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We are proud to offer our clients solicitors with a wealth of experience in the area of property settlements.
Your Carew Counsel property settlement lawyer will work with you to help create the best possible outcome for your case.
Coming To A Property Settlement Agreement
It’s not necessary to wait until divorce before filing an application for a property settlement agreement, as this can be made immediately following separation.
Once a divorce has been obtained, however, a property settlement application must be made within a year from the date of divorce unless there is evidence of special circumstances that allowed a late application.
What Is ‘Property’?
In property settlement agreements, the Court defines assets as:
- Money in the bank
- Motor vehicles
- Insurance policies, etc.
Although superannuation is not technically property, in this instance it can be treated as such and may be split between the parties.
This list is by no means intended to be exhaustive, and each case that goes to Court will be determined by its own merits. Every person considering separation ought to seek professional guidance from a family law solicitor.
An Out Of Court Property Settlement Agreement
Generally speaking, the aim of a property settlement lawyer is to assist the parties reach agreement without the need for Court proceedings. If agreement is reached, it can then be formalised via Consent Orders or through a binding financial agreement, a process which saves considerable time, cost and stress.
It is important that an out of Court agreement be evidenced in writing. This is particularly so where the parties enter into a transfer of property as part of the settlement, as stamp duty liability is waived.
Using The Court Process
If agreement cannot be reached out of Court, a conciliation conference will then be the first step, followed by Court proceedings if needed.
1. The Conciliation Conference
In the event which the parties are unable to reach a property settlement agreement out of Court, the first stage of legal proceedings will be a conciliation conference. This is an opportunity for the Court Register – together with the legal representatives – to assist the parties in making a concerted effort to reach settlement.
If this occurs, the matter can usually be finalised by the Register writing out the details in the form of Court Orders. Alternatively, Orders may be prepared, signed in the days following and then forwarded to the Court.
2. Court Proceedings
Fortunately, a lot of property matters are settled in, or as a direct result of, the conciliation conference.
If the matter goes to Court, each party and their witnesses will give evidence in the hearing, where the judge is empowered to make any Order that they consider appropriate for the property settlement agreement.
Where to from here?
We invite you to book your place in one of our free family law information seminars for a chance to talk with property settlement lawyer and ask questions directly. Alternatively, please contact us to discuss how we can assist you in your property settlement agreement.