Property Settlement

Dividing Your Assets After a Relationship Breakdown

Property Settlement Agreement

If your marriage or relationship ends in divorce or separation, your assets need to be fairly allocated between you and your former partner — a process known as Property Settlement.

With many shared possessions being purchased or gathered during the course of the relationship, they often hold strong emotional bonds and personal ties — for both parties. Dividing these assets after a break-up can be heartwrenching, stressful, and conflict-causing.

Yet, it’s a sadly crucial, cold practicality that you need to address.

At Falzon Legal, our compassionate approach navigates you considerately through the process of separation and divorce Property Settlement. Continually supportive, we will ceaselessly act professionally in your best interests — and actively seek peaceful resolutions that can avoid Court action.

What Is the Scope of Family Law Property Settlement?

Generally speaking, when a marriage or de facto relationship falls apart — leading to annulment, separation, or divorce — the assets need to be divided in a manner that is equitable to both sides.

In most circumstances, the legal processes involved in the allocation of property are the same for marriage and de facto relationship breakdowns.

It’s important to remember that the term property refers to much more than the bricks and mortar of your family home or investment premises — it also includes anything of capital value, such as finances, cars, heirlooms, and furniture.

How Is Property Settlement After Divorce and Separation Decided?

You don’t have to fight it out in Court.

At Falzon Legal, we strongly encourage you and your former partner or spouse to make an agreement outside of the judiciary. Saving time, expense, and significant emotional stress and turmoil — a mutually acceptable concord is preferable for all parties, especially if children are involved.

While relationships can unfortunately fail — this doesn’t mean you and your ex-partner need to battle to the bitter end. Ongoing amiability and geniality are possible with an out-of-court agreement — while conflictive litigation often results in years of animosity and resentment.

Typically, there are three ways to reach a cordial settlement:

Informal Settlement of Property

If you can discuss the matter with your estranged partner — and reach a mutually acceptable agreement — in some circumstances, that can be sufficient.

This informal approach requires no validation, being based purely on trust and faith in the other party to keep to the settlement deal.

However, while it may be the most affordable and straightforward option — it’s also the most risk-filled.

Should your former partner or spouse fail to adhere to the agreement, you have few — if any — tools to enforce the settlement. Furthermore, reaching a concord without legal advice can mean making negligent, unlawful, or unfair decisions that may cause distress and expense in the future.

If this is the route you elect to pursue, you should, at the very least, make the agreement in writing and be signed by both you and your former partner.

Consent Orders Property Settlement After Separation and Divorce

If it’s possible to make an informal agreement regarding Property Settlement with your ex-spouse or partner — you can formalise the arrangement with the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (FCFCA).

Known as a Consent Order, this powerful and binding tool can address a multitude of areas — from finance and property through to maintenance and parenting.

With the advice and help of an experienced Family Law professional — you will be assisted in reaching a deal with your former partner, have prospective orders drafted, and can then apply to the Court for validation.

Consent Orders have two key benefits — perfectly reflecting the amiable informal agreement made by you and your ex, while providing the reassurance of legal enforceability. Bear in mind that, before formalising the settlement, the Court will ensure that it’s considered fair to both parties.

Binding Financial Agreements for Divorce and Property Settlement

Although often described as a prenup — a Binding Financial Agreement may be made prior to, during, or at the dissolution of a marriage or relationship.

While it requires a legal process for approval and validation — it negates any need for you to fight the matter in Court with your former partner or spouse. Effectively a contract, it details how your property is to be divided should you separate, divorce, or break-up.

However, there are some downsides.

It requires significant legal representation by both parties, is challenging to amend should your circumstances or opinions change, and has no requisite to be fair to both sides.

Learn More About the Advantages and Disadvantages of Binding Financial Agreements.

If you cannot reach a Property Settlement agreement with your ex-spouse or partner — you may need to have the matter decided by the Court.

At Falzon Legal, we will strive to achieve concord between you and the other party without this expensive and often hostile process. Assisting and supporting with Family Dispute Resolution and mediation — we can achieve a more affable and satisfactory outcome for both you and your ex.

Let Falzon Legal Considerately Guide You to an Amiable Property Settlement Outcome — Call Us

How the Court Judges on Property and Financial Settlement After Separation and Divorce

In most circumstances, we can assist you in reaching a reassuring, suitable, and enforceable agreement with your former partner — without having to take the matter to the FCFCA.

However, if a settlement cannot be achieved — the Court will decide on the allocation of assets.

When determining a Family Court Property Settlement, the Family Law Act outlines the fundamental precepts that are followed to make a decision:

1: Calculating the Asset Pool — by subtracting the liabilities from the assets.
2: Considering the direct financial contributions made by you and your former spouse/partner to the marriage or de facto relationship — e.g. wages and salaries.
3: Considering indirect contributions — such as inheritances or family gifts.
4: Examining non-financial contributions made by either side — e.g. housewife/husband, upbringing of children, etc.
5: Taking into account your and your ex’s future needs — for example, the ability to make a living, requirements and care of children, health, and age.

Based on the above criteria, the Court will make a Property Settlement judgement for you and your former partner’s/spouse’s perceived needs and equity.

While it is the duty of the FCFCA to always utilise fairness in its decision — it can still lead to lengthy and painful confrontations and legal wrangles within the Court.

Falzon Legal will endeavour to ensure you a divorce or de facto Property Settlement without adversarial litigation — through informal accords, Consent Orders, or Binding Financial Agreements.

Speak to Us About the Realities of Making a Property Settlement in Court

How Much Will I Receive in a Property Settlement?

Whether you’re divorcing after marriage or separating from a de facto relationship — there is no set figure or percentage that determines your settlement.

While it’s typically assumed that each party will share 50-50 in the Court’s decision, this is rarely the case.

After the Asset Pool value has been ascertained by the Court — it makes the division judgement based on current law, the contributions of each party, and future needs.

And, while it’s a requirement that the determination is just and equitable — this doesn’t mean equal half shares.

Coming to an arrangement away from the Court process — with a Binding Financial Agreement or Consent Order — can remove the speculation, risk, and uncertainty.

Does Property Settlement Have a Restrictive Timeframe?

If petitioning the Family Court is your choice, or through inability to reach an arrangement with your ex-partner, the only available solution to a Property Settlement — you’re bound by a statutory timeframe.

If you were, or still currently are, married to your partner — the time frame is one year after the divorcing date. 

Since, in most circumstances, you are required to be separated for 12 months prior to filing for dissolution — this, in effect, means you have two years to apply to the FCFCA for settlement.

If you were cohabiting as one party in a de facto partnership — the specified period is two years, commencing on the date that you initially separated.

However, if a period of time has elapsed, taking you out of the limit, there are still some pathways to requesting a Property Settlement — under particular permissible circumstances.

The Court needs to be shown that one of the parties or their children would, without a settlement, suffer significant hardship. Under these conditions, the FCFCA may agree to consider an application.

At Falzon Legal, we know that the practicalities of finance and assets may be the last thing on your mind when divorcing or separating. Coming to terms with a relationship breakdown can be difficult to accept, heartbreaking, and disorientating. 

Yet, with strict time frames in place, it’s important to address the issues sooner rather than later.

Relentlessly patient and ceaselessly supportive, we will considerately lead you through the process of Property Settlement in a timely manner.

Reach a Satisfying Property Settlement With Falzon Legal

Dividing up your assets after divorce or separation is never painless — but Falzon Legal will ease the burden of Property Settlement.

We will work tirelessly on your behalf to reach the most favourable outcome — wherever possible, striving to achieve a cordial and amiable solution without recourse to the Court.

Constantly supportive and understanding, we will meet face-to-face in our Parramatta office or your home — clearly explaining your options, addressing matters in a time-efficient manner, and always exceeding your expectations.

The practicalities of Property Settlement can be challenging — but together we will navigate a pathway to resolution, reassurance, and closure.

Settlement of Property FAQs

What Is a Family Court Consent Order for Property Settlement?

A Property Settlement Consent Order is an agreement made between you and your ex-spouse/partner that outlines how the assets are to be divided. Validated by the Court, and legally enforceable, it prevents the animosity and bitterness of litigation.

What Is the Average Cost of Property Settlement?

The costs of achieving a Property Settlement depend on your route to resolution and your particular circumstances.

Usually, Binding Financial Agreements and Consent Orders provide a more affordable solution than fighting the allocation in the Family Court.

Is My Wife Entitled to Half My Super?

The law permits separating and divorcing parties to divide superannuations after the breakdown of a relationship.

Who Gets To Stay In the House During Separation Australia?

You and your partner or spouse are both permitted to live in your home during the period of separation. Who ‘owns’ the property has no bearing. Furthermore, while one party may decide to voluntarily vacate the premises — no one can be made to under duress.

Is Property Settlement Money Taxable?

If there is a net profit on the sale of a property — capital gains tax may be payable.

Does Property Settlement Affect Centrelink Payments?

Usually, settlement of property is not assessed as income, meaning no impact on Centrelink payments. This applies equally to standalone receipts, or regular payments relating to a settlement.

Still Have More Property Settlement Questions? Speak to Us NOW