Collective Family Law Group’s Guide To Property Settlement
For many people going through separation and divorce, property settlement is one of the most stressful aspects of the process. At Collective Family Law Group, we’ve found that people find it overwhelming because they’re unsure how it works. Our property settlement lawyers on the Gold Coast are the experts in negotiation and mediation, so we can help you reach a property settlement agreement that suits your needs. We’re here to unpack property settlement and help you understand how it all works so you can go into negotiations feeling confident.
How Does Property Settlement Work?
While the two are linked, property settlement is a separate legal process from your divorce. As soon as you and your partner separate, you can begin discussing the division of your assets. There are a few ways you can decide how to go about dividing property.
Mediation. Through mediation, you and your former spouse or partner can come to an agreement as to how your property and assets should be divided without any court involvement. You can both seek legal advice to ensure you get the best outcomes, but you won’t need to take the matter to litigation.
Negotiation. Negotiation is slightly different to mediation, as you’ll have a property settlement lawyer negotiating on your behalf. If you feel that mediation will be too emotionally charged, negotiation is still a better alternative than litigation.
If you agree… You can get your agreement formalised by applying for consent orders through the family court.
If you can’t agree… you can apply to the courts for financial orders, including orders relating to the division of property and payment of spouse or de facto partner maintenance. The courts will apply their four-step process to figuring out the most just and equitable way to divide assets.
Misconceptions About Property Settlement
Due to the confusing nature of property settlement, a few myths and misconceptions are floating around about the process. As premier property settlement lawyers on the Gold Coast, we thought it was best to address these misconceptions here.
My property settlement should result in a 50/50 split.
In Australia, divorce settlements are a lot more complicated than that. The court applies a 4-step process to determine what is just and equitable in each unique circumstance, taking into consideration many factors and variables.
Superannuation isn’t an asset.
Under the Family Law Act 1975, superannuation falls under the definition of property and can therefore be dealt with in the context of property settlement.
Inheritance isn’t considered in property settlement.
Inheritance in property settlement cases is generally handled on a case-by-case basis and is influenced by the timing of the receipt of the inheritance. Suppose you received an inheritance before or at the commencement of your relationship. In that case, it will be considered as an initial contribution, and the value isn’t separated from the overall asset pool. If you receive an inheritance during a relationship and you use it for the benefits of both parties (e.g. to buy or renovate a home), it’s considered a financial contribution and will be considered as a joint asset. If you receive your inheritance late in a relationship or after the relationship has ended, it may be excluded from the asset pool.
I can only discuss property settlement after the divorce is finalised.
You can start discussing settlement as soon as you separate so you can reach a resolution quickly and minimise the stress of divorce.
My partner cheated, so I’ll get more in the settlement.
In Australia, immoral actions do not influence the outcome of property settlement. However, other misconduct, such as the destruction of property and domestic violence, will affect the outcome of the settlement.
Frequently Asked Questions About Property Settlement
At Collective Family Law Group, we specialise in property settlement on the Gold Coast. We answer a wide range of questions about property division every day, so we thought we’d answer a few of the most common questions right here.
If I was in a de facto relationship, can I still apply to the court for property orders?
Yes, the Family Law Act 1975 contains mirror provisions that apply to married and de facto couples. The Collective Family Law Group are the experts in handling property settlement disputes with both married and de facto couples.
What assets are considered in property settlements?
Property may include;
The family home and any investment properties
Debts including mortgages, loans, credit cards, and personal debts
How is it determined who gets what in a property settlement?
A set four-step process helps us determine the best way to divide property between two people.
First, we need to agree on the assets and the debts of each party.
Second, we look at who has contributed what to the relationship, both financially and non-financially.
Third, we assess factors that will affect individuals in the future, such as income and arrangements for child custody.
Fourth, we make sure the overall outcome is just and equitable.
How does property settlement become legally binding?
To ensure the property settlement is adhered to, we can either file the terms with the family court or draw up a binding financial agreement.
Who is responsible for paying the mortgage after separation?
If the mortgage is in joint names, both parties are legally responsible for the mortgage payment. However, the Collective Family Law Group team can help you decide what to do with your property if you cannot continue paying mortgage repayments.
How long do we have to commence property proceedings?
If you were in a de facto relationship, you have from the day you separate until two years after separation to commence proceedings. If you are married and not yet divorced, you are not restricted by time limits, but if your divorce is finalised, you only have 12 months from the date of finalisation to commence property settlement proceedings.
Do I have to tell my ex how much money I have when going to court for property settlement?
Both parties must disclose all relevant information to the court, including financial information such as bank statements, superannuation statements, tax returns, and other documents. Failure to disclose relevant information could result in a case dismissal, fines, or being found guilty of contempt of court.
Call Collective Family Law Group For Property Settlement Lawyers On The Gold Coast
At Collective Family Law Group, our practice focuses exclusively on family law matters. We’re industry experts in all matters of family law, including but not limited to matters of separation, property settlement, domestic violence, financial agreements, divorce, and child support. We strive to provide quality legal services with a resolution-focused approach to our clients’ needs, and our team offer practical legal advice and solutions in a professional, approachable manner. If you need property settlement lawyers on the Gold Coast, contact Collective Family Law Group today.
We are committed to the efficient and prompt resolution of family law matters, in the most cost effective manner possible.
Call us today to make an appointment for your free consultation with one of our experienced family lawyers.
WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY..
These guys have been absolutely amazing with helping me with my case as it has been tough but they have helped me get through it. Honestly the team have been so amazing and have helped me with been able to get the courage to get through this situation and they have been so supportive. The service has been fantastic as they have checked up on me and my family constantly to see how we have been going through out the process. I would highly recommend Collective Family Law Group to any one seeking assistance in a family law matter. Yours Faithfully, Mark.
I cannot speak highly enough about the team at Collective Family Law. I was going though a very hard time emotionally and financially and received nothing but compassion and support. If you need a family lawyer please look no further than this group of high knowledgeable and skilled people, you’ll be glad you did. Yours faithfull Brendan.
If any interaction with a business deserve 5 stars this law firm does. When I left I felt like I had been problem solving with a trusted friend over coffee, beware the choc chip cookie jar in the kitchen area
The whole team at Collective Family Law have been so helpful. They have helped me through such a hard time and went above and beyond to make sure my every need was met, and to such a high standard. Couldn’t recommend them enough!!!
The team at Collective Family Law Group helped me navigate through a very difficult time in my life. I appreciated their honest, straight forward approach and would recommend them to anyone needing family law work done.
Amazing firm and staff! Couldn’t recommend enough.
Fantastic experience. I was skeptical of the whole free first consultation thing but how wrong I was. Jenny was awesome, answered all of my questions and advised clearly on my situation with knowledge, understanding and a lovely manner. Would recommend to anyone who asks.
My first (and hopefully last) experience with a family law service, so I have nothing to compare to. I don’t know what fees are like generally with other family law services, but it was a costly experience. You do get what you pay for though, I always had a prompt and professional response to all of my concerns.