When a relationship breaks down, the dividing up of assets is an inevitable task that needs to be carried out. A property settlement refers to the process where both parties attempt to negotiate an agreement concerning assets, income and liabilities.
It is essential you are afforded legal advice from a family lawyer who is skilled in property settlements. This is because the law states that property settlements settled by consent are only recognised if each party obtained independent legal advice. Here at Carter O’Neill Legal, we are experienced in resolving property settlements and ensure that our clients get the share of assets which is just and equitable.
What Kind of Arrangement is Right for Me?
Our family lawyers understand the rules surrounding Property settlements and will know how to best apply them to your matter. Reaching a property agreement initially involves negotiations between the parties. Our lawyers are skilled in negotiations and can help guide you through the process by explaining the situation in plain language.
Should negotiations be successful, we can assist you by applying for Consent Orders to be approved by the Court. These orders will make your agreement legally enforceable and binding whilst protecting each of you from any future property claims. There are also substantial tax benefits by entering into consent orders as they can deal with the transfer or sale of real property or vehicles, splitting of superannuation or spousal maintenance (re-direct to spousal maintenance page).
Another form of finalising your property matter can be by entering into a binding financial agreement. A binding financial agreement can be made before, during or after a marriage or de facto relationship. If the agreement is made before getting married or moving in together or during the relationship, this agreement will clearly outline what happens to the parties finances and assets should the relationship break down. If the agreement is made after the relationship, it is usually an alternative to litigation and consent orders.
Here at Carter O’Neill Legal, we can advise you as to whether you should have a binding financial agreement, your financial exposure if one is not entered into and any other options you may have. If you are in a relationship, you should consider an agreement especially if you own any assets and have a good earning capacity or a likely to receive an inheritance. If your relationship has broken down, speak to our team about which agreement is more suitable to your circumstances.
What if My Ex-Spouse and I Cannot Agree?
In the event that an outcome cannot be reached throughout negotiations, we can act for your interests in dispute resolution processes known as mediation and arbitration, seeing your matter through to finality.
If an outcome cannot be reached through the processes above, our family lawyers can advocate on your behalf in the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court. Here the court will take into consideration factors such as the contributions to the acquisition of property, along with parenting and homemaker contributions made by each party as well as assessing the future needs of each party.
Spousal maintenance is the term given to financial support given from one spouse to another spouse following the breakdown of a marriage or de facto marriage. The test for spousal maintenance considers the party seeking income, expenses, financial resources and their capacity to earn income and then considers the capacity of the other party to pay the maintenance sought. It is effectively financial support provided by one party to assist with the other parties everyday living.
Spousal maintenance can be payable by way of lump sum payment, on an urgent basis, on an interim basis until a final determination of your matter, for a specified period on a final basis, on a final basis indefinitely, unless varied by subsequent Court Order.
In order to be eligible for spousal maintenance you must be able to establish:
In determining these matters, factors such as your age and heath, your income, your ability to work, with whom the children live, what the suitable standard of living is and if the marriage has affected your ability to earn an income will be considered. Here at Carter O’Neill Legal, we will assess your situation with the information provided to us and advise you on prospects of receiving spousal maintenance and whether this is a suitable option for you. Contact us today.