Whether you are ending a de facto relationship, or a marriage, the law provides for a “just and equitable” division of the assets and liabilities that belong to both you and your former partner.
So that we can give you advice as to what you are likely entitled to in a property settlement, we will ask you to turn your mind to some key questions, such as:
- What assets and liabilities are currently in your name and possession?
- What assets and liabilities are currently in your former partner’s name and possession?
- What assets and liabilities are held by you and your former partner jointly?
- Who contributed what during the relationship? This will include financial contributions, non-financial contributions and contributions as homemaker and parent.
- Did either you or your former partner bring any significant assets to your relationship at its commencement?
- What was the length of your relationship?
- Did either party receive any lump sum payments during the relationship, such as inheritances or redundancy payouts?
- Do either you or your former partner have any health issues that might impact your capacity to work in future?
- What is your and your former partner’s expectations as to your respective income earning capacity moving forward?
- Who has care of the kids?
We can use the answers to these questions to advise you of what percentage division of the net asset pool you might expect going through the property settlement process (this advice is usually provided as a range of percentages). We can then work with you to determine how each asset and liability can be allocated to give effect to that percentage division and ensure that the final allocation is just and equitable.
Once you have worked through this process with us, you will have an idea of what expect from your property settlement and what your goals are in this regard. We can then commence negotiating with your partner or your partner’s lawyer to reach an agreement. If an agreement cannot be reached, the court is available to you.
If you are ending a relationship and think you need to give effect to a property settlement, it is important to note that there are time limits on getting all of this finalised. If you have been in a de facto relationship, you need to have achieved property settlement or have filed in the court for property settlement orders within two years of the date of separation. If you are or have been married, you have twelve months from the date of your divorce.
Keep an eye on our Articles and Resources for when we release further information about the property settlement process.