Divorce Property Settlement Process in NSW

Get in touch: 1800 770 780

How can we help?

  1. How do I get a divorce property settlement agreement?
  2. Does a divorce property settlement have to go to court?
  3. Is there a time limit on property settlements?
  4. How are divorce property settlements calculated?
  5. What assets are included in a financial settlement?
  6. How long does property settlement take after a divorce?

How do I get a divorce property settlement agreement?

The process of getting a property settlement after divorce can occur in two ways: 

  1. You 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. 

Learn more: divorce payouts

Does a divorce property settlement have to go to court?

If you and your ex-spouse can agree on dividing assets, 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 settlements?

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: Separating in preparation of a divorce

How are divorce property settlements calculated?

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

What assets are included in a financial settlement?

What should you include in a divorce agreement? 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 super after a divorce

How long does property settlement take after a 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.

Learn more: Selling property during a divorce

Speak to Owen Hodge’s experienced property settlement lawyers

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.

Legal strategies for divorce property settlements

The legal strategies that we employ are custom to each individual matter. Our expert lawyers look into protecting the financial security and asset pool of our clients, from the beginning of the separation and with a view toward long term financial preservation.  

Owen Hodge is here to help

Property settlements can be complicated, but our experienced team of lawyers are here for you. Get in touch today.


Family Law Team

Kristy-Lee Burns

Partner, Family and Commercial Lawyer

Jillian Zhang

Family and Estates Lawyer

Greg Worrall

Licensed Conveyancer

Property Settlement

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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 spouse 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