During your relationship, you acquire assets such as your family home, investment properties, cars, bank accounts and superannuation. Once you separate, you need to come to an agreement as to how the assets and debts are to be divided fairly. This is all covered in your property settlement.
‘Property’ has a fairly broad definition under family law. It includes more than just your bank account and your house, it also includes any investments, shares, your business, or any superannuation that is held by you.
Anything you owe money on, or any debts you may have, must also be handled by a property settlement. This could include any debts you have with your bank, mortgage debts, credit card debts or any finance you have on a car.
All assets and debts owned by you and your former partner need to be discussed and dealt with if you are to have a successful property settlement. Failing to mention certain assets by either partner may result in the property settlement being thrown away by the courts meaning that you’ve just wasted a lot of time and effort for nothing.
The Federal Circuit Court is the appropriate venue to file any proceedings in relation to property settlements. There is no matter to large or too small for the court to hear.
You must ensure that you follow the strict time limits if you want to file an application for property settlement.
If you are married, you have 12 months after a divorce order has been issued.
If you are in a de facto relationship, then you must make an application within 2 years of the end of the relationship.
If you have not filed within these times, the court may grant you permission to apply out of time. You should speak to a lawyer about this because this requires a case by case analysis.
Click on the links below to find out further information about what your legal options are and what you need to consider when you get a property settlement.
Remember if you have a question about a particular issue, you can contact our solicitors for advice by phone or make a website enquiry directly to our office.