When should I apply for a Family Law Property Settlement?
18 August 2016
The only legal rules about when you should apply for a Family Law property settlement are concerning how late you can apply. People in a De Facto relationship have up to two years after separation. Married people have up to one year following the Divorce. Contrary to a popular belief, you do not have to wait until you are divorced to have a property settlement. In fact, in most of our cases involving married people, a property settlement is finalised prior to a Divorce.
Once a person makes a decision to separate, he/she is often keen to finalise property and financial issues as soon as possible. However, if the decision to separate is not mutual, the other person may not be emotionally ready to make such important financial decisions. But, ready or not, it is a good idea to get Family Law advice from a Family Lawyer sooner rather than later, and, before you discuss possible settlement scenarios with your partner or spouse. Clients often come to Melbourne Family Lawyers having made a proposal to his/her partner/spouse before getting legal advice. Sometimes, the property settlement proposal made is counter-productive. For example, the settlement proposal may on the overly generous side of a fair outcome- which disadvantages our client in any future negotiation. On the other hand, the settlement proposal may be so miserable that it makes the other party resentful- leading him or her to adopt the extreme opposite position in any negotiations.
Everyone’s marriage or relationship is different as every person has his or her own different personality and way of dealing with conflict. What we try to do at Melbourne Family Lawyers is to understand both your personality and that of your spouse or partner in order to come up with the best strategy to achieve a timely settlement.
When deciding when to embark on settlement negotiation, you should also take into account the fact that the value of assets (including superannuation) changes over time. If property settlement is delayed, this could be to the advantage of one party and to the disadvantage of the other. Take this example:
At the time of separation, the family home is valued at $2,000,000
There is a rapidly rising house market
Neither party wants to face the issue of a property settlement and it takes two years for negotiations to commence, and, by that time, the value of the property has risen by 10% to $2,200,000
If the fair result is for the person keeping the property to pay 50%, the two year delay will have cost that person an extra $100,000!
If you have separated and need to find out about your property settlement rights, call Melbourne Family Lawyers now. We will give you our honest advice as to what is fair and provide guidance as to the best timing for property settlement negotiations.
Can we agree on a Family Law settlement without going to Court?
25 October 2018 -
Can we agree on a Family Law settlement without going to Court? This is a question asked by many clients at Melbourne Family Lawyers. The answer is both yes and no.
Should I Separate Before my Rich Parent Dies to Preserve my Inheritance?
12 April 2018 -
If your marriage or relationship is on the rocks and you are agonising as to whether to separate from your spouse or partner, then here is some advice which may spur you on to make a decision one way or the other.
When Can I make a Claim for Property Settlement as a De Facto Partner?
18 July 2017 -
In Australia, the Family Law relating to De Facto partners is substantially the same as the law relating to people who are legally married. The Family Law Act covers married people and de facto couples, including those in homosexual relationships.
When is Spousal Maintenance Payable?
31 August 2015 -
Spousal Maintenance (also called alimony in some countries) may be payable in Australia by one spouse (or de-facto partner) to the other under some circumstances pursuant to the provisions of the Family Law Act.
The Best Family Law Advice from Melbourne Family Lawyers
20 July 2015 -
At Melbourne Family Lawyers, we don’t offer a “free” first consultation and use it to market our services to you. The first meeting with one of our lawyers is scheduled for one hour because we know it will take a bit of time to listen to your story so that we can understand your situation and what is important to you and what you would like to achieve.
Is my Spouse entitled to a share of my Superannuation if I separate?
20 January 2015 -
In a Family Law Property Settlement, Superannuation is always taken into account when considering a division of property between spouses (including de facto or same-sex partners). These days, most people have Superannuation entitlements. Whilst those Superannuation entitlements may not be readily accessible now if you are below retirement age, they will make a difference to your financial situation when you do retire.
If I win Tatts Lotto, do I have to share the winnings with my ex spouse?
10 December 2014 -
This question sometimes arises in family law property settlement cases- and the answer will depend on the exact circumstances. As is usual in family law cases, there are many possible scenarios and many different possible results. Let’s consider a few examples.
Beware of Family Lawyers offering Free Initial Consultations
26 November 2014 -
Have you come across the recent advertising from Family Lawyers offering “free initial consultations”? Have you stopped to think why those lawyers are doing that?
Do I get to keep my inheritance in a Family Law Property Settlement?
30 October 2014 -
It is important to remember that every Family Law Property Settlement case is different and will be decided in accordance with the guiding principles in the Family Law Act and the case law arising from past decisions of the Family Law Courts. This article summarises some of those guiding principles.
Achieving a Family Law Property Settlement with a “Bully” Spouse
27 February 2014 -
Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person- and this is often a problem in marriage or relationship breakdown situations.
How to Achieve a Fair Family Law Property Settlement?
6 January 2014 -
Achieving a fair Family Law Property Settlement is the aim of most people who end up separating, but what is fair? It is very difficult for a person to work out what is fair when going through the emotional turmoil of a separation. An experienced Family Lawyer can help you.
What to Expect from a Family Lawyer
8 November 2013 -
A Family Lawyer will advise you as to his or her opinion as to where you stand when applying the applicable Family Law to your particular situation. However, a Family Lawyer will never be able to provide you with a definitive outcome in your case as the outcome of your case will depend on the following.
Which Family Law Court in Melbourne?
8 April 2013 -
Clients are sometimes confused about which Family Law Court is appropriate to hear their case in Melbourne. This is understandable as there are three separate courts on the same street in Melbourne which have jurisdiction on Family Law related issues.
Achieving a Fair Family Law Settlement for De Facto and Same Sex Couples in Victoria
15 March 2013 -
The Family Law in Victoria is now almost exclusively governed by the Family Law Act (Commonwealth) whether you are married, or in a de facto or same sex relationship. The State of Victoria previously had the power to make laws concerning couples who were not married, but referred those powers to the Commonwealth Government in 2009.
Finding the Best Family Law Firm in Melbourne
15 January 2013 -
So your spouse has just announced, "It's over!" and you need to find a law firm to help guide you through one of the most stressful situations you are going to face. Where do you start? Do you go back to your local conveyancing law firm who looked after the purchase of your home?
Social Networks - a Divorce Lawyer’s Nightmare or Dream- depending whose side you are on!
11 April 2012 -
Watch Out- Social Networks- A Divorce Lawyers Nightmare (or Dream) What you say on FaceBook or Twitter may well end up as evidence in the Family Law Courts!
Collaborative Family Lawyers - What Women (and Men) Want!
10 August 2011 -
Marriage is a strange phenomenon that happens to human beings. And the best part is, both the unmarried and the married are unhappy, though for radically opposite reasons, one for not being married, and the other for being married.
It's Not Just a "New Mistress Law": Family Law Act Now Applies to De Facto Marriage and Same-Sex Relationships
15 April 2009 -
On 1 March 2009, new Commonwealth laws for spousal maintenance and the division of property for people in de facto relationships came into force. The Commonwealth Family Law Act 1975 now applies to both married and de facto couples as well as same-sex couples. Previously, de-facto relationships were covered by State Laws and disputes between de-facto couples were determined by State Courts such as the Supreme Court and County Court- Such disputes are now within the jurisdiction of the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrates Court, as are disputes concerning children of all relationships.
Family Court Pre Action Procedures
9 March 2009 -
Family Law Disclosure Rules
22 January 2009 -
A direct extract from Family Law Rules- Parts 13.1 and 13.2
Talk to us now for advice about your situation by phoning (+61) 03 9670 9677