Most property negotiations may be reached by between the lawyers through Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) or mediation. Our family law team can assist you in negotiating and reaching an agreement, including resolving any disagreements in the value of certain property. We can also assist you in property mediation and in formalising any agreements in the form of Consent Orders. If there is no agreement or there is a dispute, we can assist you with court proceedings through every step of the way.

Property settlement after divorce and separation

Our family lawyers can start negotiations about property on your behalf as soon as the marriage or relationship has broken down. 

The same laws about property apply whether you were married or in a de facto relationship (including same sex spouses). However, If you get divorced you must start property or spouse maintenance proceedings within 12 months of your divorce becoming final. Or if you have been in a de facto relationship, you must commence property or maintenance proceedings within two years of your separation.

De facto relationship

If you have been in a de facto relationship we can make an application for a property settlement if any one or more of the following conditions apply:

  • You have a child with your de facto partner; and/or
  • You have made a substantial contribution to the property or finances of your partner.
  • Your de facto relationship lasted for at least 2 years;

What is classed as property and assets?

Property includes all things owned by either one or both partners, in joint or sole names, including:

  • Cash and investments
  • Real estate as well as personal property (e.g. Cars, furniture)
  • Property owned before the marriage
  • Gifts, inheritances, lottery wins received by one partner or spouse
  • Redundancy payouts
  • Superannuation.

How the court decides who gets what in a property settlement

The court will need to work out the total assets of you and your former partner, including super less any liabilities. Once they have done this, they work out how it will be split between the two of you based on:

  1. Property owned before the marriage or relationship
  2. Contributions made by both partners during the marriage or relationship
  3. Future needs (e.g. whether one partner will be supporting a child, the age and health of each partner and their ability to obtain employment and earn income)
  4. Generally, contributions to the welfare of the family would be considered to be just as important as the contribution of the primary wage earner.

We can help make sure any property settlement made by the court is fair and equitable.

For more information about the processes involved in property settlements and the division of assets, and how Kenny Spring's family law experts can help please call 1800 650 656.