Separation and divorce can be one of the toughest and most chaotic events in peoples’ lives and the last thing you may want to have to deal with is a copious amount of paperwork. However, in Family Law, there are particular timelines involved with separation and divorce and delaying the process of sorting out the legal proceedings will only cause more grief and chaos.
Contrary to popular belief, property settlements can and are often better taken care of before you get divorced. The separation period must last a minimum of a year before you can file for divorce, and that is the best time for parties to try to settle all their financial issues for the following reasons:
The property settlement process can be extremely lengthy, and a contested application must be made to the court within 12 months of a divorce order taking effect. By starting the property settlement process early, you can limit the time pressure on you once your divorce is in progress.
Spousal Rights Upon Death
Until you are legally divorced, your spouse remains your spouse. That means that upon your unexpected death, if you don’t have a Will set up to specify otherwise, your estranged spouse may receive entitlements by default as though you are still a couple. If you do have a Will set up, you should update it upon separation. That is especially a factor to be mindful of when children are involved.
Property settlements include determining who gets to the keep the house, whether it’s to be sold and how the net sale proceeds are to be split, as well as the division of other assets like vehicles, shares, and superannuation funds in bank accounts. Because of the messy nature of all of this, it could take years to reach an agreement and is often a highly turbulent time for a family involving children whose wellbeing should take top priority. While there isn’t an official time limit to arrange parenting matters, providing stability and comfort for your children should take precedence, so arrangements for their livelihood should be made as soon as possible.
So, if your relationship seems to be coming to an end, be sure to obtain the help of specialist lawyers who not only have the experience and knowledge to assist you, but also have the empathy and compassion to truly be in your corner during such difficult times.
Give us a call on 1800 600 664 or contact us via our enquiry form because at Taylor & Scott Lawyers, we care for you.