Mediation & Dispute Resolution
Property and Financial Settlement
Relationship breakdown is often traumatic. Not only do you have to deal with emotions but at some point, you need to make decisions about fair division of property and assets – financial or otherwise.
Property and assets may be divided between you and your partner by:
- going to court, or
- using a family dispute resolution service to help reach agreement.
Division of property and assets is not always straight forward. It is always recommended that you get legal advice to begin with so you understand your position fully, even if you can amicably reach an agreement.
If you go through the court, a judge’s job in making a decision about division of property is neither simple nor straightforward and discretion plays a large part. Keep this in mind when getting legal advice and ensure you have made full disclosure including assets, liabilities and entitlements.
Family Dispute Resolution Practitioners cannot give legal advice. Their purpose is to ask the right questions and find the right solutions for your situation. If you have children, they will always keep the best interests of children at the forefront of negotiations.
When should we divide our property?
You do not have to be divorced or separated before you divide your property. However, it helps if you have gone through the worst of the emotional upheaval and made some arrangements about your children.
There are time restrictions for applying to court and they differ depending on your relationship.
For divorced couples, you must apply to the court for a property settlement within 12 months of your divorce unless there are special circumstances.
For de facto couples, applications regarding maintenance and property must be lodged within two years of the relationship ending. De facto includes:
- Couples who have lived together in a domestic relationship for two years or more
- Have a child born of the relationship
- one of the parties having made such a substantial contribution that if the court did not make an order it would be unjust
- a registered relationship.
Now that we’ve separated, I’m in debt.
If you find yourself left with acquired debt due to your ex-partner, or need assistance working out how to manage your finances, you could qualify for assistance through our Financial Counselling service.
How do I find out more?
Call us on 1800 639 523 to talk about your needs or make an appointment.