end to any future hardship I could have gone through.
I won my case at the Guardianship Tribunal
“I won my case at the Guardianship Tribunal yesterday.. After discussions with my mother, we agreed that it would be in my aunt’s best interest to have the Public Guardian take over as I just cannot manage her doctor’s appointments, support care arrangements, dental, optical appointments etc from so far away… I did however retain my Enduring Power of Attorney position, and it was upgraded to being my aunt’s Private Manager…
Many thanks to Christine Vrahas, Alice Holman, and James Kelly for all the time and support that was given leading up to the settlement of my Aunts estate.
Thank you for making a difficult time easier for us
On behalf of the family I would like to thank you for the professionalism that you have shown in your handling of our mother’s estate. We appreciate it very much. It was a hard and sad time, but your kindness made it so much easier for us.
Thank you Kristy-Lee Burns
I would highly recommend Kristy-Lee to my family and friends for family law matters that they have……
Thank you Owen Hodge Lawyers Hurstville
I would like to send a big thank you to the team at Owen Hodge Lawyer Hurstville for their collective effort to resolve my late Wife’s estate dispute and all before Christmas.
Thank you, Kristy-Lee
I was always informed and reassured that the outcome of my case would be best for myself but most importantly moving forward with my children and my life.
Kristy-Lee has extensive experience and knowledge in regards to family law and her beautiful nature and considerate approach is what I will be forever thankful for.
Excellent Legal Advice
Owen Hodge Lawyers have provided me with excellent legal advice. The processes they administered were done thoroughly and all actions communicated clearly. They provide a friendly and considerate service and I would certainly recommend them to others.
Excellent talk by James Kelly
The information provided, both in the excellent talk by James Kelly and the handout, was extremely beneficial as an outline on a number of legal aspects….
Expert help during a moment of crisis
Owen Hodge Lawyer’s expert help in a moment of crisis for me was invaluable. They were extremely professional in judging the situation and facts and responded in a way that I felt the matter was going to be resolved with their assistance. The entire team was very approachable, knowledgeable and confident in the area of employment law.
Frequently asked questions
Once the property settlement details have been signed off in the form of consent orders, and those orders have been issued by the court, then they are final and legally binding and can only be changed in rare exceptional circumstances.
In theory, it is possible. But there are multiple moving parts involved in a property settlement, such as conveyancing and making an application for consent orders to the family court, which make the process complicated and very time-consuming. It’s therefore highly recommended that you seek professional advice and assistance in relation to your property settlement.
Whether or not your partner is entitled to half of your property will depend on a number of factors, such as:
- Who initially purchased the property
- The split of contribution of who in the couple paid for what in the property
- The future needs of both parties
- The future / current needs of any children who reside in the property
- The non-financial and financial contributions to the relationship from both parties