Married and de facto couples usually acquire various assets such as real estate, motor vehicles and furniture during their time together. When relationships end it can be difficult to resolve ownership issues including sharing of wealth, making the assistance of an expert Family Law professional highly advisable. The majority of property settlements are formalised in binding separation agreements overseen by a lawyer, but if negotiations stall, your settlement may require Family Law Court intervention.
Do you have to go to court to have property disputes sorted?
Going to court is expensive, with court costs and legal representation charges all adding up. Taylor & Scott Family Lawyers believe the best way forward is for both partners to reach a mutually acceptable property agreement for division of assets. If the matter goes to court you may not get the result you desire and possibly waste a lot of money along the way. Here are a few advantages of negotiating a property settlement agreement with the backing of Taylor & Scott Lawyers.
- Minimise legal fees and court costs
- You remain hands-on in settlement negotiations
- A speedy resolution and clean break is easier to achieve
- The emotional impact on parents and children is more manageable
- Both partners can be involved in discussions for fair and equitable outcomes
How does a court decide how to divide assets and debts?
Matters brought before the Family Court of Australia are decided according to the evidence provided. The Court will consider information related to the family home, investments, savings, vehicles, furnishings, personal effects and other assets. Children’s issues are a major consideration, and court orders can be applied for to assist with spousal maintenance, parenting arrangements and more. With all the information at its disposal, the Court will usually apply a 4-step process for reaching property settlement decisions.
1: Calculating the total value of net assets owned by you and your partner.
2: Assessing non-financial contributions such as homemaking and parenting.
3: Determining future needs for both partners and any children involved in arrangements.
4: Achieving fair and equitable outcomes for everyone affected by the relationship ending.
It is illegal to provide false or misleading information to the Family Court of Australia, potentially resulting in diminished property settlement outcomes or a criminal conviction.
Is there a time limit to apply for court?
A property settlement agreement can be finalised as soon as you and your spouse or de facto partner agree to separate. You may even both continue to live under the same roof and still be considered ‘legally separated’. However, there are strict deadlines for establishing a Family Law property settlement as detailed in the Family Law Act 1975.
- If you are ending a marriage, you have up to 12 months after your divorce to make a property settlement application.
- If you are ending a de facto relationship, including same-sex relationships, you have up to 24 months from the date of separation to finalise your property settlement.
How can you avoid going to court for settlement disputes?
If you and your partner remain on reasonable terms for negotiating the end of your relationship, you can avoid lengthy and expensive legal proceedings altogether. Your property settlement agreement can be overseen impartially by a specialist Taylor & Scott Family Law professional, before being signed and presented to the Family Court as a binding arrangement.
The expense of hiring the best Lawyer will be more than offset by ensuring your financial situation is accurately presented, with greater chance of optimum separation outcomes. Although division of assets and finances may seem relatively straight-forward, it can be difficult to part with hard-earned cash and accumulated possessions, while the emotional strain can cloud judgement and lead to miscalculations. Your Taylor & Scott representative, on the other hand, will act in an even-handed manner to ensure you get the result you deserve.
Taylor & Scott Lawyers understand family law property settlement agreements need to be fair and equitable for all concerned, so we overcome complex issues through negotiation expertise. We uncover every means of gaining improved settlement outcomes in ways that include:
- Identifying everything included in the property pool of you and your partner
- Negotiation with your partner or legal representative to reach a satisfactory agreement
- Formalising the agreement to achieve a property settlement accepted by the Court
In other words, engaging the services of a Taylor & Scott Family Law professional could be one of the best financial investments you ever make.
At Taylor & Scott, We Care For You.