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.

property settlement lawyers

To get a property settlement agreement, you can either:

  1. come to an agreement with your ex-spouse about the division of assets, or
  2. 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

As per the Family Law Act 1975, there are 4 steps that need to be taken to determine a property settlement:

  1. The property, assets and liabilities of both parties are identified and valued
  2. Contributions to the relationship (both financial and non-financial) will be evaluated
  3. The future needs of each party will be considered
  4. It will be decided if the settlement is fair for both parties

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)
  • Superannuation
  • Vehicles
  • Businesses
  • Investments
  • Debts
  • Bank accounts and cash
  • Insurance policies

Learn more: 

  • Splitting superannuation after separation
  • Dividing assets in divorce

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.

FAQs answered by our property settlement lawyers

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.

Can I do my own property settlement?

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

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