Financial & Property Settlement Lawyers Melbourne
What is a property settlement?
A property settlement occurs when a couple agree to a split of the assets and liabilities of a relationship or a Court orders the split of assets and liabilities of a relationship.
What is the process for a property settlement?
- Identify and value the property, assets, financial resources and liabilities of each person as at the date of the hearing;
- Identify relevant contributions of the parties;
- Identify the future needs of each person in the relationship. This includes health needs and obligations to care for children (if any) in the future;
- Adjust the property, assets and liabilities of the parties to achieve a just and equitable outcome.
What factors influence a property settlement?
A property settlement is influenced by the following factors:
- What assets and liabilities each person had at the commencement of the relationship;
- Financial contributions of each person during the relationship;
- Any particular gifts or special abilities that each person has to earn money;
- The "homemaker" contribution of either party ie: the domestic duties that each person has completed;
- Whether there are any children from the marriage;
- If there are children, who was responsible for the majority of their general upbringing during the relationship;
- If there are children, who the children live with following the end of the relationship;
- Any financial contribution from either party, following the dissolution of the relationship;
- Various other factors found in section 75(2) of the Family Law Act 1975.
Property Settlement Options
The most common ways to resolve a Family Law situation are:
- Binding Financial Agreement:
This is a private agreement between partners/spouses that is legally binding. It is not filed at a Court. Both people are required to obtain independent legal advice before signing a Binding Financial Agreement and have a Lawyer sign a document stating that they have provided them with advice.
- Consent Orders:
These are Orders that represent an agreement between the partners/spouses. Consent Orders are filed in the Family Court. It is not necessary for both people to obtain independent legal advice before signing Consent Orders however it is advisable for this to occur.
- A decision from a Judge. To obtain a decision from a Judge, court proceedings need to be filed. At all times during the court proceedings, people can settle their case by Consent.
In most situations, it is in the best interests of both of the partners/spouses if it can be resolved outside of court. Taking a matter to trial can be a lengthy and costly process. We can provide you with further information about whether this can be achieved in your individual situation.
To determine the value of the asset pool, each person needs to obtain valuations of their financial interest. This may be a valuation of a house, rental property, business or superannuation policy. There will be costs of engaging experts to complete these services. It is common practice that parties equally share the costs of these valuations.
Financial & Property Settlement Lawyers, Melbourne
Ready to find out more?
Call us today to arrange an appointment to discuss your property settlement on (03) 9629 9629.
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