Property gathered before or during a married or de facto relationship by any partners usually constitutes a combined asset pool and is divided between the two after that. Both types of couples can apply for property settlement. However, it is always advised to consult property settlement lawyers to know your legal rights and obligations. Let us explain more through this blog!
What Is Property Settlement?
When a legal arrangement is made between two parties to divide financial resources, assets, and liabilities, that arrangement is known as a property settlement. It can be made with or without the assistance of the court.
Anything of value can be considered property, which includes:
- Jointly owner or independent property
- Business interests
- Trust interests
- Assets received through inheritance
One should note that a property settlement is not restricted to property acquired when the two persons are in the relationship. Property received before or after the separation can also be included in the settlement. Different liabilities divided between the two separated persons include:
- Stamp duty obligations
Property Settlement Without The Assistance Of The Court
When you make a property settlement without any assistance from the court, it can help you save considerable money and time. Your relationship may also improve, which may help solve future disputes.
However, this type of property agreement is usually complex, and that is why it is recommended to seek legal advice to prepare such a settlement. Top-rated property settlement lawyers in Perth can help you make a property settlement without the assistance of the court.
Remember that if both of you agree to the terms mentioned in the property settlement, have it finalized by making a financial agreement or applying for a consent order to the court.
Court-ordered property settlement
If the two partners fail to reach an agreement outside the court, they can apply for a court order. The court will then analyze the whole matter and give a proper order so that it can sound reasonable to both the parties and does not impact their property interests.
What Is The Property Settlement Law In Perth?
In Western Australia, there are two governing laws for property settlement – Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) and Family Court Act 1997 (WA). When calculating the appropriate division of financial resources and liabilities, the court’s decision will be based on whether or not the division is equal in all situations.
That is why the courts judge the property settlement cases on a case-on-case basis, and for each case, the legal officials rely on the specific documents and evidence presented to the court. Thus, there is no standard formula to calculate which party should acquire individual assets.
What Legal Steps Should You Take For Property Settlement After Divorce?
The partners previously involved in a de-facto or marital relationship can sign a Binding Financial Agreement (BFA). BFA is a legally enforceable agreement that provides detailed information on an agreed property division between the two partners. In most cases, if you have a BFA, you may not need to involve the court in settling the property.
However, you should also note that the court has full right to declare a BFA invalid in limited situations, which include the following.
- The BFA was improperly drafted and signed.
- One partner signs the BFA under pressure from the other partner.
- One party has not satisfied the ethical obligations under the agreement.
While settling the matters, the court may also consider other important factors, including:
- Identifying and evaluating all the obligations and assets of the two partners, including assets held by a business or any other third party in specific circumstances
- Assessing the non-financial and financial assistance the two parties have taken before, after, and during the relationship
- Evaluating future needs of each party
Calculating assistance is sometimes challenging, especially when there is substantial initial contribution, reimbursement, gift, or inheritance involved.
How Can You Apply For Property Settlement?
The Australian Family court has set different time limits for married and de facto couples, within which they must apply for the property settlement.
- For married couples, it is 12 months from the date of divorce.
- For de facto ones, it is 24 months from the date of separation.
The majority of the family law solicitors advise their clients to reach an agreement outside the court. If this approach fails, the parties must get involved in pre-action procedures prior to filing a court case. These procedures are as follows.
- They must participate in various dispute resolution procedures like reconciliation, negotiation, arbitration, or family counseling.
- If the previous method fails, other third parties can be contacted to offer a proposal for property settlement.
- The two parties should try to conform to the duty of disclosure as far as they can.
In any case, it will be better to hire one of the best property settlement solicitors in your area.
How Much Can You Expect To Get From Your Property Settlement?
Many people believe that property is divided equally among the two parties involved in a relationship. However, that is not true. The court does not use any standard formula to calculate the amount of divided property. For each case, individual circumstances and other important factors are considered carefully, and then the order is given.
However, you will have the option to lodge a caveat so that the other party cannot sell the property while the proceedings are being conducted. After the property settlement is reached, the court lifts the caveat, and then you can divide the property according to the settlement. If you believe that your partner is trying to sell the property, you should seek immediate legal help.
Get Legal Assistance From Top-Rated Family Lawyers In Perth
Any legal procedure involves so many rules and documents that it will always be a good idea to seek legal assistance from an experienced lawyer. Top-rated Family Law Solicitors Perth can be the best persons to help you reach an agreement or get the most favorable court order for you.