Property settlements may be daunting during a divorce or separation. What do you need to know to protect yourself and your kids? You need to know the basics of property settlement and get family lawyers right away to assist you in the process.
A property settlement is the legal allocation of your shared or conjugal assets. If you are married or in a civil partnership, you are entitled to this separate legal processes that can happen before or after a legal separation or divorce.
You can divide property without the help of lawyers, but remember that any informal arrangements with your spouse are not legally binding. So, it’s best to hire a family lawyer to make these informal agreements up to date and legally filed.
Types of Legally Binding Property Settlements
1. Consent Orders
Amicable property settlement requires Consent Orders to ensure that your rights and obligations are fulfilled. This is a legally binding agreement that defines the conditions of the settlement and is approved by the court. It is enforceable even if either party does not follow the agreed division. To do so, you must make a direct application to the Family Court of Australia.
2. Financial Agreement
To guarantee that both parties’ best interests are fulfilled, a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA) might be undertaken. You do not need to go to court to make a financial agreement legally enforceable, but you must both get separate legal counsel when going through this procedure.
If you and your partner cannot reach an agreement on property distribution, you may need to engage lawyers to help you. In other cases, you may not even be required to appear in court if you and the other party can resolve the issue through dialogue and methods like mediation.
Going to Court for Property Settlements
If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement on property distribution, you will need to file a property settlement petition in court. The court will examine the following steps:
- Identify each party’s assets, responsibilities, and resources
- Evaluate each party’s contributions to the partnership
- Consider both parties’ ability to support children
- Work out an equitable asset allocation
How Property is Divided in Property Settlements
Several criteria will determine the distribution of property in the settlement. It can include the length of your partnership, if you have children and who will have custody, and how much each of you contributed to your lives together.
If the partnership has lasted a long time and both parties have contributed equally over the years, the property will most likely be shared equally. If one party has contributed more than the other or has caused a loss of the couple’s money, the court may prioritise the proportional allocation of equity.
A property settlement generally entails one party taking possession of the home and buying out the other party, or the residence is sold and the money divided between the parties.
Conclusion: When to Seek a Property Settlement Lawyer
It is never too early to consult with a family lawyer about how you will divide your property after your divorce or legal separation. Even if you are splitting amicably, consulting with a lawyer as soon as possible helps you receive the best estimate of your assets and what you have the right to keep.
At Springfield Legals, you can be assured to receive quality service from an industry leader. We’re one of the country’s leading legal firms for family law, property, and business conveyancing, as well as income protection and succession planning. We have the most reputable Australian property lawyers in Ipswich, working closely with you to ensure that the solutions we give to suit your specific requirements and problems. We are invested in your success. Call us now!