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Why is my Ex Delaying Settlement?

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The most common reasons for delayed property settlement can include disagreement over the division of assets, trying to increase bargaining positions, and the need to establish valuations for various assets.

When going through a divorce, one of the most stressful and complicated parts is divvying up the assets.

Dissolving a marriage is complex and the property settlement is the last process to be negotiated and agreed upon.

Unfortunately, sometimes the process of settling disputed assets can be drawn out, so why is your ex delaying property settlement?

In Australia, the law requires both parties to try and negotiate and settle their assets and it’s not uncommon for one party to start the settlement process but then be slow or resistant to resolving.

Here are a few reasons why your ex might be delaying the settlement and how you can take steps to move it forward.

Quick Summary

  • Common reasons for delayed property settlement can include disagreement over the division of assets, bargaining positions, and the need to establish valuations.
  • In Australia, the law requires both parties to provide full financial disclosure to one another.
  • To avoid delays, it’s important to have a good understanding of how assets are divided in a property settlement to reach a resolution
  • If the delay in settlement is too long, you should consider going to the Family Court to expedite the process.


Bargaining Power

It’s not uncommon for one party to have a stronger or more advantageous bargaining position when negotiating the division of assets.

This can be caused by a disparity in financial resources, access to legal advice, or a strong bargaining position.

In these situations, it’s important to seek the advice of a good family lawyer who can get you access to funds immediately and put pressure on the other party to settle the matter quickly.

Establish Valuations

One of the key aspects of the division of assets is establishing the value of each asset.

This can involve extensive research and specialist advice, and unfortunately, this can lead to delays while the value of each asset is established.

It’s important to ensure both parties agree to the valuations of all the assets to arrive at a fair and equitable division of assets.

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 tries to clarify what is part of the asset pool and what is not.

In some cases, couples will find that they have reached an agreement on the division of assets and liabilities before the 12 months.

You don’t have to wait until the end of the 12 months 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 to 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.

How to Force a Property Settlement?

The Australian legal system prioritizes fair and equitable property division, meaning the court won’t automatically grant a settlement just because one party demands it.

However, there are steps you can take to strongly advocate for your desired outcome.

  1. Negotiation: Always attempt to reach an agreement directly with your ex-partner. This is often the fastest and most cost-effective path to resolution. Open communication and a focus on finding common ground can be surprisingly effective.
  2. Mediation: If direct communication stalls, consider mediation. A trained mediator can facilitate discussions, help you identify areas of compromise, and guide you towards a mutually agreeable settlement.
  3. Legal Representation: A family lawyer is indispensable in a complex property settlement. They’ll advise you on your legal rights, negotiate strategically with your ex-partner or their lawyer, and advocate for your interests in court proceedings if necessary.
  4. Court Application: In the absence of an agreement, you can file an application with the Family Court of Australia. The court considers the following factors when deciding a settlement:
    • Assets and liabilities of both parties
    • Financial and non-financial contributions made throughout the relationship
    • Future needs of both parties (age, health, income-earning capacity, care of children)


As you can see, there are a few different reasons why your ex might be delaying settlement.

To avoid delay and to achieve a fair outcome, it’s important to have a good understanding of the division of assets and to have the means to resolve.

If you need assistance with settling property, the experienced lawyers at Justice Family Lawyers can help. Get in touch with us to have your questions answered and start the process today.

Why Is My Ex Delaying Settlement?

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