Is now a good time to finalise a Family Law Property settlement?
19 December 2018
It is December 2018. After many years of rising property prices in Melbourne and the rest of Australia, property values have fallen. The Australian and US share markets are also down. Separating couples now have assets (including Superannuation) which are valued at significantly less than the valuation a year ago. However, their debt level would often be at the same level. The net result of this is that there is significantly less to divide up.
If you are looking at keeping the family home as part of a Family Law Property Settlement, the timing may not get better than this (unless the housing market continues to fall in 2019- and opinion is divided about this). If you are looking at refinancing existing debt and paying out your spouse/partner, you would be able to do this today by borrowing a lot less that you would have had to borrow a year ago. This is a good strategy if you earn sufficient income and are able to afford to repay the new level of borrowings. Also, by retaining your existing home in Melbourne, you avoid the costs of purchasing a new home (e.g. Government Stamp Duty which is usually about 5% of the purchase price).
However, the problem you may face is that the Banks may not wish to lend you as much money as they would have a year ago! Any bank considering whether to lend money or re-finance will obtain a current valuation on your property (which may end up being even less than what the figure you are working on). The Bank will also rigorously assess your capacity to repay the loan taking into account all of your other financial commitments. We have had Banks knock back some clients on refinancing recently which has left them in an unwelcome position. Where neither party is able to buy out the other one, then the only way out is for the property to be sold and for the proceeds of sale to be divided in a just and equitable manner. At the end of the process, clients may find themselves not being able to afford to buy housing in the same neighbourhood and, to stay in the same neighbourhood, they are forced to rent.
If you are separated and have not yet finalised a property settlement, it is essential to obtain the best Family Law legal advice available. Telephone Melbourne Family Lawyers on +613 9670 9677 or click on the blue Make An Enquiry button on this page.
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 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.
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