We will work with you to create the best possible outcome for your matter after considering all the relevant factors.
Coming to an agreement on property settlement
You don’t have to wait until you are divorced before negotiating for a property settlement, this can be done immediately after separation.
Keep in mind, once a divorce has been obtained, a property settlement application must be made within a year from the date of divorce except in special circumstances.
What is ‘Property’?
In property settlement, the Court defines assets as:
- Money in the bank
- Motor vehicles
- Insurance policies
- Liabilities, including credit cards, mortgages and other debts.
- Superannuation is not technically property, though in family law it can be treated as such 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. If you are considering separation you ought to seek professional guidance from one of our family law solicitors.
We recommend that you obtain this advice either prior to or as soon as possible after separation, to ensure you future decisions are made with the benefit of understanding how those decisions can affect you.
An out of court property settlement
We aim to assist you in reaching an agreement with your ex-partner without the need for Court proceedings.
If you reach agreement it is important that it be documented 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 a Binding Financial Agreement (‘BFA’). This process saves considerable time, cost and stress and enables you and your ex-partner to tailor the agreement to meet your needs.
Using the court process
If agreement cannot be reached out of Court, then you may need to make an application to the court, asking the court to make a decision for you, about what is a fair and reasonable property settlement. Even if you make an application to the court, the court still encourages you to try and resolve the dispute. The court process involves a number of different stages, which we explain in more detail below.
1. The Conciliation Conference
One of the first stages of the Court process is a conciliation conference. This is a Court event you will attend and is an opportunity for the Court Register – together with your 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.
2. Court Proceedings
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.
Where to from here?
Contact us to discuss how we can assist you with your family law matter.
Book an Initial Consultation – We sit down with you for 90 minutes to gain a thorough understanding of your needs and your matter.
Attend a Free Family Law Seminar – Held in the Melbourne CBD, this is your chance to build your legal knowledge, get an understanding of the court process and ask questions to our lawyers before making any decisions.
Get Started Online – Ready to make a start? Answer a few questions and get a free personalised information pack tailored to your family law issue. We can also assemble your relationship history, which will help us reduce costs if you book in for an appointment.
Why choose Carew Counsel Solicitors?
Our team of property settlement lawyers can guide you with sensitivity and compassion through an emotional and challenging time.
We have decades of experience in the area of property settlement - advocating for our clients to achieve the outcomes they desire.
We empower you, by helping you understand the system, the options and the advantages and disadvantages of different options.
We have experience working with a range of experts in family law, meaning that when you need outside assistance, such as valuations or accountancy advice, we can engage professionals who best suit your individual circumstances.