Financial and property settlements
When you and your spouse separate, you will need to determine how to divide your property. Generally speaking, any property owned by either of you separately or jointly will form part of the relationship property pool. Property can include things such as:
- Real property (houses, apartments, land etc.)
- Personal property (furniture, jewellery, tools etc.)
- Business interests
- Credit card debt
- Any other liabilities
It is important that you obtain prompt advice and provide full disclosure of the property pool early on as once full instructions are obtained, a good family lawyer will be able to advise you of the likely range within which your split of the property pool would fall if the matter was determined by the Court. This advice will assist you in the negotiation phase and give your matter the best chance of early resolution.
If you and your former partner are able to reach an agreement regarding a financial and property settlement, either between yourselves or with the assistance of lawyers, it is essential that you formalise that agreement by getting a lawyer to prepare a binding financial agreement or an application to the court for consent orders to be made.
If you cannot reach an agreement, you will need to apply to the court for a court order. This process will be costly and timely, which is why it is almost always our advice that where possible you should try to aim to stay out of court and come to some sort of a negotiated settlement.