Understanding Family Law Property Settlement Time Limits
The most important family law property settlement time limits you need to know is: you have 12 months to finalise your property settlement from the date of divorce. If you are in a de facto relationship, you have 24 months from the date of separation.
At Justice Family Lawyers, we understand that the end of a relationship can be hard and can have a profound psychological and emotional impact on those involved. In a stressful time, it’s important to understand time limits when it comes to family law property settlement, so each party can receive the assets and liabilities that are rightfully theirs.
- When a marriage has ended and the parties seek to divide any assets or liabilities that accrued during the relationship, the law prescribes certain timelines for doing so.
- Generally, in Australia, couples must finalise a property settlement within 12 months of their divorce.
- If you cannot reach an agreement within these 12 months, you should file in the Family Court to preserve your rights to a family law property settlement.
Guidelines for Family Law Property Settlement Time Limits
When it comes to family law property settlement time limits, there are general guidelines that apply nationally.
If you are married, you have 12 months after the divorce has been granted. If you are in a de facto relationship, you have 24 months from the date of separation.
That said, this timeline is not absolute and couples may seek leave from the court to begin their property settlement process before the 12-month period has lapsed.
The time limit has two particular functions. Firstly, it serves as a reminder to parties that there is a need to reach an agreement on their property settlement, particularly as time and costs can mount if the process takes too long.
Secondly, it ensures that complications do not arise in the form of post-separation contributions and trying to clarify what is part of the asset pool and what is not.
In some cases, couples will find that they actually reach an agreement on the division of assets and liabilities before the 12-month period.
You don’t have to wait until the end of the 12-month period to finalise your property settlement.
Provided that both parties agree on the division of all of the assets, liabilities, and debts accrued during the marriage, a family lawyer can assist couples in drafting consent orders end the matter.
At Justice Family Lawyers, our team of dedicated family lawyers specialise in family law property settlement.
We can assist couples in understanding time limits and help them reach a fair agreement, whether by negotiation and collaboration or through a potential court hearing. Our lawyers understand divorce can be a difficult time and we strive to ensure the division of property is conducted as equitably and efficiently as possible.
If you or someone you know is seeking legal advice or representation regarding property division and family law property settlement time limits, contact Justice Family Lawyers today. Our experienced and knowledgeable family lawyers can assist.
Principal of Justice Family Lawyers, Hayder specialises in complex parenting and property family law matters. He is based in Sydney and holds a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Communications from UTS.