Can I get Property Settlement done before Divorce?

If you have separated, whether from a marriage or a de facto relationship, and there is no likelihood you will be getting back together, it may be time to consider sorting out the property you hold between you. This is known as a property settlement.

When must you have a property settlement done by?

A property settlement must occur within twelve months from the date of divorce or two years from the date of separation for a de facto relationship. If the property settlement is not done within that time, then you are deemed “out of time” and will have to apply to the Court to seek permission to resolve “out of time”. This can sometimes be hard to obtain, depending on the facts of the matter.

Do I need to wait to get the property settlement started?

There would be no need to wait for a divorce if married or any significant period of time if you were in a de facto relationship to commence resolving your property matters.

What is property?

Property refers to all your assets, financial resources, superannuation and liabilities. The Family Law Act defines property as being the ‘net asset pool’, which can include:

  • matrimonial home
  • investment properties
  • bank accounts
  • family Trusts
  • jointly owned assets
  • superannuation
  • shares/interests in a business or companies
  • cars and/or any other vehicles
  • debts
  • Businesses
  • Companies
  • Trusts and associated asset
  • Crypto accounts

Need help with property settlement? Call Gold Coast Best Property Settlement Lawyer for a free initial consultation

How is property settlement done?

It must first be proper for a property settlement to occur. This usually means there must be an intertwining of property and contributions to the property by both parties. In most cases, making orders for a property settlement will be proper. We can guide you further through this at MCG Legal.

Then, a four-step process will be followed to resolve all property matters.

  1. Agree to what assets, liabilities and superannuation form the property pool and agree on their values or prove them through documents or valuations. Both parties must exchange all financial documents to each other.
  2. The contributions of the parties to the property need to be assessed. This includes financial contributions at the commencement, during and after the relationship, non-financial contributions to property and contributions in the role of homemaker and parent. Once all of these are assessed, a percentage of 100 is attributed to each party.
  3. The third step in resolving property settlement matters is to assess what is commonly known as future factors such as income disparity and care of children, age and health of the parties by way of example and make any adjustment to the percentage arrived at in step 3.
  4. The fourth step involves stepping back and reviewing all of the factors and ensuring that the percentage arrived at is just and equitable to both parties.

No one case is the same. Every case has its factors that need to be considered in arriving at any determination.

You should seek advice on the specific facts of your matter. At MCG Legal, we offer a free initial consultation for that to occur.

How is a property settlement finalised after the agreement is reached?

If a property settlement is reached, then there are two ways in which they can be finalised; these are-

  1. An Application for Consent Orders and Consent Orders which are filed with the Court reviewed and final orders made if the Court agrees.
  2. A Binding Financial Agreement does not go to the Court but must be signed off on, and both parties must receive legal advice.

Don’t hesitate to contact the Gold Coast Property Settlement lawyer at MCG Legal if you have any questions. Fill in the form for a free initial consultation to get a clear idea about your Property Settlement matter.

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