Family Law Property Settlements – Act

The Family Law Act 1975 applies to all Australian states and territories, and was established in part to assist partners and children during transition from married and de facto relationships. This includes property settlement agreements designed to achieve fair and equitable outcomes for everyone concerned. Australia has a ‘no-fault’ divorce law, making property settlement agreements an essential feature of establishing arrangements after the irretrievable breakdown of a relationship.

What is the Family Law Act?

The Family Law Act has continued to evolve since it was established, and now oversees the rights of persons in same-sex married and de facto relationships. It has also been amended to satisfactorily resolve children’s issues and spousal maintenance issues. Family Law property settlement regulations in Australia are designed to help people reach an agreement in the early stages of separation and avoid expensive court proceedings.

Anyone experiencing the end of a relationship has rights and responsibilities overseen by the Family Law Act. Taylor & Scott Family Law professionals can help you negotiate the complex issues during trying times, with solutions that include:

  • Reaching a satisfactory property settlement agreement without going to court
  • Obtaining a spousal maintenance order to ensure reasonable quality of life
  • Obtaining a parenting order or protection order for children

If both parties agree on property division, how can this be enforced?

Your property settlement agreement can be reached without going to court, but you may still require legal oversight to formalise the arrangements. Property settlement can be structured with a Consent Order or through a Binding Financial Agreement. Both of these arrangements are binding, with the risk of legal action against you if you break the agreement. Here are a few facts.

Consent Orders: An application is filed in Court by you and your former partner. The Court will scrutinise the agreement to ensure it is fair and equitable, taking property and parenting arrangements into consideration. Consent Orders can be completed without legal assistance, and may cost less than a Binding Financial Agreement.

Binding Financial Agreement: This form of agreement must be drawn up by a lawyer, and can be formalised at any point in your relationship. The terms are not scrutinised by the Court, although each party will require independent legal advice prior to signing the agreement. A Binding Financial Agreement doesn’t cover parenting arrangements.

What happens when both parties are unable to reach an agreement?

Your chances of reaching an acceptable agreement are greatly improved with the assistance of a specialist family law professional. There are occasions when a former partner won’t budge on unreasonable demands, making negotiation expertise essential for moving your case forward. Benefits of Taylor & Scott negotiation expertise include:

  • Minimising legal expense and no need for lengthy court proceedings
  • Providing a fast resolution to problems, allowing everyone to move on
  • Minimising the emotional impact on children and loved ones
  • Creation of clearly defined responsibilities as part of a clean relationship break

Taylor & Scott Lawyers have been assisting the people of Sydney and NSW achieve fair outcomes since 1905, when the firm was established, and our highly-regarded reputation and comprehensive Family Law expertise carries a lot of weight in legal circles. On the rare occasion a property settlement dispute needs to go to court, Taylor & Scott Lawyers are on your side every step of the way.

What are the steps involved in an application for property settlement?

As an alternative to flying blind in unfamiliar territory, the best first step is to contact a Taylor & Scott Family Law professional. We will provide a comprehensive overview of your unique situation, and give you a reliable estimation of expected property settlement outcomes. We can sit down with you and your former partner to nut out a settlement agreement, or negotiate independently with opposing legal representatives if required. Your Taylor & Scott Lawyer can carry out most functions within the Family Law Act, at a fraction of the cost of going to Court. Here is how we do it.

  1. Identify all assets, liabilities and future financial resources of both parties.
  2. Assess the financial and non-financial contributions made by both parties.
  3. Evaluate earning capacity and future needs of both parties, including care for children.
  4. Establish orders or financial agreements that are just and equitable for everyone.

With so much to consider, and emotions strung-out, it’s not surprising that some people are unable to cope with difficult negotiations. If this sounds like you, a Taylor & Scott Family Law professional can guide you through the process, relieve you of the burden, and optimise property settlement outcomes in your favour.

At Taylor & Scott, We Care For You.