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“What happens with our assets?”. It’s a question we are frequently asked during family law consultations.

When your relationship breaks down, the emotional journey can be a difficult one.  All too often we see important financial and property related aspects put to one side while the pain of separation is addressed. This sometimes means financial settlement is more complex, especially if assets are sold or money is spent.

There are many factors to consider when determining what is your reasonable range of property settlement. Such factors include:

  • Your contributions relating to the acquisition, improvement and maintenance of assets of the relationship;
  • Your contributions to the household and the family;
  • Any special contributions such as inheritances, lump sum payments and gifts;
  • Your ability to earn an income in the future to maintain yourself;
  • Dependent children in your care; and
  • Your health.
When it comes to deciding how your assets should be divided, despite popular belief, there is no set ‘50/50 property split’ rule.

Learn about other common misconceptions of property settlements here.

We offer an initial consultation to discuss your options for settlement and how you can take steps to resolve your matter without the need to go to court.  There are many different ways your case can be successfully resolved and our aim is to help you navigate your way to the best outcome, allowing you to begin your new journey.

Most importantly, do not delay –  You should be aware that time limits do apply for commencing property settlement claims. The quicker you obtain advice, the better informed you will be, and the better decisions you will make about your future.
Formalising your property settlement agreement

It is essential that any agreement reached in respect of property settlement is formalised and made legally binding through the correct legal avenues. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Consent Orders through the Court, or
  2. Binding Financial Agreement
Consent Orders

Consent Orders are often the most timely, cost-effective way of formalising a property settlement, and because of this, they are usually our preferred method of settling your property matters.

If parties to a relationship breakdown reach an agreement about how to divide their property, this agreement can be drafted into Orders which are then filed with an Application in the Court. Neither you nor your solicitor will be required to attend Court on any occasion during this process. The documentation is filed with the Court and then reviewed by a Registrar or Magistrate. Once determined that they are just and equitable, the Orders will be sealed by the Court and are legally binding.

Binding Financial Agreement

There are three types of Binding Financial Agreement:

  1. One that is entered into before you enter into a marriage or de facto relationship (commonly referred to as a ‘prenup’);
  2. One that is entered into during your marriage or de facto relationship; and
  3. One entered into after divorce or the breakdown of a de facto relationship.

Binding Financial Agreements can be used to formalise your property settlement. Unlike Consent Orders, in order to enter into a Binding Financial Agreement, both parties are required to obtain independent legal advice. Further, Binding Financial Agreements are not reviewed by the Court and as such, if the agreement is not fair on one party, there is more of a chance that it may be revoked in future. This area of law is complex and one that is constantly changing.

Our team of family lawyers will help you to choose a method of formalising your property settlement that is most suited to you and your unique situation.

We are conveniently located in Nowra, the commercial hub of the city of Shoalhaven, and Sanctuary Point, ready to assist you with all your legal needs.

contact marriott oliver
to discuss your legal needs

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