Do I have to be divorced to split the property?
As soon as you have separated you can make arrangements to split your property and debts between you and your ex partner, you do not have to wait until you are divorced.
Do we have to go to Court?
No, not at all. If you have already agreed on how things should be divided between you, we can draw up the document which will finalise the arrangements, and then get underway the legal processes which will split the assets.
What if we can’t agree?
There is an established process in cases where there is disagreement over how property should be split. Firstly, the court needs to be satisfied that you have attempted to reach agreement. We will negotiate on your behalf to try and get both parties to amicably agree on an outcome.If negotiations fail then an application for property orders must be filed with the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court. This application must be made within 12 months of your divorce becoming final or within 24 months of a de facto relationship ending.The matter will then be set down for hearings in the Court and a final legally binding decision will be made by a Judge. During this process you will still have an opportunity to try and negotiate a settlement with the other party and we will advise and guide you on how to achieve this.
How does the court decide?
Firstly the court will calculate the total assets owned by both parties, including property, shares, cars, jewellery, savings, furniture etc. This includes things you brought into the relationship, those acquired during the relationship and also those purchased after separation.Next the court will weigh up the contributions from both parties, including financial, non-financial, inheritances and assets brought into the relationship.Then the court will look at the future needs of both parties, including factors such as your capacity to earn money and your parental responsibilities.Lastly the court will make a decision based on what is just and equitable to both parties.
We can help
Dealing with the complexities of property division is stressful but the consequences of not doing it properly can impact on the rest of your life. We are experienced negotiators, and will make sure that you get the best possible outcome.