Property Settlement and the Division of Assets | Your Questions Answered
Dividing your assets after a separation can be a lengthy and complicated business if it’s not done according to the law. To avoid complications in the future, we strongly encourage you to seek legal support from family law solicitors who deal with divorce settlements and can assist with issues like legal options, a property settlement calculator, and other needs.
In the meantime, getting to know the system can be a great step towards friendly dispute resolution. Take a look at some of our most commonly asked questions regarding property settlement below.
Q: What constitutes property under family law? / What property can be divided?
A: “Property” in the legal sense can refer to a whole lot more than real estate – and it’s important to declare all of your assets that are considered property by law when negotiating settlement. Property can include:
- Real estate
- Family businesses
- Investments, shares and trusts
- Superannuation, insurance policies and pensions
- Other assets such as cars, furniture, jewellery, appliances
- Money you owe including mortgages, loans, debts and any other liabilities
Q: How does property division work?
A: There are no set rules about how property division will work. A fair and legal property settlement will take into account:
- How much you own across all your property
- How much you owe and any other liabilities you have
- The roles you had in your relationship
- How you contributed to the relationship
- What each of your needs will be in the future
- How many children you have under 18 and who they will live with
- Your personal age, health and earning capacity, and that of your partner
Q: My partner and I have separated. Do we have to wait to be divorced to apply for property settlement?
A: No. You don’t have to wait for the divorce to be finalised in order to finalise your property settlement. In fact, it’s encouraged to begin arrangements for your property as soon after the separation as possible. This is because there is a 12-month window in which you can begin court proceedings after the divorce.
Q: My de facto partner and I have separated. Is there a time limit for us to apply for property settlement after separation?
A: Yes. There is a two year time limit from the time of separation to the time of applying for property settlement for de facto couples.
Q: What if we miss the deadline to apply for property settlement?
A: The court can give permission to apply outside of the one year period for divorced couples and two year period for separated de facto couples. However, this will only happen in special circumstances. It’s best not to assume that the court will grant permission. Get in touch with our family law solicitors to discuss your circumstances if you’ve missed your settlement window.
H3: Need Some Help with Your Property Settlement? Call Us
At Robert Wood and Associates, our family law solicitors in Melbourne ensure that your separation or divorce settlement is completed efficiently and according to the law. For further enquiries or to seek legal support, visit our Boronia offices. Alternatively, you can give us a call to talk to our friendly family lawyers.
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