Things to Consider when Getting a Divorce
It is difficult to decide how to divide property between you and your former partner. The ultimate goal is to do it in a way that is fair for both parties and many times this can be achieved by hiring a family lawyer.
The aim of this article it’s to explain how a settlement agreement works.
What is a property settlement agreement?
Firstly when we refer to property in Family Law, this term includes assets and liabilities.
A property settlement is a document that sets out how you and your ex-partner will divide up your property.
There are two ways to go through this process depending on both parties' agreement.
Formalising property agreement without court
When both parties work out their own property settlement, It’s less time-consuming.
If you and your ex-partner agree on terms you can apply to the court for a consent order or make a binding financial agreement.
It is important to maintain realistic expectations when negotiating the agreement. The best way to do it is to seek independent legal and financial advice.
What happens when I apply for a consent order?
A Consent Order is made by the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia formalising an agreement reached between parties regarding separation about property matters.
A registered family lawyer will read the Application and Orders and decide If it’s equitable.
An Application for Consent Orders can be filed at any time after separation but must be filed within 12 months of a divorce or two years of the end of a de facto relationship.
You can obtain a consent order kit from the Family Court free of charge.
Making a binding financial agreement
A binding financial agreement is a contract between you and your ex-partner and there is no third party required to make it enforceable. It stipulates how property is to be divided between the parties.
If both parties agree to this contract then independent legal advice is required to draft up the Binding Financial Agreement so you and your ex-partner can review it and obtain legal advice about it.
Court ordered property settlement
If an agreement cannot be reached between the parties the next step for you is to file an application for property settlement in the appropriate Court.
This can occur when both parties are not reaching any agreement or the other party is refusing to be reasonable.
This application must be within 12 months of your divorce becoming final.
Most property settlements are dealt with by either Federal Circuit Court or the Family Court.
Either way, don’t forget that when negotiating a proper settlement divorce lawyers offer extensive and expert advice and are wholly focused on helping you through these difficulties.