Our services

Qualified property settlement lawyers, Melbourne

Our experienced property settlement lawyers can negotiate on your behalf and help you reach an agreement before or after your divorce.

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Carew Counsel Solicitors staff in discussion at meeting table
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Specialist family law firm

We have 40+ years of experience dealing with family law matters.

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Client focused

Get the help, guidance, and legal support you need to move forward.

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Commendable service

We’re ranked in the top five family law firms in Melbourne.

Open and upfront

We will clearly outline expectations and a quote for legal fees following your initial consultation.

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Understanding property settlements

Property settlement is the legal process of dividing assets, liabilities, and financial resources between parties during a divorce or separation. It can include assets like houses, land, shares, furniture, insurance policies, and businesses. 

Our aim is to achieve fair property settlement through negotiation and mediation if necessary. We do everything we can to reach a mutual agreement in these early stages to prevent the costly and time-consuming event of attending family court.

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Our property settlement services

Dealing with divorce property settlement, Melbourne

An accredited family lawyer who specialises in property settlement can help you navigate property settlement and disputes, no matter how complex your situation. With guidance, support, and legal advice, your family lawyer will aim to resolve the matter amicably so you and your former partner can move forward.

Consent order

If an agreement is reached, we can formalise it into a consent order which we’ll then submit to the family court for approval where it will become legally binding. 

Binding financial agreement

Similar to a consent order, we can draft a binding financial agreement if you reach a mutual agreement. Unlike a consent order, this does not require court approval.


If you and your former partner cannot come to a mutual decision, we can arrange mediation to resolve any property settlement disputes in a safe environment. 

Court proceedings

If an agreement can’t be reached, the family court may need to make a decision for you. As this is a costly process, we do everything we can to help you reach a settlement outside of court.

Make an enquiry

Get started by discussing your circumstances with a family law expert.

When to seek legal advice from property settlement lawyers

You don’t have to wait until you are divorced before negotiating for a property settlement. Instead, you can engage a lawyer immediately after separation to help you settle property matters in the most efficient and cost-effective way. 

A specialist family lawyer can provide legal advice around your specific situation and guide you through the property settlement process. If your relationship with your former partner isn’t amicable, your family lawyer can negotiate on your behalf or arrange mediation to help you reach your desired outcome.

Benefits of appointing a property settlement lawyer

Whether you’re separating from a marriage or de facto relationship, our experienced property settlement lawyers are there to provide advice, guidance, and support tailored to your particular circumstances. 

  • Extensive experience in family law property settlement, from financial contributions and spousal maintenance to child support and bank accounts 
  • Can handle complex property matters
  • Provide legal advice and discuss the different options available 
  • Draft legal documents to formalise agreed property settlements
  • Represent you in negotiations or at family court if necessary
Our property settlement experts in discussion
Getting started

Our solution-focused process


Make an enquiry

Get in touch and a team member will contact you to ask you some questions before matching you with the most appropriate family lawyer for your property settlement case.


Meet with a family law expert, online or in person

During a 90-minute appointment, one of our highly experienced family lawyers will ask you more about your situation so they can determine the best path forward.


Receive a tailored quote

Your lawyer will provide a quote for legal costs based on your case that you can review before agreeing to ongoing services.

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success stories

Client testimonials

Hear from our satisfied clients across Victoria.

"I highly recommend Carew Counsel Solicitors for anyone seeking a dedicated and knowledgeable solicitor for family law matters. Madison Ogilvie excelled in her communication, ensuring I was kept informed every step of the way. Although it got stressful, Madison's professionalism was top-notch."

Shawn C

"In what was a difficult time to go through, I'm thankful that I had the team at Carew in my corner. I received sound advice all the way through the process and felt proud of the dignified way that my case was being responded to. I would certainly recommend Madison and the team at Carew for their professionalism, experience, integrity and dedicated service."

Scott M

"10 Stars! Very happy & relieved that I chose Alex Carew & Carew Counsel for a family member in an extremely concerning & complicated Family Court/child protection matter. Highly professional, ethical, respectful, knowledeable, hard working, strategic, collaborative, communicative, caring, compassionate & child & family welfare focused. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for helping us protect our little child."

Cygnet S
Carew Counsel office

Why choose Carew Counsel

We put your first

Our property settlement lawyers can guide you with sensitivity and compassion through this difficult time.

Experts in property settlements

We have decades of experience in property settlement and advocate for you to achieve your desired outcome.


We focus on finding the most efficient, amicable and cost-effective property settlement solution.

Transparent costs

We’re upfront with our legal costs so you know what to expect when you engage our services.

Our team

Meet your property settlement lawyers in Melbourne


Want to know more about property settlement? Take a look through our FAQs.

What is classed as property?

In family law property settlement, the court defines property as:

  • Houses (including investment properties)
  • Land
  • Shares
  • Money in the bank
  • Furniture
  • Motor vehicles
  • Insurance policies
  • Businesses
  • Liabilities, including credit cards and mortgages
  • Superannuation, though not technically property, can be treated as such in family law and may be split between the parties

This list is not exhaustive, and each case that goes to court will be determined by its own merits.

How is property settlement calculated in a divorce?

The Family Law Act 1975 provides a framework for property settlement that includes criteria to determine the division of assets and liabilities.

  1. Identify the value of assets and liabilities
    The first thing to do is compile a list of everything in the asset or property pool, including real estate, bank accounts, investment properties, vehicles, mortgages, loans, and other debts. You must provide full and frank disclosure as per the legal requirements, ensuring that you disclose all assets to the other party.
  1. Asses contributions
    Next, we evaluate the financial and non-financial contributions made by each party throughout the relationship. This can include financial contributions, parenting and homemaking contributions, and contributions to the welfare of the family.
  1. Assess future needs
    The third criterion is to consider the future needs of each party, taking into account factors such as age, health, earning capacity, care responsibilities for children, and any other relevant circumstances.
  1. Ensure a just and equitable division
    The federal circuit court aims to achieve a fair and equitable division of assets based on the parties' contributions and future needs. While a 50/50 split is a common starting point, it may be adjusted based on factors such as the parties' respective financial contributions, earning capacities, and other relevant considerations.
How do you negotiate a property settlement?

Negotiating a property settlement in a divorce involves communication, compromise, and often independent legal advice. 

First, you need to identify your asset pool ensuring a full and frank disclosure, before assessing the financial contributions and non-financial contributions made by each party during the marriage or de facto relationship. 

Next, you should seek legal advice from property settlement lawyers to understand your rights, entitlements, and legal options. 

Establish open and honest communication with your former partner, discussing your priorities, concerns, and preferences regarding the property settlement. If an agreement can’t be reached, consider engaging in mediation with a neutral third party. Mediation can help facilitate discussions, identify common ground, and work towards mutually acceptable solutions. Allow your lawyers to negotiate on your behalf, as they can communicate with the other party's legal representatives to reach a legally sound and fair settlement.

What is an out-of-court property settlement?

Out-of-court property settlements are when you and your previous partner reach a financial agreement without the need for family court proceedings. 

If you both accept the proposed property settlement, it is important to document in writing, especially where you enter into a transfer of property as part of the settlement, as you can benefit from a stamp duty exemption and it can also have capital gains tax consequences.

You can then formalise any agreement reached, via consent orders or binding financial agreements. This can save you time, money, and stress, as well as enable you and your ex-partner to tailor the agreement to your needs.

What does the property settlement process involve if it reaches court?

If a financial agreement can’t be reached amicably, then you may need to make an application to the court, asking them to make a decision for you about what is a fair and reasonable property settlement. 

The first stage of the court process is a conciliation conference. This is an opportunity for the Court Register – together with your family lawyer and the other party’s lawyer– to assist you in reaching a settlement. If settlement occurs at this stage, the matter can usually be finalised by you and the other party signing consent orders, either on the day or in the days following the conciliation conference. Fortunately, a lot of property matters are settled in, or as a direct result of, the conciliation conference.

If your matter doesn’t resolve as a result of the conciliation conference, the court will list your case for another court event; either an interim hearing or a final hearing.

At a final hearing, you and the other party, along with any other witnesses will give evidence in the hearing, where the judge is empowered to make any order that they consider appropriate to give effect to a property settlement.

At Carew Counsel, we do everything we can to reach an agreement before it enters the litigation stage, as this is a time-consuming process that can take an emotional and financial toll on you and your former partner.

How long does property settlement take?

The time it takes for property settlements to conclude depends on a number of factors, such as the complexity of the property pool, the level of cooperation between parties, legal representation, chosen dispute resolution methods, court involvement, financial disclosure timelines, negotiation efficiency, and the formalisation process through consent orders or a binding financial agreement. While some cases may be resolved quickly, others may take longer, and realistic expectations, along with legal guidance, are crucial during the process.

How do you document a property settlement after a separation?

It is a common misconception that an informal agreement between separating partners regarding property and financial matters is legally enforceable. For legal enforceability, such agreements must be documented through either consent orders or a financial agreement.

Consent orders involve the preparation of an Application for Consent Orders, which outlines the parties' assets, liabilities, and the agreement's effect, and a Minute of Consent Orders, which specifies the court orders necessary for settlement. The documents are filed with the family court, and a registrar reviews and seals the orders if deemed just and equitable.

A financial agreement is an alternative to consent orders that is not considered by a court. Both parties must receive independent legal advice before signing, and it provides protection against future spousal maintenance claims.

Knowledge Centre

Property settlement resources

Our Melbourne family law office

03 9670 5711
Level 10, 313 La Trobe Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Mon – Fri, 9 am – 5:30 pm
Wilson Parking on La Trobe St
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