When it comes to property settlement, it is always recommendable that you get started sooner rather than later. While there is no minimum time period for making the necessary arrangements, strict time limits do apply to the submission of your property adjustment applications. This is regardless of your marital or de-facto status.
At Pentana Stanton, our legal team specialise in family law including property settlement. In order to help you get the fairest outcome possible, we have outlined the process and first considerations you should make in the early stages. If you’re not ready just yet to contact a professional family lawyer, carefully consider the following points to get an idea of what to expect.
Think About Property Settlement When Separated
While we understand that separation and the breakdown of a relationship is an emotionally taxing time, starting the necessary preparations while you are separated can save you a lot of time and stress after your divorce as the impending time limits will be much sooner.
Application time limit if you were married
The time limit for a property adjustment application is strictly one year after the date that your divorce is finalised. Keep in mind, a divorce can only be applied for after one year of separation.
Application time limit If you were in a de facto relationship
You are not exempt from the stringent time deadlines, In these cases, you must submit your property adjustment applications within a two years period after the breakdown of your de facto relationship.
You should not delay the property settlement process because you are waiting to obtain a divorce. It is important to be aware that you can negotiate and apply for a property settlement before applying for a divorce.
The Property Settlement Process
The property settlement process follows the following four steps.
1. Identification and valuation of the couple’s assets, liabilities and financial resources
This includes financial accounts, credit cards, owned vehicles, investments and share accounts, businesses, credit card debts, debts from loans (personal or business) and mortgages. Note that superannuation is classed as a different property type, your lawyer can clarify what the process there is further.
2. Assessment of financial and non-financial contributions
Financial contributions include direct contributions such as wages and salaries from each party as well as indirect contributions such as gifts and inheritance from family. Non-financial contributions include factors such as caring for children and housekeeping and maintenance.
3. Determination of the future needs of both parties
This varies depending on factors such as age, health and requirements of each individual party.
4. Evaluation of whether the decisions taken in the first three steps are just and equitable in all circumstances
Based on all the information provided, the aim will be to determine what a just and equitable division would be for your case.
Seeking Legal Assistance
Our family lawyers at Pentana Stanton have helped couples achieve favourable outcomes in instances where couples have resolved the matter on their own as well as when they have had to go to court.
While it’s not always possible, many prefer to not have their cases settled in Family Court. Our legal professionals will ensure that you are provided with practical legal advice on how you can negotiate effectively with your partner and settle disputes amicably and cost-effectively.
Our legal team who specialise in family law and property settlement is the best support you can have to minimise any issues or delays with the process, especially if your case does end up in court. We will advise you in relation to your rights in all matters, drafting documents or agreements with attention to accuracy and represent you in court to obtain a property settlement.
So be sure to start thinking about your shared property early and contact our team for compassionate legal support when you’re ready to commence the process.