Do I have to be divorced to split the property?
You do not have to wait until you are divorced to split your property. As soon as you have separated you can make arrangements to divide your property and debts between you and your former partner. The division of property is referred to as a property settlement. In fact, once you are divorced, you only have 12 months during which you may make an application for property settlement. Applications later than 12 months after the date of divorce require special permission from the Court.
Do we have to go to Court?
No, not at all. If you have already agreed on how things should be divided between you, Zielinski Legal can draw up the documents which will finalise the arrangements, and then get underway the legal processes which will divide the assets.
What if we can’t agree?
There is an established process in cases where there is disagreement over how property should be split.
If you cannot come to an agreement as to how the property will be split, an application for property orders must be filed with the Family Court or Federal Magistrates Court. This application must be made within 12 months of your divorce becoming final.
The matter will be set down for hearing and a legally binding decision will be made by the Court.
How does the Court decide?
Firstly the Court will calculate the total assets owned by both parties, including property, shares, cars, jewellery, savings, furniture etc. This includes things you brought into the relationship, those acquired during the relationship and also those purchased after separation.
Next the court will weigh up the contributions from both parties, including financial, non-financial, inheritances and assets brought into the relationship.
Then the court will look at the future needs of both parties, including factors such as your capacity to earn money and your parental responsibilities.
Lastly, the court will make a decision based on what is just and equitable for both parties.
Zielinski Legal can help
Dealing with the complexities of property settlement is stressful but the consequences of not doing it properly can impact on the rest of your life. Zielinski Legal will ensure that you get the best possible outcome.