Withstand Lawyers understands that following a divorce or a de facto separation you will need a Family Lawyer who will help you forge a property settlement. Withstand Lawyers have some of the most competent and friendly family lawyers in Sydney CBD to help you settle.

Whether the relationship is a marital union or de facto, parties can freely determine and stipulate how they want to deal with their properties, assets, income and liabilities should the relationship end. Ideally, financial agreements are put in place at the inception to safeguard the properties of parties when the relationship turns sour.

However, when the relationship ends and no financial agreement pertaining to property is available because the parties did not enter into any agreement prior to entering into their marital or de facto arrangement, the next recourse is to try to forge a property settlement.

When Property Settlement Is Best

Property settlements limit the parties in terms of how they deal with the properties that may have been acquired during the enjoyment of the marriage or de facto union.

There are instances when the parties do not need outside intervention and can sort out their properties themselves. This occurs when the parties are not hostile to each other even after the breakup.

There are also times when the parties, though friendly with each other, need assistance to forge an agreement. A lawyer can help parties to reach a settlement. Still, mediation can be beneficial to expedite a settlement, whereby a person who holds a neutral stance can conciliate.

When the parties agree, the settlement must be formalised by way of Consent Orders through a Financial Agreement or by the Family Court. When the agreement is formalised, it is also finalised so that neither party can raise future claims to contest the same. A pre-nuptial agreement or any agreement entered into by parties to a de facto relationship can have the same force and effect especially if they have provided for how the property would be divided in case of separation. Financial Agreements of said sort are generally binding, unless the conditions prescribed in the Family Law Act were not complied with.

Going To Court For Property Settlement

If no agreement is forthcoming, then the matter will be submitted to either the Federal Circuit Court or the Family Court.

There are two important periods in commencing court proceedings:

  • If a party was married and later was divorced, it is necessary that Court proceedings must be commenced within 12 months from the time the order of divorce took effect. For late commencements, the Court’s leave must be secured to proceed with the case.
  • In case of a de facto relationship, Court proceedings must be begun within two (2) years from the date of separation. In case of late commencements, the Court’s leave must be secured so the case can proceed.

Generally, the Court will only issue an order in a property settlement case if the de facto relationship went on for at least two (2) years. But there are recognized exceptions to this rule, such as when a child was born during the subsistence of the relationship.

What are the recognized steps in the division of property?

  • First, reckon the value of the assets of each party.
  • Second, determine if it is just and equitable to issue an order.
  • Third, assess each party’s contributions.
  • Fourth, assess by taking into account the factors listed in s75(2) of the Family Law Act, which includes but is not limited to arrangements for children, if any, and the income of the parties.
  • Fifth, ascertain if the proposed order is just and equitable for the parties involved.

After a marriage or de facto relationship breakdown, there may be a need for spousal maintenance for one spouse. To be eligible, one applying for the same must prove

  • The inability to provide for your own support. One example is when the applicant cares for children who are under 18 years of age.
  • The ability of the spouse to shoulder maintenance expenses.

The period within which an application for spousal maintenance must be made depends upon the situation, as follows:

  • If a party was married and later was divorced, it is necessary that Court proceedings must be commenced within 12 months from the time the order of divorce took effect. For late commencements, the Court’s leave must be secured to proceed with the case.
  • In case of a de facto relationship, Court proceedings must be begun within two (2) years from the date of separation. In case of late commencements, the Court’s leave must be secured so the case can proceed.

Moving Forward, Get A Family Lawyer

Moving on from a relationship can be quite difficult, but being wise in taking the first steps will mean a lot to prevent more complications from occurring. Thus, when approaching a family lawyer for the first time regarding your property settlement problem, it is good to take note the points of discussion:

  • The legal provisions applicable to your particular situation
  • The process in settling properties and the steps that must be taken
  • Examples of how the Court might act upon the division of properties
  • Your liabilities and/or accountabilities
  • Cost of his services, or at least, an estimate of the ongoing cost

A final word! Remember, lawyers can only help inasmuch as a client is able to supply a level of information that will allow a lawyer to make an expert assessment.

At Withstand Lawyers, you’ve got one of the best Family Law firms in Sydney to help you in property settlement, divorce or spousal maintenance cases. Trust on the family lawyers of Withstand Lawyers to put your needs first when you want to settle and some peace of mind.

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