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Property Settlement

Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555
Melbourne: (03) 9620 2777
Brisbane: (07) 3229 4448
Canberra: (02) 6288 1100

Amelia Trotman

When parties to a marriage or de facto relationship separate, they usually need to determine how to divide their property. Property includes all assets, liabilities, financial resources and superannuation entitlements each party has in an interest in, whether in their sole name or joint names.

There are various ways this can be done:

  • The parties can agree on how their property should be divided without any court involvement;
  • If the parties agree on a settlement, they can formalise the agreement by way of Consent Orders in the Family Court or by entering into a Financial Agreement drafted pursuant to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth); or
  • If parties cannot reach an agreement, a party can apply to either the Federal Circuit Court or the Family Court seeking orders relating to the division of property and/or payment of spouse or de facto partner maintenance. The parties can then either agree a settlement during the Court process or the Court will ultimately make the final decision for them. Either way, the result is that the parties will have sealed Court Orders formalising their settlement.

Due to the delays in the Courts, it is usually quickest for parties to reach a consent arrangement rather than waiting from Orders from the Court. However, the delays in the Brisbane Registry are not as significant as other registries such as Sydney.

When determining the terms of the property settlement, the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) sets out the general principles the court considers when deciding financial disputes after the breakdown of a marriage (s 79(4) and 75(2)) or a de facto relationship (s 90SM(4) and 90SF(3)). These principles in practice can be summarised as follows:

  • Determining the value of the property pool, that is all the assets, liabilities and superannuation entitlements and financial resources held by each party, whether in their respective sole names or joint names;
  • Assessing the contributions (financial and non-financial) each party has made to the property pool;
  • Assessing the needs of each party that may make it more difficult or easier for one party to recover from the separation than the other; and
  • Assessing whether the overall property settlement is just and equitable for the circumstances of the case.

The family law team at Armstrong Legal are able to guide you through the property settlement process by advising you on the operation of the law and options available to you to achieve the financial settlement you are entitled to.

where to next?

It is our aim to alleviate as much of the stress and uncertainty from our clients as possible. We do this by providing you with the information you need to understand the process and the family law system so that you feel calm and confident knowing the likely outcomes and how we will achieve the best outcome for you and your family.

Why Choose Armstrong Legal?

Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555
Melbourne: (03) 9620 2777
Brisbane: (07) 3229 4448
Canberra: (02) 6288 1100

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